Capitan wins tense showdown with ‘Zozo

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Carrizozo's Jacob Narvaez (12) puts up a shot in the lane as Capitan's Steven Gutierrez defends, Dec. 14, during the first round of the Mescalero Holiday Classic.

MESCALERO – With about 1:30 left in the third quarter if their game against Carrizozo at the Mescalero Holiday Classic, Capitan coach Justin Foust got hit with a technical foul.

It was the second tech of the game, as Carrizozo’s Detrick Autrey got T’d up in the first half.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan’s Price Bowen, center, is squeezed between Carrizozo Grizzlies Jared Guevara (3) and Dominic Barela, Dec. 14, during the first round of the Mescalero Holiday Classic.

In other words, it was a Carrizozo-Capitan game.

It was also a game which the Tigers won, 76-52, but only after having to withstand a Grizzly comeback.

In fact, it was Carrizozo’s near comeback that inspired Foust’s technical.

“Foul trouble kept some of our more experienced guys on the bench, but that meant I got to play some new guys and get experience in a tight game,” Foust said. “When I got the technical, we had fallen into a lull and I called a time out to try to get their energy up. When that didn’t work, I went to the next step.”

Capitan had built a 53-37 lead in the third quarter, but then the Girzzlies went on an 8-2 run that got Carrizozo to within 10 points early in the fourth quarter.

After the timeout and the technical, Capitan went on an 8-2 run of its own to rebuild the lead and eventually cruise to victory.

While the Grizzlies may have lost, Carrizozo coach Trampus Pierson said the improvement in his team was obvious.

“We’ve come a long way from that very first game that we played against Magdalena,” Pierson said. “These are the kind of games we usually struggle, that are quick and physical, but I can’t take anything away from the boys tonight. They played a really smart game.”

Jared Guevara had 22 points to lead the Grizzlies, while Jacob Narvaez contributed 10.

Brendan Usery was the big man for the Tigers with 22. Tanner Lowrance had 14 points, with Jacob Smith putting in 12.

Capitan fell to tournament host Mesalero, 73-60, in the semifinals, and will face Quemado in the third place game today at approximately 3 p.m.

Carrizozo, meanwhile, will face Jal in the seventh place game this morning at 9:30 a.m., having fell to Hondo, 66-42, in the consolation semis on Friday.

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