Sundevils Win District Title In OT

by Editor / Feb 28, 2019 / 0 comments
Española  point guard Ryan Trujillo drives to the basket against Taos in the Sundevils' 60-54 overtime victory over the Tiger Feb. 23 at Taos. The victory clinched the District 2-4A regular season title for Española.

Sundevils Win District Championship In OT

By George Morse

The Española Valley High School Sundevils clawed out a hard-fought victory in front of a sellout crowd Feb. 23 with a 60-54 overtime win over Taos High School at Taos. The score was tied 52-52 at the end of regulation. Española outscored the Tigers 8-2 in the four-minute overtime to secure the win. With the victory, the Sundevils win the District 2-4A regular season championship and will host the District 2-4A tournament championship game Friday. Española also earns an automatic trip to the Class 4A state basketball championships. Española was undefeated (8-0) in District 2-4A competition. 

The game was nip-and-tuck throughout. Española enjoyed the biggest lead in the third quarter after back-to-back three-pointers by point guard Ryan Trujillo and Luis Molina made the score 40-31 in favor of the Sundevils. Taos came storming back in the fourth quarter to tie the score 44-44 on a basket by Abdul Kweis and took the lead 47-44 on a three-pointer by Husam Kweis. Española tied the score on a three-pointer by Gabriel Serrano, which was just one of many big plays made by some of Española’s players.

The Sundevils took a 51-49 lead on another big play. This one was a steal at midcourt and a great layup by Christian Aizpuro. Española was leading 52-49 when Taos’ Justin Madrid hit a three-pointer to tie the score  and send the game into overtime.

Taos took a 54-52 lead on a basket by Noah Armijo. Española came back, tying the score on two free throws by Trujillo. After a free throw by Serrano, Molina drove hard to the basket and sank a driving layup on which he was fouled. He san the ensuing free throw for an old-fashioned, three-point play that gave Española a 58-54 lead. Trujillo had a key steal on an inbounds play. Española’s Brian Martinez iced the game with 19.7 seconds left with a pair of free throws.

Trujillo was the steady scorer for Española, finishing with 21 points. Martinez added 10 points for the Sundevils. Abdul Kweis, who fouled out in overtime, led Taos with 18 points. Armijo had 16 points for the Tigers.

“There were a lot of big plays by a number of players,” Española Coach James Branch said.

Española is currently ranked sixth in Class 4A in the MaxPreps polls. Taos is ranked 11th. These two teams will probably meet again in the championship game of the District 2-4A tournament Friday in Española. All season long they have been dominating the other teams in District 2-4A.

“We’re not done yet,” Española assistant coach Brian Martinez said.

Española's Brian Martinez shoots a three-pointer against Taos. Española's Justino Rascon goes up against Taos.
Española's Luis Molina jumps over a Taos player after driving in for a layup and drawing a foul. His old-fashioned, three-point play helped the Sundevils prevail in overtime.

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