Pojoaque Puts Up A Fight Before Espanola Pulls Away

by Editor / Feb 11, 2019 / 0 comments
Española's Ollie Fell comes up with a turnover against Pojoaque in Española's 65-53 victory over the Elks Feb. 9 at Española. The Sundevils turned the game around in the fourth quarter by creating turnovers on defense that fueled a 15-0 run.

Pojoaque Puts Up A Fight Before Española Pulls Away

By George Morse

Pojoaque Valley High School gave local rival Española Valley High School all it could handle for three quarters until the fourth quarter when the Sundevils’ pressure defense forced turnover after turnover. Española put together a 15-0 run to take control of the game and the Elks never recovered. The Sundevils took a 65-53 victory Feb. 9 at Española. The Sundevils are now 5-0 in District 2-4A.

The Elks led 11-10 after the first quarter and 32-28 at halftime. Noah De la Cruz and Diego Trujillo each scored 10 points in the first half for Pojoaque. Española point guard Ryan Trujillo kept the Sundevils close with 13 points in the first half Brian Martinez added nine points on three three-pointers, but poor shooting from beyond the three-point arc plagued Española throughout the game. The Sundevils launched 20 shots from three-point land in the first half and only four of them found the mark.

In the third quarter, the shots still weren’t falling for the Sundevils and a basket by De la Cruz pushed Pojoaque’s lead to 10 points 38-28 before Española started to make some baskets. Three-pointers by Trujillo and Garrett May pulled the Sundevils within two points 40-38. De la Cruz sank two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the third quarter for a four-point Pojoaque lead. There was just enough time for Trujillo to hurry the ball downcourt and hit a pullup jumper that made the score 42-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

It was the Christian Aizpuro show for the Sundevils in the fourth quarter. With the Sundevils creating turnover after turnover, Aizpuro took the ball to the basket and scored the Sundevils’ first seven points. On one of his layups he converted an old-fashioned, three-point play. After another turnover by the Elks, Trujillo sank two free throws at 5:56 of the fourth quarter to give Española a 49-42 lead. Aizpuro nailed two more free throws. Trujillo added two more. When Trujillo drove in for another layup after another turnover, the Sundevils had run off 15 unanswered points to take a 55-42 lead.

De la Cruz finally scored for the Elks with 3:36 left in the game. That didn’t slow the Sundevils down. Aizpuro added two more baskets, giving him 13 points in the fourth quarter.

”Coach (James Branch) told me to take the ball to the hole because the three-pointers weren’t falling,” Aizpuro said. “That’s what I did.”

Trujillo scored on a layup at the buzzer for the final two of his 29 points for Española. Aizpuro finished with 17 points. De la Cruz led Pojoaque with 18 points. Diego Trujillo finished with 12 points for the Elks.

Pojoaque, which had picked up its second District 2-4A win of the season Feb. 7 with a 45-35 win at Los Alamos, fell to 2-3 in District 2-4A. The Elks take on Taos Tuesday (2/12) at Pojoaque. Pojoaque is 7-15 on the season

Española improved to 14-8 overall. Española faces Moriarty Tuesday at Moriarty.

Española's Jon Garcia leaps high in the air trying to disrupt a shot by Pojoaque's Noah De la Cruz.
Española's Ollie Fell looks to stop Pojoaque's Jacen Lujan from scoring under the basket.

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