Estancia High’s boys basketball season ran out of gas last Friday in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament as the Bears lost 45-42 in overtime to the visiting No. 10 Navajo Prep Eagles.
“They move very well,” Estancia first-year head coach Daniel Pierce said of the scrappy Eagles team. “They reach a lot, they swat, they get after it, and it got the better of us tonight.”
The seventh-seeded Bears (22-7, 5-2 in District 6-3A) were held scoreless in OT, shooting 0-6 from the field and missing all four free throw attempts.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened,” senior Adam Lujan said of Estancia’s lack of offense in overtime. “We just didn’t come through, we couldn’t finish this time.”
Estancia had a chance to win it in regulation after a blocked Bears’ shot went out of bounds with :13 remaining in the game and the score knotted at 42. Drayton Oberg inbounded the ball to Lujan, who passed it back to Oberg in the paint.
Oberg drove to the hoop for what might have been the game-winning basket but he was called for an offensive foul, turning the ball over to the Eagles with :02 left.
The Eagles inbounded the ball as time ran out, sending the game into OT.
Estancia had led the entire first half, but Navajo Prep came out strong in the third quarter and used a 13-0 run to take a 38-26 lead.
Estancia’s Reyez Herrera nailed a 3-point basket with 2 seconds left in the stanza to pull the Bears within 9. Oberg and Herrera both led the Bears in scoring with 11 points.
Estancia battled back in the fourth quarter and took a 42-40 lead after Matthew Urbans’ one-handed layup with 2:51 left. But the Bears failed to score another point the rest of the way.
“I take nothing away from these boys,” Pierce said. “They fought all the way back to take it into overtime. We weren’t expected to make the playoffs, our seniors played outstanding all year, and I can’t be more proud to finish 22-7 and take this team to the state tournament.”
It was Estancia’s first state berth since 2011.