Tularosa 61, Santa Fe Prep 43
What happened: The next step in the Blue Griffins’ progression was learning how to follow up a big win. They struggled with that, as they trailed the Wildcats 34-29 at the half before scoring just 14 points the rest of the way in the opening round of the Lion Classic at Santa Rosa. Even though Prep managed just five points in the third quarter, it only trailed 42-34. Tularosa, though, outscored the Blue Griffins 19-9 the rest of the way. “We came out flat,” Prep head coach Joe Vigil said. “We need to find out consistency of play.”
Top players: Finn Coles led Prep with 21 points and no other player reached double figures.
What’s next: Prep (6-5) plays Gateway Christian in the consolation semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
St. Michael’s 55, East Mountain 28
What happened: The Lady Horsemen answered the call to start their nondistrict finale in Perez-Shelley Gymnasium. They built a 30-15 halftime lead before the Lady Timberwolves cut the margin to 11. St. Michael’s head coach Sonya Ruiz, in her return after being in quarantine for COVID-19, called a timeout to set her team straight. “I told them we can’t let them keep cutting into that lead,” Ruiz said. The Lady Horsemen responded by building a 42-23 lead heading into the fourth.
Top players: Lauryn Pecos had a team-high 20 points for St. Michael’s, while Carmen Pacheco had a double-double — 14 points and 15 rebounds.
What’s next: The Lady Horsemen (6-11) play Raton at home Jan. 21 for its District 2-3A opener.