Northeastern New Mexico once again showed the state that our corner can play ball with the best of them as Springer and Maxwell dispatched #1 seed Quemado and #3 seed Melrose to punch their tickets to the NM Class A Boys Championship.
Playing in Bernalillo on Thursday, March 9th, Springer was the first to clinch as they battled #1 seed Quemado to a 12 all tie after one period. Then, a combination of tenacious Springer defense and a cold shooting hand for the Eagles translated to only 2 points in the second period and Springer held an eight point lead at the half. The drought for Quemado continued into the second half as the normally potent scoring machine could only muster three points in the period and in the game couldn’t get any three-point shots to fall in 12 attempts.
Springer on the other hand, made 16 of 21 field goal attempts in the second half, was 6 of 6 at the line and 2 of 4 from beyond the three point arc. Isaiah Garcia finished with 21 points, including three threes, while Bryan Romero had 12, Estevan Romero with 7, Jacob Quintana’s smothering defense created three steals and his offense provided six points. Zach Sanchez also had six and the Red Devils center went down hard late in the game, and had to be helped off the court, but after the game, coach Johnny Chavez said it looked like just a sprain and they would evaluate the seniors status for Saturday’s championship. Damien Blaubach and Zac Caldwell scored four apiece and Colton Shaw put in a two-for-two showing at the line.
Making the Springer effort that much more impressive was the fact that they battled Hondo Valley the night before into overtime, before prevailing 89-87.
For Springer it will be back-to-back appearances in the title game and their seventh overall.