McCurdy Boys & Girls Face Mora

by Staff Reporter / Dec 22, 2017 / comments

2109  McCurdy’s Ernesto Martinez drives to the basket. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

McCurdy Boys Lose To Mora

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors.

There are times when the game, even one as hard-fought and exciting as the one between Mora High School and McCurdy Charter School Dec. 20 at McCurdy, becomes less important. As McCurdy’s Ubaldo Barela lay on the floor after landing on his head beneath the basket, there was a hush over the gym.

McCurdy’s Ubaldo Barela goes to the basket against Mora. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

His legs twitching, Barela did not move as coaches and his parents rushed on to the court to tend to him. Paramedics were called and arrived within minutes. They questioned Barela to determine if he knew where he was and what had happened. They fitted a collar around his neck. There was applause as Barela was helped to his feet. Just to see him get up was a relief. He was helped on to a stretcher and wheeled away to be examined at Espanola Hospital. There was blood on the floor where Barela’s head had hit. It was wiped away.

McCurdy’s Ubaldo Barela drives to the basket. He would be injured later in the game. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

The game resumed, but the fire had gone out of the Bobcats. Mora had been clinging to a 64-62 lead with 2:50 left in the game. The final score was 81 -67 in favor of the Rangers. At times, some of the Bobcats appeared to be taking their frustrations out on the court. Fortunately, the Rangers did not respond in kind.

It had been your typical hard-fought, small high school Northern New Mexico basketball game. Up and down the court. Players flying to the basket and all over the court. The action always on the verge of getting out of control. Barela was in the air when his legs were taken out from under him and he landed on his back with back of his head hitting the floor.

It was a solemn ending to what had been an exciting game. The action was back and forth. McCurdy had led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter. Mora staged a furious comeback in the second quarter as the Bobcats committed too many turnovers. The Rangers built a 30-21 lead after three straight old-fashioned, three-point plays by Carlos Muller.

Barela brought the Bobcats back with three baskets and a three-pointer as he scored McCurdy’s next nine points. The score was 34-30 in favor of the Rangers at halftime.

McCurdy came back and tied the score 36-36 after two three-pointers, one off the glass, by Raul Arroyo. After Mora took a 38-36 lead, Barela sandwiched a basket and two free throws around a basket by Kemmer Croff to give McCurdy a 42-38 lead. Mora answered with an old-fashioned, three-point play by Jerome Pacheco and two baskets by Muller to take a 45-44 lead. Croff came back with a three-pointer and a driving layup for a 49-45 lead by the Bobcats. Muller’s basket made it 49-47 heading into the fourth quarter.

McCurdy’s Kemmer Croff goes up for a shot against Mora. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Pacheco tied the score with a basket to start the fourth quarter. McCurdy came back and Barela’s basket gave the Bobcats a 55-51 lead. Mora chipped away at the lead. A technical foul on McCurdy sent Muller to the line, where he made one of his free throws to tie the score at 58-58 with 4:28 left in the game.

On Mora’s ensuing possession, Pacheco scored inside to give the Rangers a 60-58 lead. A steal and layup by Ernesto Martinez tied the score. Two free throws by Muller broke the tie and gave the Rangers a 62-60 lead. A basket by Alejandro Quintana tied the score at 62 points apiece. Mora’s Kenny Martinez   broke the tie with a short jumper for a 64-62 lead by Mora.

That’s when Barela suffered his scary injury. The game and time stopped. When it resumed, it was not the same.

Barela scored 24 points before being injured. Croff had 16 points for the Bobcats. Muller had a game-high 32 points and Pacheco scored 21 points for the Rangers.

McCurdy Coach Ernesto Espinoza left quickly after the game to check on the status of his fallen warrior. Under New Mexico Activities Association rules, Barela must sit out 10 days and be cleared by a physician before returning to action.


In the game preceding the boys game, the McCurdy Lady Bobcats defeated the Mora Rangerettes 51-39to improve to 6-3 on the season.

The Bobcats got off to a good start and led 16-5 after one quarter. Mora turned the tables on McCurdy in the second quarter and outscored the Bobcats 15-5, making it just a one-point game21-20 st halftime. The game remained close the rest of the way.

McCurdy’s Serena Barela gets fouled driving to the basket. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

The Bobcats were clinging to a 33-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter and for the next six minutes couldn’t shake off the pesky Rangerettes. Still clinging to a one-point lead, McCurdy finally established some breathing room. A basket by Marissa Sandoval and a three-pointer by Karla Santos gave McCurdy a 45-39 lead.

McCurdy’s Marissa Sandoval goes to the basket. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

“I didn’t even know it was going in,” Santos said.

A technical foul on Mora for having six players on the court sent Sandoval to the line, where she made both of her free throws. Santos followed with two more free throws, then sank a short jumper for the game’s final points. McCurdy finished with an 11-0 run for a 51-39 victory.

“It was a nice win,” McCurdy Coach Ron Sanchez said. “We gave up a lead we never should have given up. The players I’ve been subbing in have been pretty good, but tonight they just weren’t clicking. I had to keep my starters in the second half.”

Santos led McCurdy with 18 points and Sandoval had 14 points. This season the Bobcats have had more balanced scoring, taking some of the pressure off Santos.

‘Karla put the team on her shoulders,” Coach Sanchez said. “Teams would run a diamond and one defense to stop her. They can’t do that now because we have other girls that can score.”

Santos appreciates the help.

“This summer we worked a lot on getting everyone involved,” she said. “I have more assists now than I had all last year.”

The Bobcats are looking to win their district this season and finally get to play a home game in the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament.