(12) Rio Rancho Cleveland (16-12)
at (5) Clovis (22-4), 7 p.m.
Cleveland players to watch: Sarah Hattis, 6-3 So. C; Courtney Latham, 5-9 Fr. PG.
Of note: Cleveland is a first-year program. The Storm have no seniors on their roster. … The Lady Cats have split two games with the Storm, winning 48-38 in the Mel Otero Invitational in Rio Rancho in December and losing 51-49 at Cleveland on a last-second shot by Latham in mid-January. “We didn’t play very good at Cleveland,” said Lady Cats coach Jeff Reed, whose team has won 10 in a row since then. “We definitely want to show we’re better than that.” … Hattis has 16 points in the first meeting and 21 in the second. Latham scored 18 points in the win at Cleveland and got her team off to a good start with three first-quarter 3-pointers. “She was the difference-maker (in that game),” Reed said of Latham. … Reed said he plans to put athletic junior Ashlee Pierson on Latham this time. … The winner faces either No. 4 Gallup or No. 5 Manzano in a quarterfinal game on Tuesday in Albuquerque.
(16) Las Vegas Robertson (11-15)
at (1) Portales (15-8), 7 p.m.
Robertson players to watch: Kassandra Tapia, 5-9 junior P; Daniella Montoya, 5-6 Sr. PG; Karlee Bradley, 5-8 Sr. F.
Of note: Lady Rams coach Clay Stout said Tapia is the Lady Cardinals’ top athlete, while Montoya and Bradley are solid 3-point threats. “They’re better than what their record shows,” Stout said. … Robertson has traditionally been a factor in Class 3A, but this year has a young roster with five sophomores and only two seniors. … The Lady Rams, slowed by injuries late in the season, are playing some of their best basketball now with 10 wins in their last 13 games. “We’ve got everybody back, and I feel like we’re getting back to normal,” Stout said. … The winner advances to a quarterfinal game next week at The Pit in Albuquerque against either ninth-seeded St. Michael’s or No. 8 Socorro, who play tonight at Socorro.
at Texico (22-5), 6 p.m.
Capitan players to watch: Ashley Pruett, 5-7 Sr. F; Jordan Dalton, 5-3 Sr. G.
“They have a hall of fame basketball coach in Marv Sanders,” Texico coach Keith Durham said. “I remember when I was just a little tyke and he was coaching at Portales.”
The Lady Tigers upset second-seeded Lordsburg 56-54 in the District 5-2A championship before succumbing to Tularosa, which hosts District 6-2A runnerup Santa Rosa. Capitan has won three of its last four games.
Durham said his staff hasn’t scouted the Lady Tigers much.
“The big thing is we try not to spend too much time on our opponent,” he said. “We try to take care of what we do.”
Seeding: A win would give Texico a 23-5 record. Only Navajo Pine (22-2) would have a better mark, but the Lady Warriors have one loss to District 6-2A runnerup Santa Rosa (25-3), which has lost only to Texico this season.
at Grady (17-9), 6 p.m.
Cimarron players to watch: Erin Arko, Sr. P; Lacy Harris, Jr. F.
Of note: Cimarron, the defending Class 1A state champion, has been a steady visitor to Albuquerque in recent years. Lady Bronchos coach Alisha Rush said despite their record, the Lady Rams have been competitive in most games and have tradition on their side. “That’s what you’ve got to worry about,” she said. … Rush said the Lady Rams have a solid starting five, but not a lot of depth. … Junior guard Mandy Rush averages 20 points for Grady, while senior post Moly Rush and senior G Skylar Starbuck average around 11. The Rushes are sisters, and nieces of the coach. … Grady also has some state tradition, and finished second in 1A in 2004.
Evangel Christian (8-11)
at Dora (21-6), 6 p.m.
Evangel Christian players to watch: Kirstyn Turnbough, 5-5 Sr. G; Jordan Castillano, 5-3 Fr. G.
The matchup: “They’re really young,” Dora coach Caleb King said. “As far as what I know, they have one senior girl who plays quite a bit, and a lot of young players around her.
“Our biggest thing is maintaining focus. You have to make sure you don’t overlook them.”
Castillano should provide an outside touch for the Lady Eagles.
Seeding: King figures Cliff and Magdalena, a combined 53-0, would get the top two seeds next week.
“We could get that third seed if we have a good game,” he said. “That’s a big deal.”
Floyd (19-7) vs. Desert Academy (12-8), 5 p.m.
at New Mexico School for the Deaf, Santa Fe
Desert Academy players to watch: Meredith Davis, 5-7 Sr. G; Diamar Taylor, 5-11 8th-grade C.
The matchup: The teams have no common opponents. Floyd coach Adam Terry said the feeling is that the Lady Broncos should be heavily favored.
“We’re going to have to go up there and play a good game, but we’re gearing up for (hopefully, the next round of) the state tournament," he said.
Seeding: If Class 1A’s two undefeated teams stay that way, and Floyd, Dora (21-6) and District 1-1A champ Des Moines (17-4) win their first-round games, Terry’s figuring the Lady Broncos are likely to face Des Moines. Cliff and Magdalena would get the top two seeds, and teams are seeded to prevent district opponents (Dora and Floyd) from facing each other in the first round.
“We’ve got to beat them all anyway,” Terry said, “and I’ve got a group of girls that has been working for this.”
Click Here To See More Stories Like This