BLANCA— On Friday night Blanca hosted the Antonito Trojans for a 1A mixer. The lady Panthers (5-4-0) shocked the eighth ranked Trojans (7-3-0) in a 61-51 game. The Sierra Grande boys (6-3-0) gave a similar performance with a 62-40 victory over Antonito’s boys (0-9-0).
Friday night looked to be an uphill battle for Sierra Grande’s girls as they were facing a ranked team stocked with talent like seniors Erykah Tallman and Joslyn Garcia. And when the game got underway things looked like they were going down that path with Antonito opening a 21-10 lead early in the second quarter.
Early in the second the Trojans suffered the loss of Tallman to what appeared to be a leg injury. At first the loss didn’t seem to hinder the Antonito girls as they carried on and even took a 32-20 lead into the locker rooms. It was when Tallman returned from the midway point wearing her warm-ups over her jersey that the reality seemed to set in for Antonito.
The momentum shift was almost a physical entity. While the void left by Tallman did hinder Antonito’s ability to control the post and attack the perimeters, it seemed the larger void was her emotional presence as the Trojans looked out of sorts even lost at times.
Sierra Grande smelled the blood in the water and struck, capitalizing on turnovers and missed shots. Five minutes later Sierra Grande’s Annahy Quezada buried the go-ahead free-throw to give the Panthers their first lead of the game. The final chapter would open with Sierra Grande owning a 49-41 advantage.
Sierra Grande didn’t rest, a guided attack led by Abby Corona helped Sierra Grande nurture and maintain their lead all the way to the 61-51 conclusion. Senior Nina Vigil paced the Panthers with 17 points. Vigil also led the team in rebounds (7), assists (5) and steals (6). Joslyn Garcia and Shandiin Tallman would lead the Trojans with 14 points each. Both Garcia and Shandiin Tallman would tie for the team lead in rebounds with 4. With the win Sierra Grande gets on the correct side of .500 with 5 wins.
Sierra Grande’s boys came back from the break last week with a 90-26 rout over the Centennial Rams in San Luis culminating in a two-game run for the boys over the two month period. Antonito’s boys entered Friday looking to get their first win of the season.
The boy’s game would start with a 9-2 run in Sierra Grande’s favor. Early in the second the Panthers would reinforce their control with a breakaway dunk by Arthur Rodriguez to make it 18-6. Sierra Grande would close the first half having doubled up on the Trojans 28-14.
Antonito ramped up their offense in the second half by 46 percent going from 14 points in the first half to 26 points in the second. Even with the offense coming on late they were still falling behind trading with Sierra Grande as the Panthers would outrun them to the 62-40 finale. Arthur Rodriguez polished off another double-double, his fifth of the season. Rodriguez led the Panthers in points and rebounds getting 23 points and pulling down 12 boards. John Duran took the lead for Antonito with 14 points.