Pojoaque Girls Basketball

The Elkettes Take Third In Tournament Championship At St. Michael’s
Valley Daily Post

Pojoaque’s Taylor Roybal passes to Camille Cordova under the basket. Photo by George Morse/valleydailypost.com

The Pojoaque Valley High School girls basketball team came away with two confidence-building victories at the Lady Horsemen Invitational hosted by St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe. The Elkettes took third place overall with wins over Class 4A rivals Sandia Prep School and Silver High School sandwiched around a loss to Class 5A Española  Valley High School in the semifinals.
The 42-38 win over Silver Dec. 30 in the third-place game saw the Elkettes overcome a slow start after scoring just seven points in the first quarter. Utilizing full-court pressure, the Elkettes held Silver to just five points in the second quarter while putting up 12 points to take a 19-16 lead. The Lady Colts sank just three-of-nine free throws in the second quarter.
The Elkettes extended their lead to 33-27 after three quarters as the Lady Colts had trouble against Pojoaque’s pressing defense. With 2:37 left in the game, Silver cut Pojoaque’s lead to one point 35-34 when Pojoaque’s Camille Cordova scored underneath the basket and drew a foul. She sank the ensuing free throw for a 38-34 Elkettes’ lead.
Silver’s leading scorer Katelynn Limardo had fouled out on the play. A pair of free throws by Silver’s Aysia Salas with 50.7 seconds left in the game cut Pojoaque’s lead to 38-36. Silver had its chances to tie the game after that, forcing two turnovers, but both times two hurried shots at the basket failed to fall.
With 16 seconds left in the game, Pojoaque’s Felyse Cordova was at the free-throw line. She coolly buried both shots to give the Elkettes a 40-36 lead.
“I just tried not to think about it so it wouldn’t be such a burden,” Cordova said.
With 11 seconds left in the game, Silver’s LeAsiah Jaure canned two free throws to cut the lead to two points 40-38. The Lady Colts needed to foul immediately on the ensuing inbounds play, but they didn’t. That allowed Pojoaque to use valuable seconds moving the ball up the court. As time expired, Ashten Martinez scored all alone underneath the basket for a final score of 42-38 in favor of Pojoaque.
“We’re starting to play as a team and become one,” Cordova said. “We’re talking a lot more on defense.”
The Elkettes bounced back from a 52-40 loss to local rival Española  Valley Dec. 29 in the semifinals. Pojoaque did a good job of shutting down Española ’s Alexis Lovato in that game, holding her to just four points, which was well below her season average of nearly 20 points-per-game.
The Lady Sundevils’ guards picked up the slack. Kaylee Chavez, Leah DeAguero and Gaby Ortiz combined to score 39 points.
“The player who was supposed to beat us didn’t beat us,” Pojoaque Coach Seledon Martinez said.
Pojoaque began the tournament avenging a loss earlier in the season by beating Sandia Prep 53-47 Dec. 28 in the opening round of the tournament. Sandia Prep had beaten Pojoaque 59-45 Dec. 2 in Albuquerque. In the rematch, the Elkettes led 9-2 after the first quarter and were ahead by 15 points in the fourth quarter before Sandia Prep staged a rally. Ashten Martinez led the Elkettes with 16 points. She was named to the All-Tournament team.
The Elkettes drew closer to evening their season record with their two victories at the tournament. Just 4-6 coming in to the Lady Horsemen Invitational, Pojoaque is now 6-7 on the season. The Elkettes travel to Socorro High School Thursday (1/5) to face the Lady Warriors.
“We just need to keep improving every time out,”Coach Martinez said. “It’s not how we start. It’s how we finish.”

Pojoaque’s Adrianna Quintana drives to the basket against Española.​ Photo by George Morse/valleydailypost.com