Demons avoid Clovis, consolation bracket
Santa Fe advances past Amarillo Tascosa in quarterfinal
Both Santa Fe High and Amarillo Tascosa have been familiar entries at the annual Clovis holiday basketball tournament – with neither having had much particular success.
Santa Fe, for the past two years, ran across a buzzsaw in strong host teams from Clovis High in the first round. Tascosa, for its part, had limited or no practice time in the days immediately prior to the tournament.
On Monday, in the opening round of the Southwest Dairy Farmers Classic, Santa Fe was without its usual stumbing block while Tascosa was still impeded in the usual way.
Final: Santa Fe 48, Tascosa 44 as the Demons moved on to the second round.
“Yeah, that’s good. This is the first year, actually, where I think we’ve done that,” said Santa Fe senior Michael Dean on the Demons staying in contention for the tourney title.
Using a balanced attack, no Santa Fe player scored more than 10 points, the Demons tried to control tempo from the outset of the contest.
“A lot of times, you want to win that first game so bad that you start making mental mistakes,” Santa Fe coach Lenny Roybal said. “This is a good win for us. We spread the court because we’ve got five guys that can handle the ball. When we play uptempo, we start to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Aside from a 6-6 tie early, Santa Fe led almost continuously.
The closest Tascosa (8-8) would come, after falling behind by as many as 11 early in the fourth quarter, was at the very end of the game.
Trailing 46-41 after a free throw by Santa Fe’s Teddy Roybal, Tascosa timmed the margin to a deuce when Lamar Britton swished a three with 45 seconds to go.
The Rebels actually had a chance to tie when the Demons turned the ball over on their next possession, but Tascosa promptly returned the favor by comitting a turnover itself.
With 16 seconds left to play, Santa Fe’s Mario Herrera drained a pair of free throws to essentially seal the win for the Demons.
“Unfortunately, in Texas, we have to take days off. So we’ve had six days off with no practice,” Tascosa coach Roger Raper said. “It showed. We were extremely rusty. Besides that, we didn’t compete like we need to compete – and it’s frustrating.”