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Sports for January 29, 2009

Adam Ortivez-best of tourney Redskins capture third, Panthers claim sixth

TRINIDAD- Freshman grappler Adam Ortivez of La Veta was chosen  as the Outstanding Tournament Wrestler at the Trinidad Miners Invitational Tournament Saturday.  He bested a field of more experienced grapplers from ten schools, including athletes who compete in the 3A-5A level.  He is the first freshman and the first La Veta athlete selected for the honor.  Coaches whose teams participated in the tourney made the selection based on the performance of every wrestler in every match in competitive action and sportsmanship.

    In his matches,  Adam went 5-0 for the day bringing his record to 28-0 for the season.  He made short work disposing of his opponents, pinning four of his first five opponents in one minute or less.  One opponent was on his back and out of action in 15 seconds.   Adam defeated wrestlers from West Las Vegas (NM), Dumas (TX), and Trinidad, all who compete in 3A and above.  It took Adam 3:33 seconds to finish off his final opponent, Jose Martinez of Dumas.  Afterwards, Coach Ortivez said of Adam, “He’s just a steady kid. He looks at one match at a time and isn’t looking beyond that.” He is on schedule to shatter former Redskin Brock Falk’s record of most wins in a season (35).

    Ortivez was not the only area wrestler in the spotlight as several others found their way to the podium.  John Mall Junior Justin Pacheco (112) is back in action after missing most of December. He finished second, completing the day at 4-1.  This brings his record to 8-5 and Saturday’s tournament was by far his best showing.  Pacheco’s only loss came in the championship round to Kevin Cole of Trinidad, ranked number eight in 3A.  Justin took Cole to the limit, but lost in a 4-1 decision.  Cole’s previous wins were in excess of 15 points or more.

    Waylon Cordova  of John Mall claimed third place at 119 pounds with an 8-2 decision over Isaiah Lucero of La Junta.  Cordova lost in the semi-finals to Gadge Cole of Trinidad who took second. Cordova is 23-9 for the season and was ranked third in last week’s 2A wrestling polls.

    Jake Ferrari (125) of La Veta took third after pinning Tyler Bybee of Dumas in 2:17.  Jake had a commanding lead before the pin fall.  Coach Ortivez said this was “Jake’s third tournament in two years.  He’s getting better week by week, and so are his conditioning and skill levels.”

    Brian Aguirre of John Mall captured second, losing on a major decision 17-6 to Ruben Valdez of Dumas.  Aguirre was on a 13-0 win streak since last Christmas.

Clayton Archuleta (John Mall-140) took second place after losing a three-period decision 9-2 to Luis Martinez of Dumas.  Martinez, a senior, was 24-8 going into last weekend’s action, while Archuleta was 8-2.

    Stephen Kimbrel of La Veta (145) finished third.  Earlier in the day, he was pinned in the semi-finals by Brad Newton of Pueblo Central, a 3A school.  Stephen went on to dominate his last opponent, Jayvis Medrano of West Las Vegas, 13-5, to earn his spot on the podium. Kimbrel, who was sporting a bandaged hand because of a thumb injury, said, “it didn’t affect me at all.”

    Ron Ortivez Jr. was the second La Veta grappler to win a championship medal.  Ortivez, who struggled in his previous two championship battles the past two weeks, came back with a blaze of offensive fury, taking it to his opponent Conrad Mares of West Las Vegas with a 6-0 run before pinning him with five seconds remaining in the second.  Ortivez is now 22-2.

    Nick Northup of La Veta (189) squared off against Michael Miller of Pueblo Central.  Miller was ranked fifth in the 4A mat rankings last week. Nick matched up evenly against Miller in size, tying it up at 6 midway in the second, but was caught in a reversal that put him on the mat for a quick pin.  Northup is now 17-4 for the season.

    James Smalley of La Veta took third in the 215-pound division, losing to Justice Johnson of La Junta in this round-robin bracket.   ‘Smalls’ took a 7-3 lead over Johnson as time ran out in the second and was in control of the match.  The third opened with Smalley being  taken down out of the circle and off the mat.  He ended up being pinned with 12 seconds remaining.

    Other area grapplers participating in the tourney but not placing included; Austin Taggart (119-LV), Alex Sample (135-JM), Bernie Archuleta (145-JM), Chuck Rapp (171-LV) and Stuart Pino (189-JM).

Lady Skins win one-lose one in weekend action

LA VETA- The Redskins hosted the Sanford Indians last Friday and narrowly escaped with a victory 48-39.  The win gives the Redskins an 8-1 record, 4-0 in league action.  This was the Indian’s first league loss.  The Redskin offense had a poor showing in the first quarter, but their defense kept them in the game, and after one quarter they trailed 8-5.  Christina Koutnik opened the Skin’s second quarter with a quick two, but the Indians came back with two buckets of their own.  Sanford continued their dominance in the quarter, opening up a 27-16 lead with two minutes remaining in the half.  La Veta struggled back when Shea Brgoch popped two free throws with under a minute to play and Shelby Morgan closed out the half with two of her own.  By half, the Skin’s deficit was cut 27-21.  They went five of nine from the line and 40 percent from the floor in the first half.  It was their one on one pressure and superior dominance under the boards that kept Sanford from dominating.

