Small schools roundup: Menaul boys use size to KO No. 1 Tularosa in semi-boys 2A

RIO RANCHO – When it comes to basketball, the Menaul boys have proven that size does matter.

Presenting a team that would suit many college uniforms, the fifth-seeded Panthers harassed and harassed No. 1 Tularosa with every shot, causing the kind of havoc the Wildcats weren’t used to seeing.

And that finally proved to be the difference Friday in the Class 2A semifinals as the Panthers won 61-57 at the Rio Rancho Events Center and now seek their first state championship.

It is their fifth appearance in the final, but only the second since going to three in a row in 1924-26. Menaul will face Pecos, winner of the semi-final 67-51 against number 3 Rehoboth Christian, in Saturday’s championship game.

“Our mission since the start of the season has been to put a number on this banner,” said Menaul coach Daniel Gayle. “And make some history.”

The Panthers (22-4) had nine blocks, six from 6-foot-8 Max Mkpa, who also had 12 rebounds.

“It’s pretty tough having to deal with the height,” said Travis Henderson of Tularosa, who finished with a tough 19 points. “We shoot further from them and they are still able to get there. So it’s hard to do anything about that.

Menaul 6-5, winger Prashant Chouhan finished with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds. And 6-11 Brandon Oloumou added three blocks. And between the three big men, they altered countless of Tularosa’s attempts.

“It was a big deal,” Wildcats coach Sergio Castanon said of the Panthes’ height and length. “The children did everything they could do. They were doing what we taught them in boxing, but when you give up half a foot in every stance, it’s tough.

Bringing home a blue trophy would be special for the school, Gayle said.

“Everyone Menaul was here, from the school principal to the people in charge of maintenance to the gardeners. Everyone was there. It was supposed to be a school day, but the whole school left for come here and support us. Our community really cherishes what we’ve done this season as a group.

—Glen Rosales

No. 5 MENAUL 61, No. 1 TULAROSE 57

MENAUL (22-4): Alexander Rael 2-11 0-1 6, Prashant Chouhan 10-19 4-8 25, Brandon Oloumou 2-6 4-10 8, Max Mkpa 1-7 0-0 2, Ben Roesler 0 -1 0-0 0, Garrett Lerch 2-32-3 6, Abhishek Yadav 4-5 2-3 14, Sting Wu 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 12-25 61

TULAROSA (26-3): Israel Ortega 7-13 1-1 15, Jordan Walker 0-3 2-32, Darian Vigil 3-6 0-0 6, Travis Henderson 5-227-11 19, Colton Gililland 3-7 1-3 7, Dillon Salazar 3-5 0-0 8, Jalen Randall 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-57 11-18 57

Menaul 13 16 18 14- -61

Tularosa 13 12 20 12- -57

3-point Field Goals: M 7-22 (Yadev 4-5, Rael 2-10, Chouhan 1-3, Oloumou 0-1, Mkpa 0-3); T 4-17 (Salazar 2-4, Henderson 2-11, Ortega 0-1, Walker 0-1, Vigil 0-1). Rebounds: M 42 (Mkpa 12); T 36 (Gilland 12). Assists: M 17 (Oloumou 5); T8 (Ortega 6). Steals: M 10 (Rael 4); T 10 (Henderson 6). AC: 19M; T 17. Total fouls: M 16; T 19. Foul: T, Vigil.

3A BOYS: At Rio Rancho, Devon Flores scored 23 points as No. 4 St. Michael’s (16-14) shot 50% from the field and won in stunning fashion, 63-33 over Socorro (22-6), heading series. by Warren Chewiwi’s 15 points. Awaiting Saturday’s final is No. 2 Robertson (22-6), who beat Indian School of Santa Fe (11-16) 71-50 behind 14 points apiece by Mateo Contreras and Kenneth Montoya. Owen Pecos’ 23 points led SFIS.

GIRLS 2A: In Rio Rancho, No. 1 Escalante (23-4) beat No. 4 Peñasco 45-31 to set up a Saturday final against No. 2 Clayton (21-5), a 49-32 winner over No. 6 Acoma Lagoon. Morgan Crisp led Clayton with 22 points. Sylvia Gedmon had a game-high 15 points and 12 rebounds for Laguna-Acoma (18-10). Kalese Torrez scored 13 points and nine rebounds in the Escalante win. Eighth-year Rochelle Lopez’s 11 points led Peñasco.

1A BOYS: At Bernalillo, Rylan Creighton scored 27 points to go with seven assists and Aiden Yates added 22 points and a record eight rebounds as No. 2 seed Elida earned an 86-69 win over No. 3 Mesilla Valley Christian, who was led by Mateo D’Antonio’s 18 points and seven rebounds.

In the final, Elida meets top seed Magdalena (30-1), who shot 52% from the field and got 18 points from Kael Stephens and 17 points – and 10 rebounds from Joseph Zamora – in a 71-25 rout of No. 5 Clovis Christian (21-9), paced by seven points from Carter Teune.

GIRLS 1A: At Bernalillo High, Avery Cavett hit game highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Fort Sumner-House (20-4) to a 37-30 semifinal win over Logan (23-7). Rilee Nials’ 14 points set the pace for Logan, who led 24-22 in the fourth period.

Fort Sumner-House then met Melrose (22-7), who beat To’hajiilee 50-35 in the other semi. Isabelle Sena had 15 points and Johanna Roybal 14 for the winners. Erynn Montehermoso and Alyce Apachito scored 13 points each for To’hajiilee, who shot just 29% from the field of Melrose’s 35.

Melrose opened a close game by dominating the fourth quarter 19-6.

2022 NMAA Women’s Basketball State Championships Class 5A

2022 NMAA Women’s Basketball State Championships Class 4A

2022 NMAA Women’s Basketball State Championships Class 3A

2022 NMAA Women’s Basketball State Championships Class 2A

2022 NMAA Women’s Basketball State Championships Class A

2022 NMAA Men’s Basketball State Championships Class 4A

2022 NMAA Men’s Basketball State Championships Class 3A
2022 NMAA Men’s Basketball State Championships Class 2A

2022 NMAA Men’s Basketball State Championships Class A

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