Cleveland High School freshman guard Remy Albrecht was en fuego Tuesday evening, sinking six of the Storm’s 11 treys in the big District 1-5A victory over Atrisco Heritage Academy. (Herron photo)
Cleveland High’s Sean Jimenez isn’t the first coach to say, “Live by the 3, die by the 3,” but on Tuesday evening (Jan. 24) in the Thunderdome, his Storm shooters were lights-out from behind the arc.
The best way to explain it: Cleveland sank seven 3-pointers in the first half, while Atrisco Heritage Academy (17-4, 1-2) missed all seven of its 3-point attempts, effectively a 21-point CHS advantage.
The Storm canned four more treys in the second half, on their way to a decisive 80-62 District 1-5A victory over the Jaguars.
Midway through the game, the Storm hit four 3s in a row – as Remy Albrecht and Daniel Steverson alternated. By game’s end, Steverson had a game-high 34 points, which included a trio of 3; Albrecht had six treys on his way to 20 points. Nic Trujillo and Isaiah Sandoval each had a 3 in what Jimenez said was his team’s best game of the season.
The only time the Storm trailed was after the Jaguars scored on a layup 35 seconds into the contest; the Storm led at the end of the first quarter, 14-11, and had a double-digit lead, 37-25, after closing out the first half on a 10-2 run.
Of course, double-digit leads at halftime aren’t always safe: Just ask Volcano Vista, which saw a 22-point lead early in the second half of its Jan. 22 game in the Thunderdome turn into a 53-50 loss.
The Jaguars pulled within six early in the second half, only to see another 10-2 run by the Storm close out the third period. Cleveland turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the third quarter, and the Jags took advantage of that with a 6-0 run, making it a 37-31 game.
Trailing 61-40 heading into the game’s final eight minutes, Atrisco Heritage never got closer than 15, although the Jags found their touch from long range, finishing with four 3s.
Latavious Morris, the shortest player on the court – and a former Lincoln Middle School student – led AHA with 28 points; Marquise Renfro joined him in double figures with 14.
“You know, I was just out there, playing with the flow; not looking to score, really,” Steverson said. “Once you do look to get your teammates open, shots are going to fall either way.
Staging an incredible second-half run to beat Volcano Vista, leading basically all the way against another district foe? That’s got to help the team’s confidence.
“It gives us a lot of confidence; it keeps us level-headed about these wins, just win the next one,” Steverson added.
“Hats off to our players. They played their tails off, from the first quarter to the fourth quarter,” Jimenez said, “and that’s what we talked about. We hadn’t played a four-quarter game, complete, from beginning to end and I thought this was our most-complete game of the year.
“Everybody’s been focused in the past two weeks, and it starts with practice,” Jimenez said. “We had five great days of practice last week; we had a good practice (Monday) and I think it carried over to this game.
“You know, our district is tough as heck – we’ve got Cibola and Rio Rancho still; Cibola beat us twice last year, and people don’t remember that,” Jimenez said. “We’ve got two days to get ready for Cibola.”
The storm are “down the hill” Friday for that evening contest.