MONTE VISTA — A big win over Center handed Sangre de Cristo’s boys’ basketball team the Thunderbird Shootout win. The T-Birds took that momentum and used it to generate a fourth win against Sargent on the road. Sangre de Cristo defeated Sargent 74-55 Friday night.
Both teams began the season at tournaments. Sangre de Cristo (4-0) hosted their annual tournament and won it, defeating Center in the championship. Sargent (1-3) traveled to the Mountain Top Classic; giving up a weight class to two 3A opponents, the Farmers would be forced to leave the weekend with their first win of the year over Las Animas.
In Friday’s non-league meeting, Sargent played very competitively in the first half and did a good job fending off last year’s 1A State championship runners-up. But the T-Birds wore down Sargent as the game continued.
In the first quarter, neither team blinked and some clean distance shooting from Sargent’s AJ Garcia and Blake Behil helped the Farmers to take a 13-12 lead after one.
In the second chapter Sangre de Cristo engineered an 11 point run to retake the lead. Following the flurry, the Thunderbirds would go the break leading 57-44. A lead they would not relent for the remainder of the contest.
Sangre de Cristo’s Mario Enriquez came alive in the second half scoring all if his 14 points in the last two quarters. Leighton Curtis was second on the team with 16 points with the team lead in scoring going to senior Cole Christensen with 18 points.
For Sargent it was Blake Behil who chipped in 16 points, Riley Lester was second with 13 points. The win will send the third-ranked T-Birds to Christmas break on a high note with a four-game winning streak. Sangre de Cristo’s next action will be Creede (0-2) at home on Jan. 4th.
Sargent will have a chance to cleanse their palette Saturday night when they welcome Sierra Grande (1-2) to town. The Panthers got their first win of the year on the road against South Baca at the R.L. Ballard Tournament. They’ll enter Saturday’s meeting fresh of a 2-point loss to Kim-Branson on Friday night.
Elsewhere– Sanford (1-2), Centauri (5-0) and Del Norte (1-3) on the road for the La Junta Holiday Shootout, Alamosa is in Glenwood Springs for a separate tournament. In Glenwood Springs Alamosa’s boys knocked off the third-ranked Faith Christian Eagles Thursday night. The Moose were unable to follow that performance up with a second win falling to host Glenwood Springs 64-44. The Moose will take on Coal Ridge for third place Saturday at 11:30 a.m. In La Junta, Centauri defeated Sanford 64-37 in the semifinal round, in the other end of the quadrant, Monte Vista bested host La Junta 54-44. Sanford will take on La Junta for third place Saturday at 4 p.m. The Championship will be all Intermountain League as Centauri meets Monte Vista at 7 p.m.