ALAMOSA — Friday night Alamosa topped Monte Vista in a 49-42 thriller.
The Intermountain League (IML) seems to be in a constant state of flux. Through December, undefeated Montezuma-Cortez looked like they may be the team to beat in the IML. Then the weekend of Jan. 11th Bayfield and Alamosa handed the Panthers their first and second losses of the season.
Bayfield would follow that game up with a win over Alamosa who’d they sweep the ensuing weekend. The week of Jan. 14th Centauri would drop decisions to Pagosa Springs and Montezuma-Cortez before picking up two in a row over Alamosa and Bayfield a week later.
Friday night was Monte Vista’s opportunity to further muddy the water in the IML with an upset over Alamosa. And the way things were playing out it seemed like that might be possible.
The game was tight from the very start with a tie at 5 points in the first quarter. A mid distance jumper from Monte Vista's David Mascarenas would give the Pirates a 5-7 advantage at the end of one. Three minutes later and it was all locked up again this time at 11 points. Monte Vista would go on a 5 point run then use that lead to pace the Moose to the half up 19-14.
Alamosa opened the second half with a five point burst of their own to go up 20-19. From there it was a series of call and answer all the way to the final quarter.
Five minutes remaining in the game leading 31-30, Monte Vista lost Darrius Garcia to his fifth foul. Garcia totaled 8 points in the game. A minute later and a Mascarenas three-pointer made it 34-30. Mascarenas led the Pirates with 15 points in scoring.
To that point Alamosa’s Brenden Crowther was shooting 25 percent from outside the arc according to preliminary stats, and had mustered four points. If he could have heated up any faster he would have burst into flames.
With less than four minutes remaining, the ball went to Crowther on the outside, who responded by draining his second three of the game. A steal on the inbound went back to Crowther who went back-to-back with the go ahead trey. Alamosa’s Ian Jackson would scoop a missed Jarren Chavez three-pointer and go coast-to-coast to make it an 8-point run in less than a minute prompting a deafening roar from the Alamosa rowdy crowd.
Monte would finally answer making it 38-36 but Crowther wasn't done. The Alamosa junior drained his third three-pointer in a two minute span to open a two possession lead with under two minutes to play. Twelve of Crowther's 16 team leading points came in the fourth quarter.
Trailing late the Pirates would attempt to intentionally foul, but the Moose did enough from the free throw line, going 8-for-14 to keep Monte Vista at bay.
Next up for Alamosa will be their second meeting with aforementioned Montezuma-Cortez (12-3), having won the first meeting Alamosa will be looking for another regular season sweep. Monte Vista is scheduled to take the rest of the weekend off. They’ll get their another chance for an upset next weekend when they meet Bayfield on Feb. 8.