The Maxwell Bears outhustled and Kolten Riggs outmuscled the Melrose Buffaloes to earn a decisive 68-50 semifinal win and a trip to the Pit in Albuquerque for a shot at a Boys Class A NM State Championship.
The Bears started hot with Karl Gonzales hitting three of his seven three-pointers in the first period and Riggs pulling down defensive rebounds to stake the Bears to a 21-12 advantage after the first 8 minutes. Gonzales would hit 7 of 12 three point attempts for the game and wind up with 26 points. Riggs, a freshman, hauled down a total of 18 rebounds, blocked four shots, scored 20 points including three threes and for the most part, held Melrose’s big man, Jordan Jasso, in check scoring 17.
Aaron Salazar scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter to help Maxwell turn back a second half rally as Melrose tied it at 38-all and was only down six going into the last period. Andrew Archuleta added 8 points in addition to his seven assists and ball handling skills, while Jeremy Archuleta had four.
Maxwell will be seeking its first ever state championship when it faces district foe Springer in the Pit on Saturday, March 11 at 8 am.
The game will be broadcast on KRTN FM 93.9 and streamed on Network1Sports.com