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Warrior boys pull away from Elk

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso's Juan Aguilar, center, looks for a teammate to pass to while being defended by two Pojoaque players, Jan. 5, at RHS.

RUIDOSO – One day after an embarrassing 78-44 loss to Taos in the Ruidoso Mountain Madness Shootout, the Ruidoso boys found their feet and were able to deliver a 51-32 loss to Pojoaque, Jan. 5.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Brady Mendez, left, puts up a shot over Pojoaque defender Diego Trujillo, Jan. 5, at RHS.

The victory came mainly due to fouls – or rather a majority of them called on the Elk, who weren’t fast enough to keep up with Ruidoso’s frenetic style of play.

“Today we played as a team and played through some tough calls and plays. We didn’t do that last night,” said Ruidoso coach Billy Page. “Obviously, Pojoaque was a different team, they don’t have the size that Taos does. But I think we showed a bit more maturity than we did last night.”

While the Warriors (9-5) won by a comfortable margin, the game was anything but in the first half.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Josiah Polendo, right, looks up to the basket after getting past Pojoaque’s JP Lyon, Jan. 5, at Ruidoso.

Things were tiled at 10-all after the first quarter and Ruidoso led 20-18 after Avery Torrez scored on a jumper with 1:18 left in the first half for Pojoaque (4-7).

It wasn’t until Ruidoso went on a 13-0 run and held the Elk to just four points in the third quarter that the Warriors were able to take control.

Josh Romero again led his team with 12 points, while brother Josiah and Sebastian Polendo each put in 11.

For Pojoaque, Isaiah Herrera led the way with 11 points.

Ruidoso faces former district foe East Mountain today at 4:30 p.m. to conclude the shootout.

Page said the games have been good for his team, even if the weekend did start out with that big loss to Taos.

“That’s what all tournaments are for,” Page said. “Hopefully, when you go to a shootout like this, you play someone outside your district and will hopefully make you better.”

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