‘Storm cellar’ has new meaning this basketball season

First to worst: That’s the story of the Cleveland High boys basketball team this season.

The Storm (12-14, 2-6 in District 1-5A) not only won the district title last season, but went on to win the Class 5A championship.

Here’s their freefall, which they hope ends tonight at Cibola – will the proverbial third time be the charm? — with a victory:

On Jan. 5, after beating a good Highland team 45-35 in the APS Metro tournament, Cleveland was 10-3.

Flash forward to last Friday, when they saw what had been a 12-game winning streak vs. Rio Rancho end when the Rams beat them in the Thunderdome, 74-48. Cleveland was 12-14 – two wins in its last 13 games!

Cibola (8-16) looked destined to hold down last place in 1-5A, until it beat the Storm (65-55) for the second time this season and that loss at Cibola, coupled with the loss to the Rams, put the Storm in the cellar. (Cibola is also 2-6, but swept the Storm, including a surprising 64-54 win at Cleveland on Jan. 27.).)

Game time tonight is 5:30 p.m.

The winner heads to Rio Rancho to face the third-place Rams Wednesday at 5:30. The loser – even if it’s last season’s state champ – could be packing its gear away until the 2022-23 season.

The Storm boys’ team always gets a good following, and you never know what some of the guys will be wearing. At one recent home game, a male fan wore a halter top! (Herron photo)