No. 4 Texico vs. No. 2 Santa Rosa
What: Class 2A championship
When: 8:30 a.m. today at The Pit, Albuquerque
Records: Texico 28-3, Santa Rosa 28-4.
How they got here: Texico got past No. 5 Bosque 47-43 in the quarterfinals and edged top-seeded Mesilla Valley 58-57 in Friday’s semifinals on sophomore G Jose Posada’s 3-pointer at the buzzer. Santa Rosa nipped seventh-seeded Pecos 61-58 in the quarterfinals before downing No. 3 Mesa Vista 70-61 in the semifinals.
Santa Rosa players to watch: Jeff Reeves, 6-1 Sr., F; Joaquin Bachicha, 5-10 Jr., G; Ricardo Roybal, 5-9 Sr., G.
Notes: Texico and Santa Rosa are District 6-2A rivals. They’ve meet four times this season, with each team winning twice. … Posada’s 3-pointer provided the Wolverines with their only lead of the game in a rematch of last year’s final, won by Texico 58-55. It was also Texico’s only successful 3-point try in nine attempts. … It was Posada’s third dramatic 3-pointer in this month. His 3-pointer at the end of the second overtime beat Santa Rosa 58-57 in a playoff for the top seed in the district tournament on March 2. He also hit a three-quarter-court shot as time expired in the first half in the tournament finals against the Lions on March 7, but Santa Rosa eventually won that game 54-50 in overtime. … Texico coach Richard Luscombe is leading the Wolverines into their fourth state championship game in his 20 seasons as coach. The Wolverines lost in the finals in 1996, but won in 2001 and last year. … Luscombe said there are few secrets between the rivals. “I think it comes down to execution,” he said. “They’re going to try to press us, and we’re going to try to control the tempo and get the ball to our inside guys (senior Brett Anderson, junior Seth Bailey and sophomore Lucas Walthers).”
Quotable: “If kids can’t get ready to play this game, something’s wrong. This is exactly where you want to be.” — Luscombe, on the early-morning start for the finals.
No. 5 Fort Sumner vs. No. 2 Springer
What: Class 1A championship
When: 6:30 p.m. today at The Pit, Albuquerque
Records: Fort Sumner 20-9, Springer 28-2.
How they got here: Fort Sumner edged fifth-seeded Tatum 61-60 in the quarterfinals and beat top-seeded Cliff 68-56 in the semifinals. Springer routed No. 7 Temple Baptist 96-74 in the quarters and edged third-seeded Dora 86-83 in the semifinals.
Springer players to watch: Isaiah De Herrera, 5-9 So., G; Johnny Chavez, 5-9 Sr., PG; Eric Caldwell, 6-5 Jr., C; Cyrus Wagner, 6-1 Jr., F.
Notes: The Foxes, regular winners of Class 1A football titles, are playing in their first 1A state basketball final since 1958. “We’re very excited to be where we’re at,” Fort Sumner coach John Wootton said. “Especially in the last three games, the kids have played real well.” … Fort Sumner finished second in District 3-1A to Dora. … The Foxes led virtually all the way against Cliff, the defending champion. … De Herrera generally leads the Red Devils’ 3-point assault, but struggled until hitting the game-winning 3-pointer Thursday night against Dora with four seconds left. He was only 3-of-17 from beyond the arc and finished with 12 points, but Chavez picked up the slack with 33 points.
Quotable: “We have to make sure we take the shots we want to take and don’t get caught up in (Springer’s style).” — Wootton.
— Compiled by Dave Wagner