Estancia High’s boys basketball team is off to an undefeated start on the heels of two close games.
The Bears held off Santa Rosa 51-48 last Saturday on the road, two days after using a flurry of free throws in the final seconds to stave off the visiting Mountainair Mustangs, 51-47. “This game was closer than we wanted but our guys knuckled down,” Estancia’s first-year coach Daniel Pierce said about beating Mountainair. “I’m glad we pulled out the victory.”
After a slow start that took nearly 5 minutes before either team sank a field goal, the seesaw game went back and forth with 14 lead changes.
The Bears held a 4-point advantage at the start of the fourth quarter but Amador Brazil sank a pair of free throws to put the Mustangs up 46-45 with just over 3 minutes left in the game.
Brazil led the Mustangs with 20 points.
Adam Lujan’s layup with 2:29 remaining put Estancia back on top by a point.
Following a Mountainair turnover, the Bears controlled the clock by passing the ball around for more than a minute before Lujan’s free throw with 46 seconds left made it a 2-point game.
Myles Sheppard’s free throw with 23 seconds left pulled the Mustangs within a point.
Lujan, Drayton Oberg, and Reyez Herrera all hit free throws for Estancia in the final 16 seconds to make it a two-possession game.
“We just knew whoever got fouled had to make their free-throws to put the game away,” Lujan said. He finished with 10 points.
Carlos Parra led the Bears with 11.
“I think [down the stretch] some of our guys got into foul trouble and were being a little too cautious,” Mountainair head coach Azan Chavez said. “But I’m speechless, my guys haven’t played like this all year, I’m proud of them.”