Laguna-Acoma outlasts Tularosa in barnburner

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Laguna Acoma Hawk Autumn Smith (44), left, attempts a field goal against Tularosa Wildcat Anaya Holder (34) during the New Mexico basketball state tournament quarterfinals at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on March 7.

RIO RANCHO, N.M.

Laguna-Acoma’s opening possession in overtime was six seconds long.

The Lady Hawks regained the momentum they lost in the second half of regulation and went up 40-37 on a three-point shot by senior Deja Kie-Lorenzo.

On their next trip, senior Talia Paytiamo added a deuce for a five-point cushion as the Hawks earned a hard-fought 44-41 overtime victory over Tularosa on Tuesday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

“It was very intense and it came down to who wanted it the most,” said Kie-Lorenzo.

As for her clutch shot, she said she “was feeling it” despite seeing an opportunity to attack the basket.

“At first I saw an open lane, but she was that far away from me,” Kie-Lorenzo said of her defender. “I told myself that I was going to hit it.”

Tularosa did get within 42-41 on a 10-foot basket by senior post Pablita Rocha with 1:39 to go, but the Wildcats could not capitalize on a Laguna-Acoma turnover as they had a three-point attempt by senior shooting guard Cassie Vickery rim out.

With 26.1 seconds left, Laguna-Acoma sophomore Jasmine Kie gave her team a little breathing room with two free throws and in those final moments the Wildcats had their game-tying trey blocked by Paytiamo.

“I’m actually known for my defense,” said Paytiamo, who six steals and two blocks to go with her six points she scored. “That was what I did last year and I really never took shots.”

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Categories: Basketball
Tags: Lady Hawks

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com