Senior Josia Ortiz is hooked by an Eldorado Eagle as he tries to dart away with a rebound Saturday in the Thunderdome. (Herron photo)



The Cleveland High School boys’ basketball team is hoping the proverbial third time is the charm Wednesday afternoon at University Arena in Albuquerque, where the seventh-seeded Storm  meet No. 2 Sandia at 4:45 p.m.

The Storm (21-8) advanced into the Class 5A quarterfinal round after rolling over visiting Eldorado on Saturday, 60-50.

The Matadors (24-5) rolled over No. 15 Rio Grande by a larger margin, 65-30, to advance.

Sandia beat the Storm in two meetings this season, convincingly – 77-57 on Jan. 6 in an APS Metro semifinal at Albuquerque High – and less convincingly – 66-59 six nights later at Sandia – in a game the Storm came very close to winning.

Wednesday’s winner moves into a semifinal game in The Pit today at 4:45, facing the winner of the No. 3 Los Lunas vs. No. 11 La Cueva game.

There were five ties and four lead changes in Saturday’s showdown in the Thunderdome, with a 12-1 run by the Storm midway through the game standing up. The No. 10 Eagles (18-12) were down by six (28-22) at halftime and then by 13 (46-33) heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles couldn’t get closer than five the rest of the way.

Junior Daniel Steverson seemed to will his team to the victory, as he scored the Storm’s final 11 points of the second period, as they assumed the lead to keep, after a free throw by Nic Trujillo.

Senior Josia Ortiz took over in the second half, scoring 10 points in the third period and the rest of his 15 in the fourth quarter.

Steverson finished with a game-high 20 points.

Oddly, in light of a half-dozen reserves seeing action for the Storm, only the five starters scored in the contest: Remy Albrecht – in early foul trouble — had 11, Noah Padilla scored 9 and Trujillo came up with 5. Trujillo was the lone player without a 3-pointer for CHS, which sank eight treys.

Michael Knaub led EHS with 15 points.

Dribbles: Heading into Wednesday’s game, the Storm are 8-1 in quarterfinal games, losing only to Atrisco Heritage Academy, 73-66, in the 2014 tournament.

… The 5A championship game tips off at 8 Saturday evening in The Pit.