A strong second half combined with Lainey Fastnacht’s game-high 18 points lifted the Estancia High Lady Bears basketball team to a 53-23 victory Jan. 24 over the visiting Santa Rosa Lady Lions.

A lukewarm start for both teams kept the score close the entire first quarter. Santa Rosa (7-11) even took the lead a few times before the frame ended with the score tied 13-13.

Estancia’s Uriah Astorga sank a layup followed by two free throws to cap a 7-0 run at the end of the second quarter to give the home team a 24-16 lead at halftime.

Astorga finished with 7 points.

Ten seconds into the second half, Mariah Aday’s 3-pointer kicked off what ended up being a 12-2 frame for Estancia (10-4). Aday chipped in 10 points.

Leading by 11 points midway through the third quarter, Estancia erupted on a 19-0 run that lasted until midway through the fourth, boosting the Lady Bears’ lead to 48-18.

“We just outplayed them,” Estancia’s head coach Mike Trujillo said. “We kind of struggled a little bit early in the game, but we just kept on them, the shots fell for us, and we just kept playing hard—I think our kids played with a lot of heart.”

Fastnacht delivered a 3-point dagger with under 30 seconds remaining to close out the Lady Bears’ scoring.

Following the win over Santa Rosa, Estancia lost Jan. 26 to the Class 3A Hatch Valley Lady Bears (16-4) 50-37. The Lady Bears played at Mission Achievement and Success in Albuquerque, Jan. 28.