Lady Sundevils Beaten By Carlsbad

​Alexis Lovato drives against Carlsbad. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Lady Sundevils Beaten By Carlsbad

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Forget about taking on an easy opponent to begin your season. The Espanola Valley High School Lady Sundevils faced Carlsbad High School Nov. 12 in their opening game of the season at Espanola. The tall and talented Lady Cavemen were Class 6A semifinalists at the state basketball tournament and boast five players on their roster taller than Espanola post Alexis Lovato, who at 5 feet, 10 inches is Espanola’s tallest starting player. Carlsbad used that advantage to run away from the Lady Sundevils in the second half for a 70-55 victory.

Alexis Lovato looks for help under the basket.​ Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

“I’m not that unhappy,” Espanola Coach Cindy Roybal said. “That’s the number one team in the state and they’ve been together for two weeks. I had kids in volleyball and I coached them two days. It was still tied at the half or close to it.”

The Lady Sundevils had kept it close in the first half. It was the efforts of junior post Lovato and senior Alycia Archibeque that made that possible. Lovato had 17 points in the first half, while Archibeque, who had been playing volleyball, had a couple of three-pointers.

Leah DeAguero makes a layup after making a steal​. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Carlsbad led 8-3 before a basket and a three-pointer by Archibeque cut the lead to 10-8 at the end of the first quarter. Lovato had 14 points in the second quarter and a three-pointer by Archibeque tied the score at 25-25 with 1:37 left in the first half. With the score tied at 27-27 after a pair of free throws by Lovato, Carlsbad’s Kim Best scored inside at the buzzer and drew a foul. She sank the ensuing free throw to gice the Lady Cavemen a 30-27 lead at halftime.

After Carlsbad took a 33-27 lead in the third quarter, Archibeque had an old-fashioned, three-point play to cut the lead to 33-30, but that was as close as the Lady Sundevils would get. Carlsbad Carsyn Boswell scored the next seven points to put the Lady Cavemen ahead by double digits 40-30 Boswell scored 13 of her game-high 29 points in the third quarter. Carlsbad dominated the backboards and scored on the fast break as the Lady Sundevils were slow to get back on defense. The Lady Cavemen led 54-38 heading into the fourth quarter.

Alexis Lovato scores against Carlsbad​. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

“She (Boswell) hurt us,” Coach Roybal said. “We’re out of shape. We ran a different defense and kids didn’t understand.

The lead ballooned to 22 points when the Lady Cavemen took a 67-45 lead. Only four players scored for Espanola. Lovato finished with 27 points and Archibeque added 19 points for the Lady Sundevils.

The Lady Sundevils will not play again until after Thanksgiving. They face Taos HighSchool Nov. 29 at Taos.

They’ll all be better and we’ll be back,” Coach Roybal said.