The two-time defending EPAC boys champion Texico Wolverines rode a season-best 25 points from senior Lucas Walthers to a 56-45 semifinal victory over San Jon on Friday night at Greyhound Arena.
Texico (7-5) will meet Fort Sumner (7-4), a 64-44 winner over Dora in Friday’s late semifinal. The Foxes won the 2000 EPAC title in their only other finals appearance.
San Jon (8-5), playing in the semifinals for the first time in a more than a decade, gave the Wolverines a competitive game for the most part. Texico, though, was more dominant around the basket and eventually pulled away.
“They’ve got some good players,” Texico coach Richard Luscombe said of the Coyotes. “They make you play them honest because they can shoot the ball. They just came off beating Clayton (in Wednesday’s quarterfinals); they played with a lot of confidence.”
Senior Trent Barclay added 10 points for Texico. Sophomore Jacob Benally had four 3-pointers and finished with 23 points for the Coyotes.
Fort Sumner trailed 4-3 early, but led the rest of the way. Senior forward Kit Pettigrew had 20 points, junior guard Kolter West scored 14 and senior center Caleb West added 12 for the Foxes.
Junior Colton Gruis topped the Coyotes (7-6) with 15 points and junior Kyler King chipped in 11.
Fort Sumner built a 14-point lead before Dora closed to 33-25 when sophomore Colton Gruis converted a three-shot foul with three seconds left in the half.
Dora was as close as seven early in the third period before Fort Sumner pulled away for good.
Grady 53, Melrose 41 — The Bronchos (6-8) broke open a one-point game by holding Melrose to three points in the third quarter.
Three players accounted for all but three of Grady’s points — senior guard Dustan Provencio with 18 and senior forward Hunter Andrews and sophomore center Adam Lunsford with 16 apiece. The Buffaloes (1-12) got 12 points each from juniors Lance Widner and Richard Rush.
Elida 70, Clovis Christian 46 — Jordyn Tivis, a 6-foot-3 senior, led four Tigers in double figures with 20 points as Elida (7-5) jumped out to a 20-6 first-quarter lead.
Senior Alex Varela added 17 points, senior Orrie Spinks scored 12 and sophomore Taylor Boone chipped in 10. The Eagles (1-8) got a game-high 26 points from Kendall Naceanceno, including three 3-pointers.