Districts are in full swing across Northern New Mexico with each team's destiny squarely in their own hands. End of season runs and post-season play on the minds of players, fans and coaches.
Below are the Taos County high school basketball scores for Jan. 16-20.
Taos Tigers (11-9, 2-0)
Taos Tigers 58, Pojoaque Valley Elks 32 (Jan. 16)
Taos Tigers 71, St. Michael's Horsemen 65 (Jan. 19)
The Taos Tigers extended their winning streak to three after defeating the St. Michael's Horsemen (7-12, 1-1) in double overtime on their own court Jan. 19.
Taos visited Perez-Shelley Memorial Gymnasium in Santa Fe tied with the Horsemen in District 2-4A at 1-0, and came away with a crucial victory to take the top spot in the league and move to 11-9 overall. Earlier in the week, the Tigers beat the Pojoaque Valley Elks in convincing fashion at home in the district opener.
The next test for Taos is right around the corner, as Coach Nando Chavez and company travel to West Las Vegas to take on the Dons (10-9, 1-0) Jan. 24. West is coming off a 70-52 win over cross-town rival Robertson and is poised to challenge Taos for the early district lead. Varsity game time is tentatively set for 7 p.m.
Taos Lady Tigers (7-10, 1-1)
Taos Lady Tigers 30, Pojoaque Valley Elkettes 66 (Jan. 17)
Taos Lady Tigers 36, St. Michael's Lady Horsemen 27 (Jan. 20)
The first two games in District 2-4A for the Taos Lady Tigers revealed shortcomings on offense – with Taos struggling to score points – during a loss and a win respectively.
In their district opener, Taos was routed, 66-30 by the Elkettes on the road Jan. 17. In that contest, the Lady Tigers were unable to produce double-digit scoring in any of the four quarters. The poor shooting continued for three more quarters during the 36-27 win over the St. Michael's Horsemen at home Jan. 20 when the Lady Tiger produced just five, nine and four points before pumping in 18 in the fourth quarter in the low scoring affair. Several turnovers and sloppy play by both teams hampered progress and momentum, but Taos was able to maintain their lead to pick up their first district win dating back to February 7, 2017.
Taos continues district play with a two-game home stand against the West Las Vegas Lady Dons Jan. 23 and the Robertson Lady Cardinals Jan. 26. Taos travels to Pecos to take on the Lady Panthers Jan. 27, and hosts the Escalante Lady Lobos Jan. 30 before resuming the second half of their district schedule Feb. 3.
Peñasco Lady Panthers (14-4, 1-0)
Peñasco Lady Panthers 61, Raton Lady Tigers 40 (Jan. 16)
Peñasco Lady Panthers 59, Mora Rangerettes 32 (Jan. 18)
The Lady Panthers are on back on track after a pair of impressive wins this past week – righting the ship after a 38-point loss to the Robertson Lady Cardinals Jan. 10. Coach Gilbert Mascareñas and his young squad cruised to victory over class 3A Ratón Lady Tigers Jan. 16 and district rival Mora Rangerettes Jan. 18. to move to 14-4 overall and 1-0 in district play.
Against the Lady Tigers, Peñasco took control early and never relented – handily defeating Raton 61-40 in front of their fans inside Jicarita Peñasco Gymnasium. The Lady Panthers returned for a second straight home game in their district opener against the Rangerettes, winning by a final of 59-32 – officially ending Mora's seven-year dominance over Peñasco during league play.
Next, the Lady Panthers visit their old district rivals, the McCurdy (Española) Lady Bobcats for a non-conference game Jan. 23. Now a class 3A team, McCurdy sits at 12-5 overall and 0-1 in their respective district. Peñasco returns to league play in a showdown of the top 5-2A teams, on the road against the Escalante (Tierra Amarilla) Lady Lobos (8-8, 2-0) Jan. 25. Game time is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m.
Peñasco Panthers (4-13, 0-1)
Peñasco Panthers 72, Raton Tigers 66 (Jan. 16)
Peñasco Panthers 53, Mora Rangers 87 (Jan. 18)
The Peñasco Panthers have been idle for the past ten days, but the effects of the layoff seem to have benefited Coach Brandon Gurule and his squad, as the Panthers were able to come away with an impressive non-conference win Jan. 16. Peñasco evened their season series with the Raton Tigers (5-11, 0-1) by outgunning the class 3A team 72-66. The Panthers had lost the first meeting of the two teams by a final score of 87-73 on the road Dec. 19.
The Panther's district opener at home against the Mora Rangers (12-7, 2-0) ended with the visitors going wire-to-wire to snap a two-game win streak by Peñasco. Last year, the Panthers lost both games against the Rangers, but were awarded wins by forfeit for an ineligible player infraction that forced Mora to relinquish 13 of their wins at the end of the 2016-17 season.
The Peñasco boys will accompany the girls for a two-game road trip as they travel to McCurdy (Española) Jan. 23, and Escalante (Tierra Amarilla) Jan. 25.
Questa Wildcats (1-15, 0-2)
The Questa Wildcats are two games into their district schedule and find themselves struggling to score baskets – falling to both Escalante and Mora by huge margins Jan. 18 and Jan. 20 respectively. The pair of losses places Questa at the bottom of the district standings and class 2A - along with five other teams in the state who also currently show just one, or zero wins on the season.
The Wildcats will be on the road for their next two tilts, taking on the Mesa Vista Trojans (8-10, 0-1) Jan. 25 and the class 3A Santa Fe Prep Blue Griffins (6-6, 0-0) Jan. 27. The next home game will be against the Peñasco Panthers Feb. 1. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.
Questa Lady Cats (7-11, 1-1)
Questa Lady Cats 35, Escalante Lady Lobos 40 (Jan. 18)
Questa Lady Cats 46, Mora Rangerettes 37 (Jan. 20)
Dealing with their own history against the Mora – which included at least one meeting per year in the last eight years – the Questa Lady Cats finally beat the Rangerettes and ended a 12-game skid which dated back to January 23, 2010. The triumph came at home during the second district game of the 2017-18 campaign Jan. 20.
The win also put an end to another losing streak against district opponents within the district season. Previously, Questa was 0-13 against District 5-2A teams, including the Lady Cat's league opener loss against the Escalante Lady Lobos at home Jan. 18. The last district win occurred inside the “Mini-Pit” versus the McCurdy Lady Bobcats February 13, 2016.
The Lady Cats were victorious earlier this year against the Mesa Vista Lady Trojans, but the meeting was on a neutral court during the Northern Rio Grande Tournament, and was considered a “regular-season” contest outside the “district-season.”
The Lady Cats resume play this week, as they head to Ojo Caliente to take on the Mesa Vista Lady Trojans (3-15, 0-1) Jan. 25, and to Santa Fe Prep to challenge the Lady Blue Griffins (0-8, 0-0) Jan. 27. The next home game will feature the Peñasco Lady Panthers Feb. 1. Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m.
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