Española Defeats Santa Fe 88-80 In Triple-Overtime Game

Fidel Gutierrez gets some airtime. Photo by George Morse with Valley Daily Post

Española Defeats Santa Fe 88-80 In Triple-Overtime Game

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

When Española Valley High School and Santa Fe High School face off on the basketball court, it will be a battle. In the most recent meeting between the two teams, both battled toe-to-toe through regulation and two overtimes before Española emerged with an 88-80 victory at the end of the third overtime Jan. 7 at Española.

Española Coach Richard Martinez expected nothing less.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “We have a hard time with certain teams. Santa Fe is one of them.”

The Sundevils started the game having a hard time with Santa Fe, as the Demons raced out to an 11-2 lead. The Sundevils came back and a three-pointer by Elias Archuleta tied the score 13-13 and the end of the first quarter.

Elias Archuleta shooting. Photo by George Morse with Valley Daily Post

Española was leading 20 to 18 after a three-pointer and two free throws by James “Tree” Archuleta. The lead evaporated as the Demons went on a 9-0 run. Uriah Arellano scored eight of Española’s nine points, but Santa Fe still held a 35-29 lead at halftime.

Jame Archuleta at the freethrow line. Photo by George Morse with Valley Daily Post

Santa Fe was leading 40-38 in the fourth quarter when the Sundevils forced back-to-back turnovers. Arellano cashed them in with a basket and a pair of free throws that gave the Sundevils a 42-40 lead with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

The Demons’ Santiago Gonzales hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Demons back in front and Santa Fe led 48-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

A three-pointer by Josh Salazar put the Sundevils back in front 51-48 and Española extended its lead to 53-50. Gonzales drained another three-pointer, his fourth of the game, to tie the score. Archuleta nailed two free throws to give the Sundevils the lead with 3:30 left in regulation.

The Sundevils stayed in front until less than a minute remained in regulation. A basket by Santa Fe’s Oscar Perez tied the score 61-61 with 29 seconds left.

A pair of free throws by Marcos Flores put Española back in front. The Sundevils Isaiah Vigil intercepted an inbounds pass by Santa Fe and he followed with a free throw to make the score 64-61 with 16.5 second left. Gonzales made it a one-point lead 64-63 with a layup.

With eight seconds left, a pair of free throws by Azaziah Salazar gave Española a 66-63 lead. Santa Fe’s Victor Salcido launched a three-pointer with time running out and it fell through the net to tie the game and force overtime.

Santa Fe took a 68-66 lead on a basket by Julian Paras gave the Demons the lead at 2;40 on the first overtime. Salazar tied the score with 23.5 seconds left with a free throw and the two teams were tied 68-68 heading into the second overtime.

With 1:40 left in the second overtime, Santa Fe led 74-72 after a pair of free throws by Salcido. The Demons missed a pair of close-in shots and a pair of free throws that could have extended their lead. Española went back in front after a steal by Damian Serrano led to a layup by Arellano that put the Sundevils back in front 75-74. A free throw by Perez tied the score and the game went into its third 

overtime. After Santa Fe had taken a 77-75 lead, Española put together a 9-0 run to take an 81-77 lead.

The Sundevils closed out the game going 4-6 from the free-throw line for an 88-80 win.

Arellano led the Sundevils with 23 points. Azaziah Salazar had 19 points for Española.

“We need to play a lot better on defense,” Arellano said. “Our scoring will come because everyone can score.”

The Sundevils improved to 11-4. Española has a big game Tuesday, hosting the Grants High School Pirates in Española. Grants is ranked number one in Class 5A.

Uriah Arellano makes the shot. Photo by George Morse with Valley Daily Post