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Blazin’ into the 2A Championship

Las Cruces school beats Bosque for 3rd time

 

By Glen Rosales

It was a year ago, but the memory of the off-balance, banked-in 3-pointer at the buzzer that eliminated Mesilla Valley in the semifinals of the Class 2A Boys State Championship still burns hot.

“A motivating factor is putting it lightly,” said SonBlazers coach Terry Adler. “So let’s just say that it’s in the forefront of our minds,. It’s tattooed on our forehead.”

Mesilla Valley blew a 14-point, fourth-quarter in that loss to eventual champion Texico.

The top-seeded SonBlazers (29-1) were not about to give No. 4 Bosque (25-5) a similar chance this year as they extended their lead in the final quarter en route to a 63-52 victory in Friday’s semifinals.

“One of the things we tried to emphasize is that every possession counts,” Adler said. “We look it as every time down the floor is a memory. And make it a good memory, not like last year.”

It was something that the players understood with clarity.

“We’ve been thinking about it pretty much since we stepped into the gym in November,” said senior guard Cody Correa. “Especially our seniors, we didn’t want that to be our last memory. We have brothers and friends on that team and we saw how they felt last year.”

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Correa had a large part in making sure that the SonBlazers were not disappointed this season, scoring 15 points. Post Sean Harris added 13 and Scott Adler contributed 12. Bobcats senior guard Jonathan Allison led all scorers with 16 points, despite drawing the constant attention of the Mesilla Valley defense in the second half.

“What we really tried to do was take Cody or the guard on top and have him jump out on Allison,” coach Adler said. “He was getting too many ball penetrations. We knew that coming in, he likes the spin move. Our biggest adjustment was give up the 3 and see if they can bury it because they had one 3 at halftime. Take away the penetration and let’s see if they can shoot outside.”

It worked as Bosque went just 2-for-5 on 3-pointers.

It was tight at halftime, though, with the SonBlazers taking a 27-26 lead after Harris got a put-back bucket at the buzzer.

The SonBlazers gradually extended the lead throughout the third quarter as the defensive adjustments took root.

“We wanted to see if they had a good zone offense or a good offense with a kick,” Adler said. “But I thought for the most part, our defense picked up. I don’t know what it is about this team, but we come with a lot more intensity in the second half. Our second half there is a lot more defense, usually.”

For the Bobcats, it was their first time playing in The Pit, so they were pleased with the experience even if they didn’t get to extend their stay.

“My psychological concern was how were these kids going to react,” said Bosque coach Craig Snow. “They come down here and watch the Lobos all the time. Just to get that first chance to run down the ramp into The Pit, you never really know. I thought they handled it as well as they possibly could.”

For Allison, it was something he’s wanted in his career for as long as he can remember.

“From the first time I saw a high school game in The Pit, it’s always been my dream to play a game in The Pit,” he said. “Finally getting to do it my senior year with this group of guys that I got to do it with, it was an unbelievable experience.”

And it’s something he’ll never forget.

“It was more than I ever expected,” he said. “The adrenaline rush, it’s so exciting. You dream about it as a kid and you finally get to do it senior year of high school, it’s an amazing experience.”

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