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Maxwell Bears Win First-Ever State Title Over Springer

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media –

It was a long time coming.  57 years in the making, noted Coach Eloy Brazil in the post- game interview, as the Maxwell Bears came from behind to take the lead and hold off an early fourth quarter rally by Springer to capture the Boys NM State Class A Championship trophy, with a 63 to 53 win.  The first-ever state trophy for the Maxwell Bears, came in an early Saturday morning showdown, March 11th at the Pit in Albuquerque.

These two teams had met five times already this season with Maxwell coming out on top in the most important one that also included a district tie breaker and a 5A district championship game. During the selection process for the state tourney Isaiah Garcia noted only one coach gave Springer the credit they deserve and quipped about it saying it could be a blue devil holding the trophy at the end of the year.

Both teams knew it would be a tough game and they didn’t disappoint as both Coach Brazil and Coach Johnny Chavez mentioned later that they came into the game knowing how the other team played and what to expect. Chavez told KRTN that in the third quarter they had several shots that simply rolled around and out which cost Springer dearly.  Maxwell’s  Aaron Salazar hit six of six from the free throw line that Brazil said kept them in the game.

Hundreds of Northern New Mexico fans poured into the Pit and saw Springer start the scoring off early with a 3-pointer by Estevan Romero and then turned up the heat for the rest of the first quarter. As Andrew Archuleta of Maxwell later noted, the nerves were there for the Bears as this was the first time for them to play in the PIT.  But, as Springer extended their lead, the nerves began to settle for Maxwell and shots started falling. By late in the second quarter Maxwell had come back from a 10 point deficit to tie the game at 23 and again at 27. As the halftime buzzer blew in Wise Pies Arena, Springer held a two point lead 33-31.

As the third period got underway, those errant roll-around-the-rim balls by Springer left Maxwell with a growing lead and Springer being outscored 18-6 in the pivotal quarter.  Maxwell took a 12 point lead at one point, but Springer is never out of a game as they proved in the quarter-finals against Hondo Valley. In the Hondo Valley game, Springer came back from an 11 point deficit with under three minutes left to tie at the end of regulation and win in OT.  They then beat #1 seed Quemado in the semis to make it to their second consecutive NM State  Championship.  So it was no surprise when Springer mounted a comeback in Saturday’s Championship and brought the score to within one.

Soon the momentum once again fell to Maxwell as they managed to add 10 points at the free throw line in the fourth and pull away.  The crowd cheers grew as they knew Maxwell had wrapped this one up and secured a Class A title 63-53.

This was Coach Brazil’s fifth year at Maxwell and he is one of the few who have coached three different schools to championships. Ironically, the previous title before today’s was at Springer where he won the 2004 and 2002 Championships.  He also hoisted the Championship banner while coaching Cimarron in 1979.

Springer  18  15   6  14    53

Maxwell  16  15  18  14    63

Link to Class A State Championship Game Stats

 

Zack Sanchez goes up for the shot as Kolton Riggs attempts the block during the state Championship game in the PIT in Albuquerque Saturday morning.

Zack Sanchez goes up for the shot as Kolton Riggs attempts the block during the state Championship game in the PIT in Albuquerque Saturday morning.

 

Isaiah Garcia takes the shot as Kolton Riggs attempts the block, Garcia put in 12 points for the Red Devils.

Isaiah Garcia takes the shot as Kolton Riggs attempts the block, Garcia put in 12 points for the Red Devils.

 

Gabriel Garcia steals the shot by Carl Gonzales in the third quarter of the state championship game in the PIT in Albuquerque Saturday morning.

Gabriel Garcia steals the shot by Carl Gonzales in the third quarter of the state championship game in the PIT in Albuquerque Saturday morning.

 

State Championship Springer v Maxwell 3-11-17-0869

The two bigs guys battle it out with Kolton Riggs getting the short end and the foul as Zac Caldwell drives down the lane for the shot during the state title game Saturday morning in Albuquerque

 

Estevan Romero flies by Andrew Archuleta who holds up his shot just long enough for romero to clear and puts it in for another two during the state title game in Albuquerque Saturday morning.

Estevan Romero flies by Andrew Archuleta who holds up his shot just long enough for romero to clear and puts it in for another two during the state title game in Albuquerque Saturday morning.

 

Kolton Riggs, Isaiah Garcia and Zac Caldwell struggle for the ball before the refs finally call a tie ball as both boys head for the floor Saturday morning in Wise Pies Arena

Kolton Riggs, Isaiah Garcia and Zac Caldwell struggle for the ball before the refs finally call a tie ball as both boys head for the floor Saturday morning in Wise Pies Arena

 

Zac Caldwell (32) goes up for the block as Carl Gonzales (5) takes the hook shot late in the third quarter of the state title game Saturday in Wise Pies Arena

Zac Caldwell (32) goes up for the block as Carl Gonzales (5) takes the hook shot late in the third quarter of the state title game Saturday in Wise Pies Arena

 

This time Zac Caldwell gets the block as Carl Gonzales makes contact with Caldwell Saturday morning in Albuquerque

This time Zac Caldwell gets the block as Carl Gonzales makes contact with Caldwell Saturday morning in Albuquerque

 

It was 57 years in the making as Maxwell not only puts a team in the state tourney but takes the state title.

It was 57 years in the making as Maxwell not only puts a team in the state tourney but takes the state title.

 

The State Runner Up Springer Red Devils Zack Sanchez, Chris Casias, Colton Shaw, Damien Blaubach, Isaiah Garcia, Jacob Qunitana, Estevan Romero, Gabriel Garcia, Bryan Romero, Sac Caldwell, Jose Urquijo, Chase Casias, Owen Burton, Ryan Gallegos, Coach Johnny Chavez and Manager Isaiah Vigil

The State Runner Up Springer Red Devils
Zack Sanchez, Chris Casias, Colton Shaw, Damien Blaubach, Isaiah Garcia, Jacob Qunitana, Estevan Romero, Gabriel Garcia, Bryan Romero, Sac Caldwell, Jose Urquijo, Chase Casias, Owen Burton, Ryan Gallegos, Coach Johnny Chavez and Manager Isaiah Vigil

 

The State Champion Maxwell Bears Coach Mike Glassman, Caden Floyd, Ricci Molina, Kaden Riggs, Devon Cruz, Kolton Riggs, Jeremy Archuleta, Andrew Archuleta, Aaron Salazar, Carl Gonzales, Amadeo Soto, Wesley Jeffery, Alyssa Archuleta, Coach Eloy Brazil, Coach Joe Mitchell

The State Champion Maxwell Bears
Coach Mike Glassman, Caden Floyd, Ricci Molina, Kaden Riggs, Devon Cruz, Kolton Riggs, Jeremy Archuleta, Andrew Archuleta, Aaron Salazar, Carl Gonzales, Amadeo Soto, Wesley Jeffery, Alyssa Archuleta, Coach Eloy Brazil, Coach Joe Mitchell

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