Rio Rancho High School junior Jayden Johnson (in white), battles for the ball Wednesday evening at La Cueva High School, where he scored 15 points in the Rams’ victory. (Herron photo)




The City of Vision’s quartet of varsity basketball teams gets a day of rest Thursday, after back-to-back games in Albuquerque high schools for the first two rounds of the annual APS Metro Basketball Championships.

Both Cleveland High School teams were victorious Wednesday evening, as was the Rio Rancho boys’ team. The Rams girls’ team fell for the second night in a row “down the hill,” defeated by the host Cougars, 41-38.

All four teams have games Friday and Saturday, with the Storm boys still in the hunt for what would be the school’s fifth Metro title, with blue trophies from the tourney in 2015, ’16, ’19 and ’20.

The Storm boys (11-2) face Sandia (10-2) Friday at 7:15 p.m. in the second of two semifinals. Volcano Vista vs. West Mesa, where former Storm cager and quarterback Elijah Brody now plays, is the 5:30 semifinal. Brody and the Mustangs defeated Eldorado, 62-57, and Volcano Vista beat La Cueva, 61-55, in the other quarterfinal game.

Cleveland beat Highland High, 54-48, at Manzano in a quarterfinal contest Wednesday; Noah Padilla led CHS with 15 points, with Isaiah Sandoval and Josia Ortiz adding 11 apiece. Sandia downed Atrisco Heritage Academy, 58-51, in the Matadors’ quarterfinal game at Manzano.

Win or lose Friday, the Storm get another shot at Sandia next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Matadors’ gym in Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights.

Friday’s winners meet for the championship Saturday at 6 p.m., also at Bulldog City; Friday’s losers square off for third place there Saturday at 2.

The Rio Rancho boys (9-5) never trailed in their second meeting of the season with Albuquerque High, winning easily, 66-52.

The Rams, 63-53 winners over AHS at Bulldog City on Dec. 7, got off to quick starts in all four quarters: 12-2-, 8-3, 10-2 and 7-2.

The Bulldogs kept battling back, though, trailing 33-27 at halftime after falling behind by as many as 14 14 points in the second quarter.

That second-half start put the Rams ahead by double-digits again, and AHS could get no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

Maddox Presser had his way inside the paint and scored a game-high 22 points for the Rams; Jerry Archuleta and Jayden Johnson – 5 of 12 at the foul line – added 15 apiece.

The Rams meet Hobbs Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Volcano Vista. Their finale is Saturday, also at Volcano Vista – 3 p.m. for the ninth-place game with a win; 1 p.m. with a loss, to play in the 11th-place game. Hope Christian and Santa Fe are opposite the Rams-Eagles’ showdown Friday.

The CHS girls team defeated Santa Fe, 52-42, with Kindyll Sandoval and Aubrey Jaramillo sharing scoring honors with 10 apiece.

The Storm (10-5) face District 1-5A foe Cibola Friday at 5:30 at La Cueva.

That game’s winner plays Saturday at 11 a.m., and the loser at 9 a.m., at Atrisco Heritage Academy. The opponents for those games will be Highland and Albuquerque High.

The Rio Rancho girls ((7-6) will meet Santa Fe for the third time and in as many venues Friday at 4 at La Cueva; across from that game is Hope Christian-Valley. Another Rams loss and they’ll be playing for 15th place; if they beat the Cougars, they’ll play for 13th place. Saturday’s action will be at West Mesa, where the 15th-place game tips off at 9 a.m. and the game to decide 13th place is at 11 a.m.