Mean Moose hold off Panthers 51-44

Alamosa High School’s Kade Jones puts up a shot in Friday’s game against Montezuma-Cortez at the AHS gym. The Mean Moose defeated the Panthers 51-44 (Courier photo by Ken Hamrick).

ALAMOSA – The sixth-ranked Alamosa High School boys basketball team had a battle on its hands when it hosted Montezuma-Cortez Friday at the AHS gym.

The Panthers gave the Mean Moose all they could handle, but in the long run, Alamosa came away with a 51-44 win.

Brant Jackson put the Mean Moose on the board first, but Elijah Lee and Austin Wood both scored to put the Panthers into the lead at 4-2. Jayr Almeida tied the score, and Luke Christensen put Alamosa back on top at 6-4.

Jackson increased the lead to 8-4, but Wood scored to close the gap to 8-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Almeida hit a jumper and added a free throw, and Kasey Jones drove for a layup for a 13-6 lead. Caidin Leonard’s 3-point basket closed the lead to 13-9, but Jackson scored again, and Kasey Jones drained a three. Kade Jones and Michael Motz both scored to give Alamosa a 22-9 advantage.

Leonard made another trey, but Motz and Kasey Jones both scored in the final minute of the period to give the Mean Moose a 26-13 lead at the intermission.

Cortez opened the third quarter by scoring the first seven points. Kasey Jones ended the run, but Wood hit a three to bring the Panthers within 28-23.

Jackson and Almeida both scored for a 32-23 margin. Wood split at the free throw line to close the margin to 32-24 at the end of the period.

The Panthers opened the fourth quarter the same way they did the third – by scoring the first seven points. Jace Quintana’a layup gave the Mean Moose some breathing room, but Lee made two out of three free throws to narrow the lead to 34-33.

The Jones boys both scored to push the lead to 38-33. After Tay Wheat scored for the Panthers, Almeida and Jackson both scored layups for a 42-35 advantage.

Wood and Kade Jones exchanged 3-pointers. Wood then made one of two from the line, but Kasey Jones scored a layup for a 47-39 lead with 57 seconds remaining.

The teams exchanged baskets before Wood made another trey to cut the score to 49-44. Kasey Jones capped off the scoring with a pair of free throws to give Alamosa the seven-point win.

Kasey Jones led the Mean Moose in scoring with 15 points, followed by Jackson with 12.

Wood was Cortez’s leading scorer with 19, followed by Leonard with 10.

Alamosa (15-1, 7-0) will host seventh-ranked Pagosa Springs today at 7 p.m.

Alamosa 51, Montezuma-Cortez 44

Montezuma-Cortez – Wheat 2 0-0 4, Lee 1 2-3 4, Wood 6 3-8 19, Crowley 1 0-0 2, Frost 1 0-0 2, Leonard 4 0-0 10, E. Hartsoe 0 0-0 0, T. Hartsoe 0 0-0 0, Lewis 1 0-0 3. Total 16 5-11 44.

3-point goals – Wood 4, Leonard 2, Lewis 1. Total 7.

Alamosa – Jackson 6 0-1 12, Almeida 4 1-1 9, Kad. Jones 3 0-0 7, Kas. Jones 6 2-2 15, Christensen 1 0-6 2, Quintana 1 0-0 2, Motz 2 0-0 4, Gilmore 0 0-0 0. Total 23 3-12 51.

3-point goals – Kad. Jones 1, Kas. Jones 1.

Montezuma-Cortez 6 7 11 20 – 44

Alamosa 18 18 6 19 – 51

Fouls – Montezuma-Cortez 17, Alamosa 13.