District 8-1A tournament
Jal 53, Dora 52
• Recap: Josh Wright hit a 3-pointer and the game-winning field goal in the final 13 seconds as regular-season champion Jal added the district tournament title.
Colton Gruis had four 3-pointers and 23 points for the third-seeded Coyotes (16-12), who took a 38-37 lead into the final eight minutes.
“I felt we played good enough to win, we just didn’t get the breaks at the end,” Dora coach Ty Thatcher said. “We made the free throws to put ourselves in the position to win, but their kid (Watson) hit that shot to give them a chance.”
After Wright’s 3-pointer, Jal forced a jump ball on the inbounds play and was awarded the ball on alternating possessions. Wright shook free underneath on the ensuing baseline inbounds play.
Sidney Cervates led the Panthers (16-6) with nine points and Wright finished with seven.
• Up next: Thatcher believes his team will get an at-large bid in the 16-team Class 1A state tournament. The Coyotes were ranked 10th this week in the state coaches poll.
The top eight seeds get home games for the first round, with the eight winners advancing to Albuquerque.
“Surely our strength of schedule should helps us,” Thatcher said. “In addition to playing Jal close twice, we played (top-ranked) Hagerman twice and Farwell (No. 6 in Class 1A in Texas).
“Hopefully, that’s enough to get us a good draw.”
Thatcher thinks Jal will likely be seeded about fifth.
Dora (16-12) — Colton Gruis 23, Tyler Sites 8, Michael Puebla 5, Jestin Watson 3, Dylan Privett 5, Kyler King 5.
Jal (16-6) — Saxxon Artalejo 7, Malik Anderson 13, Mario Camunez 5, Sindney Cervantes 9, Caz Copeland 4, Jonathan Garcia 8, Josh Wright 7.
Dora 14 11 13 14 — 52
Jal 12 14 11 16 — 53
•3-pointers — Dora, Gruis 4. Jal, Camunez, Cervantes, Wright.