Inching one step closer to a second-consecutive district title, the Estancia High School boys basketball team cruised to a 73-29 victory over the Native American Community Academy Eagles (3-17, 2-7) Feb. 20 on the Bears’ home court.

Brian Walker’s jump shot 10 seconds into the contest ignited an early 11-0 run for the Bears (21-4, 8-1).

Cruz Moreno followed with the first of his five 3-point baskets, Josh Thomas hit a pair of layups and the rout was on.

“We were trying to prepare for Magdalena, so we needed to come out with the energy that we want to come out with against them,” Walker said.

Walker was eluding to the Feb. 21 matchup with the Magdalena Steers.

Drayton Oberg started the second quarter with a 3-point basket to put the Bears up by 10 points.

Cruz Moreno thrusting the ball to the basket. Photo by G. Demarest.

Less than a minute later, immediately following Moreno’s second trey of the game, Oberg stole the Eagles’ inbound pass under the basket and sank a layup—capping 5 points in fewer than 3 seconds.

Midway through the second stanza, Moreno sank his third 3-pointer and Thomas hit a traditional 3-point play—a layup and a plus-one free throw—to hoist the Bears to a 20-point advantage.

Moreno scored a game-high 21 points; Oberg posted 9 points, Walker added 8, and Thomas tallied 7.

Estancia began using its bench players late in the second period and was up 37-15 by halftime.

“We came out and did what we wanted to do,” Estancia head coach Daniel Pierce said. “We got some of the younger guys in and they brought a lot to the table.”

Pierce noted that the Feb. 21 showdown at Magdalena (21-4, 8-1), the final regular-season game for both teams, would be a fast and physical test for the Bears—with the winner claiming the top spot in District 6-2A. “Magdalena’s not an easy place to play, we’re gonna have to play smart,” Pierce said, adding, “There’d be nothing sweeter than to take it at their place.”