Host Cleveland watched as a 22-point lead over Cibola dissolved into a two-possession game with 64 seconds remaining, but managed to hold on Tuesday evening for a 48-40 victory.
The second-place (in District 1-5A) Storm (16-9, 5-2) close out the regular season Thursday at 7 p.m. at Rio Rancho (11-13, 3-4), a 65-6 victim of first-place Volcano Vista Tuesday evening in the Ring of Fire. The Rams will wind up in third place, ahead of the fourth-place Cougars (5-19, 2-6) and last-place Atrisco Heritage Academy (7-15, 1-6).
Cleveland ripped the Cougars 15-4 in the second period to extend what had been a 16-12 lead at the end of the opening quarter to a 31-16 lead at halftime.
The Storm took a seemingly safe 43-25 edge into the fourth quarter, made close when the Cougars opened it on a 15-2 run.
But after Cibola closed the gap to 45-40, senior guard Angelique Abeyta came up with a loose ball with about 42 seconds to go. Fouled twice in the time that remained, another senior – after all, it was Senior Night – Bridgett Ignacio sank three foul shots for the final 8-point margin.
Brenna Wolfe led the Storm with 14 points and Ignacio added 12. Makenna Lee led the Coogs with a game-high 17.
See more about the game in the Feb. 20 edition of the Observer!