BERNALILLO — The Dora Lady Coyotes have battled Tatum tough all season, and Thursday’s Class 1A state quarterfinal game was no different.
Dora, though, went ice-cold in the final quarter and Tatum managed to pull away to a 39-30 victory.
Second-seeded Tatum (26-1) advances to a 3 p.m. semifinal game on Thursday at Bernalillo High School against sixth-seeded Animas, which upended No. 3 seed Des Moines 52-43 on Tuesday.
Dora (17-12), seeded seventh, led 19-14 at halftime and extended that to seven points early in the third period. Tatum rallied back to pull even at quarter’s end, then limited the Lady Coyotes to three points in the final stanza.
“We didn’t execute very well in the second half,” said Dora coach Caleb King, whose team lost all four games to Tatum this season, none by more than 12 points. “They just played a better second half than we did tonight.”
Monica Ramirez, a 5-foot-8 junior center, led Tatum with 14 points. Senior post Kelli Merrick scored 17 points for the Lady Coyotes, but was held scoreless in the final period.
Tatum had only one more field goal that Dora, but went 13-for-15 from the free throw line to 8-of-14 for the Lady Coyotes.
“That didn’t help us a whole lot,” King said.
The game stayed close until the final three minutes or so, when Tatum used the free-throw line to pull away.