All eyes are on Mikey Wood’s buzzer-beating shot, which would have made the Rams a winner if it went in Saturday evening. It hit the rim and Carlsbad had held on for the victory. (Herron photo)Basketball season officially came to an end for the City of Vision’s teams when both varsity boys lost their first-round contests.
Carlsbad 47, Rio Rancho 47: The visiting No. 10 Cavemen (23-6) used an 11-5 run to open the fourth quarter and take their biggest lead of what had been tight first-round contest47-38, with 3:10 left in regulation.
It turned out to be barely enough, as the Rams went on a 9-2 run of their own to add some drama and trail 49-47 after a bucket “and one” by Jamal Bynum with less than 30 seconds to play.
Rams sophomore Jayden Johnson then stole the ball, giving the Rams life, but they missed three makable shots before the ball went out of bounds with 3.3 ticks to go – and it was still their ball.
RRHS coach Wally Salata quickly called a timeout to set up a play – and it almost worked: Mikey Wood’s 3-pointer beat the buzzer but glanced off the rim and the Cavemen won themselves another long trip – to unbeaten No. 1 Volcano Vista Wednesday in a quarterfinal contest.
“If we hit 3s earlier in the game, it might have been easier,” Salata said, after his team went (unofficially) 3 of 18 from behind the arc. “When they play a zone and you can’t make 3s, they just stay in a zone
“Again, it wasn’t meant to be,” he concluded.
Six-foot, 5-inch junior Caveman Damian Perez scored a game-high 15 points and sank three of his team’s five 3s.
“(Perez) hurt us,” Salata said. “The problem was, we knew he was going to do that – you can’t be four feet away from him.”
CHS’s Devin McWright also finished in double figures, with 10.
The Rams (16-11) were led by Keagan Caton with 13, but he managed only three field goals.
Los Lunas 59, Cleveland 53: Shortly after the Rams lost their Saturday evening contest in the RAC, the defending state champion Storm ended their season with a disappointing loss at No. 6 Los Lunas (21-8).
It’s the first losing season since 2012-13 for the No. 11 Storm (13-16), who were once 10-3 this season, but began to struggle and dropped 13 of their final 16 games.
Watch for more about both teams in the March 13 issue of the Observer.