East Mountain’s girls basketball team improved its record to 9-5 after a 33-28 victory Monday at Hot Springs. It was the Lady Timberwolves’ third consecutive win.

East Mountain picked up a 52-26 win last Saturday at Native American Community Academy’s gym, the day after a 43-42 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Mountainair Lady Mustangs.

“They really buckled down and held their own,” head coach Hobert “H” Warren said of the Lady T’Wolves’ win over Mountainair.

Ryann Warren led East Mountain with 13 points.

The Lady Mustangs had an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter and were still ahead 42-37 with 1:06 remaining in the game.

But East Mountain junior Espie Sanchez hit a pair of 3-point baskets with under a minute left to rally her squad to victory.

Sanchez’ first 3-pointer with 42 seconds to go hit the back of the rim and bounced high above the backboard before diving straight down into the bottom of the net to pull the Lady T’Wolves within 2 points.

“It’s good to have shots fall our way like that,” Warren said. “We got a few of those basketballs with eyes and sometimes you need a little of that to get the ball rolling.”

Sanchez nailed the game-winning trey with 28 seconds left.

“Once I made that one I knew we were gonna have it,” Sanchez said. She finished with 10 points.

As a transfer student who was only recently cleared to play, it was Sanchez’ first game-winning 3-point shot at East Mountain.

The score had ping-ponged back and forth through the first 12 minutes before the Mustangs used a 5-0 run—all on free throws—to take a 21-16 halftime lead.

Mountainair pushed its lead to 9 points by the end of the third quarter and had extended it to 35-24 early in the fourth before being outscored 19-7 in the final 7 minutes.

DeLila Nelson scored a game-high 18 points and hauled in 10 rebounds—a double-double—for Mountainair.

Mountainair head coach Troy Schmidt attributed the loss to missed shots and too many turnovers. “We turned the ball over at key moments and didn’t hit our shots at the end,” said Schmidt. “But give credit to them, they never gave up.”

On Thursday the Lady Mustangs begin district play at Jemez Valley while East Mountain hosts Tierra Encantada.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.