ALAMOSA — Friday night was a meeting between the No. 3 Falcons and the No. 5 Mean Moose. The game was played close all night long with the Centauri girls eventually claiming a 44-40 win on the road.
Centauri (13-1, 4-1 IML) suffered their first loss of the season against Pagosa Springs earlier in the month. Since then they pieced together two straight wins in league contests entering Friday night’s meeting. Alamosa (11-3, 3-2 IML) entered Friday on a down note after having met the defending Intermountain League (IML) champions, Pagosa Springs, the week before. But both teams shared 3-1 league records before their meeting on Friday.
Both teams got off to hot starts in the first quarter. Centauri senior Mia Garcia contributed 4 points to a 6-point run to put the visitors ahead 6-2 early. The Mean Moose didn’t shy from the challenge and Terese Chavez led Alamosa with 6 points through the first to send the game into the second quarter all tied up, 15 each.
Both teams were shooting above 50 percent unofficially in the first quarter, that percentage fell for both squads to sub 40 percent effectively slowing the pace.
Alamosa’s Devyn Mitchell and Lilly Lavier combined for the lone run of the quarter to send the Moose to the break leading 23-21. The slow pace continued into the second half with the two squads combining for 9 points from the field in the third quarter. Alamosa’s lone field goal of the quarter went to Emily Lavier who sank a three-pointer. For the visitors Centauri’s Brenna McDaniel got things going with 5 points in the third to help put her team ahead entering the final quarter 30-28.
There Centauri’s Courtney Hamilton came on.
The Centauri junior got fouled to start the fourth and completed the three-point play giving her Falcons a two-possession lead at 33-28. Following an Alamosa free throw, a 3-pointer from Centauri’s MaKenna Bagwell drove home a coffin nail making it 36-29.
Down the stretch, a basket from Centauri’s Mia Garcia added another coffin nail giving Centauri their largest lead of the game at 42-34. With their work cut out for them, Alamosa hit back. The Moose would take advantage of turnovers to get on a 6-point run but Centauri’s Garcia applied the final nail by drawing a charge and hitting both of her free-throws sealing the game at 44-40 for Centauri.
Garcia led Centauri in scoring Friday with 15 points followed by Courtney Hamilton with 12. Lilly Lavier paced the Moose with 15 points, Terese Chavez was next for Alamosa with 10 points.
The win makes it three in a row for Centauri. The Falcons will head home where they will once again challenge Pagosa Springs (11-2, 5-0 IML). Alamosa will get some respite with meetings against Bayfield (4-8, 1-4 IML) Saturday and Monte Vista (2-10, 0-4) next Friday before having to go to Pagosa Springs to once again deal with the Pirates on Feb. 14. Alamosa and Centauri will close the season against one another in La Jara on Feb. 15th.