    In true Redskin fashion, the second half proved to be their time. Sami Willhoite opened the quarter with a score, bringing the Skins within 4.  Great full-court pressure coupled with a quick steal and Brgoch lay-up put the Skins right back in the game 27-25.  The Indians managed to open up a 32-29 lead with 54 seconds remaining  before Cara Campbell took a down court pass, drove the land for two and was fouled.  Her free-throw conversion tied it up.  In the final minute, La Veta continued their full-court pressure, regaining control of the ball and the clock.  Emily Moll gave the Skins their first lead, 34-32 as time ran out in the third.

    The fourth quarter saw a much more physical game as La Veta began to pull away.  All Sanford could do was foul; hoping the free throw shooting would play to their favor.  In the stretch, however, the Skins went 7 of 11 from the line and stopped the Indian attack. “We made them when it counted,” said Coach Smith.

    After the game, Smith praised his whole team for their efforts and great play.  He went on to say Campbell  played some solid defense and really stood out.  She’s a tough gal.”  He went on to say, Jacey Day played great defense for being a freshman.  “She comes in and battles people.”  High scorers for La Veta were Morgan (17) and Brgoch (10).

    The next night, the Lady Skins ran into trouble against Sangre De Cristo, losing by one.  This was their first league loss and set their record at 8-2.

Panther boys drop two

WALSENBURG– It was a tough weekend for the boys basketball program this past weekend when the Cats dropped two games.

    The Cat’s troubles began on Friday when Rocky Ford came to town.  They brought their high-scoring offense and blew the Panthers away 83-43.  The Panthers could not stop the Meloneers, but they did not give up until the final buzzer.  Charlie Whitehead finished with 14, Jacob Wiggins with 10 and Steve Rodriquez with 7.

    The following afternoon the number-two team in the state came to town and again, the Panthers could not stop their high-powered attack.  They lost 81-49.  The tenacity and desire of this team to compete was epitomized in the final seconds when Rodriquez hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.  They fought to the end.  Rodriquez finished the game with 10, while Whitehead hit 20, Zach Harriman scored 5 and Wiggins hit 4.

Lady Panthers 1-1 in weekend action.

WALSENBURG- Last Friday, the Panthers hosted the Meloneers of Rocky Ford and were defeated 67-34 in a game which saw the Lady Cats struggle.  Rocky was the dominant team, stopping the Cats and forcing many turnovers.  The Panther’s high scoring pair, Kristen David and Shari Duran, was held to 11 and 10 points respectively.

    What a difference a night makes.  The next afternoon, the Custer County Cougars visited the Panthers, and the Cats tamed the Felines, 55-43.  Casandra Vigil popped one 3-point shot from the outside while Shari Duran hit two.  David also lit up the scoreboard with 26 points.

    The Panthers were in control from the opening shot.  They opened up a 19-10 first-quarter lead, which was their best performance this season.  They continued to control Custer with a 25-18 halftime lead.

    As the second half began, the Panthers played man-to-man defense which led to more fouls and many official calls.  Five players from both teams fouled out in all.  Coach Bustos felt girls were making off-balance infractions which drew the majority of the fouls.  “Everything was being called fairly,” he said.    

    The Panthers were never in danger as they led by as many as 16 points. Coach Bustos had a chance to play everyone on the bench to give them some experience.  The Cat’s next opponent will be Swink tomorrow night with action beginning at 5 pm.

Junior High gals finishing season

WALSENBURG- The John Mall Junior High Lady Panthers will finish their season early next week.  According to Coach Vallejos, “it was a busy month for the girls and they worked really hard.”  Last week, The Journal missed reporting that Karlie Lashley scored 5 points in her game against Trinidad on January 15.  We reported several girls who scored 4 points, but somehow missed Karlie for her outstanding efforts.

    This year’s 2009 John Mall Junior High Lady Panthers in the eighth grade include Deborah Aguirre, Erin Burch, Melissa Hill, Victoria Romero, Victoria Roybal, Brittani Shane, Angelica Souza, Sara Trujillo and Santana Ward.  The sixth and seventh grade players include Lena Archuleta, Quanisha Baros, Sarah Encinias, Dominique Gayton, Rhea Hibpshman, Karley Lasley, Brittany Martinez, Alyssa Sandoval, Rebecca Uebler, Amy Vallejos and Tiffany Vigil.

    Congratulations for your dedicated work, ladies.  You epitomize the spirit of all the students and have represented your school and city well.

Skins back on track

LA VETA- After dropping their game against Sanford (77-41) last Friday, the La Veta boys pulled it together the next night, defeating Sangre De Cristo 68- 58.  After a team meeting where the team gave their coach a vote of confidence, “the whole team stepped up and got the job done,” according to Coach Kreutzer.  The players are learning a new system, everyone got playing time, and Jon Christensen and Trey Price have shown outstanding effort.  Jon was leading scorer for the night with 18.  Coach Kreutzer continued, “I am pleased with everyone’s contribution.”