Wolverines fall in OT at Clayton

CNJ STAFF

CLAYTON — Clayton’s Ross Pershbacher converted a 3-point play with 6.9 seconds left in overtime as Clayton edged Texico 58-55 Saturday night for the boys District 6-2A tournament championship.

Texico (21-6) built a 25-12 halftime lead, but needed a 3-pointer by senior Johnny Rivera with three seconds left in regulation to force the extra session. Mark Peabody’s trifecta made it 55-55 with 13 seconds left in OT.

Clayton will host a four-team regional next weekend. Texico faces District 8-2A champion Questa in the opener at 5:30 p.m. and the Yellowjackets (20-6) take on 8-2A runnerup Mora at 7:30 p.m., with the championship set for the next day.

Russell Gallagher scored 26 points and Pershbacher added 17 for Clayton. Peabody led Texico with 16 points, followed by Braden Vaughan with 15 and Rivera with 12.

Grady 64, House 47 — Jennifer Blackburn scored 26 points and the Lady Bronchos pulled away with an 18-5 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Cowgirls for the District 4-1A girls tournament championship.

The title was the fourth in coach Alicia Rush’s six years at Grady. The Lady Bronchos (23-4) will host a four-team regional next weekend, facing Roy in the semifinals on Friday night.

Lindsy Lee scored 20 points and Haily Lee added 18 for the Cowgirls, who take on Des Moines in Friday’s other regional semifinal.

Floyd 54, Melrose 52 — At Floyd, senior Chance Chenault scored 27 points, including the go-ahead free throws with 28 seconds left, as the Broncos edged the Buffaloes for the District 3-1A boys tournament championship.

Jerrod Long added 16 points for Floyd (19-7), which used seven 3-pointers to stave off the Melrose (18-8) in a nip-and-tuck affair.

Senior Harvey Park had four 3-pointers and 24 points for Melrose, while sophomore Carlos Ruiz added 13.

Canyon 42, Muleshoe 26 — It took the defending state champion to end Muleshoe’s dream season.

Chelsie Friemel led a balanced attack with 10 points and Canyon played its trademark stifling defense as the top-ranked Lady Eagles beat Muleshoe 42-26 in the championship game of the Region I-3A girls basketball tournament at United Spirit Arena.

Canyon (31-2) advances to the state tournament, high school basketball’s version of the Final Four, next week in Austin.

All-state post Sara Benham scored 10 points for Muleshoe (31-5), which was making its first appearance at regionals and also set a school record for wins.

Muleshoe, which never led in the game, climbed within 28-24 in the fourth quarter, but Canyon (31-2) made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

“We put forth a good effort,” Muleshoe coach Shana Sims said. “The kids worked hard. We just fell a little short.
“It wasn’t a bad loss. It was probably the best team in the state.”

Canyon, which has won 10 state titles, held Muleshoe to a season-low point total.

“We shot horribly; It was just a good game between two great defensive teams,” Sims said.

Benham scored 23 points and Kelsy Friskup added 19 points as Muleshoe beat Ballinger 63-36 Friday in the regional semifinals.

Jamie Buxkemper led Ballinger (26-7) with 15 points.
The Lady Mules jumped to a 33-9 halftime lead.

Fort Sumner 41, Elida 32 — Fort Sumner won the game but might have lost one of its top players.

Junior Kelly Fortner injured her knee in the third quarter of Fort Sumner’s win over Elida on Saturday in the championship game of the District 3-1A girls tournament.

Fort Sumner coach Brian Fortner said he did not know the extent of his daughter’s injury. He said she’s already had knee surgery of both knees.

Fortner and Kayla Britain scored eight points each for the Vixens (23-4), who play Victory Christian in this week’s regional tournament.

Fortner said Britain and senior Shannon Wilson helped pick up the slack when Fortner was injured. To compound the problem, twin sister Sandy Fortner was also in foul trouble most of the game.

“We did a good job of shutting them down inside,” Brian Fortner said. “Kayla Britain really stepped up in the second half.”

Keisha Chenault led Elida with 10 points. Nearly half of the Lady Tigers’ points came on 3-pointers, including a trio of treys by Samantha Southard.

Elida (15-11) plays Desert Academy in regionals.

Melrose 64, Fort Sumner 40 — Carlos Ruiz scored seven of his game-high 21 points in the game-breaking third quarter as Melrose beat Fort Sumner Friday in the semifinals of the District 3-1A boys tournament.

Harvey Park added 15 points for the second-seeded Buffaloes (18-7), who outscored game-weary Fort Sumner 32-13 in the second half.

Melrose coach Casey Pack said he talked to his team about getting more movement against an aggressive Fort Sumner man-to-man defense.

“We just started cutting to the basket and got some backdoor baskets,” Pack said. “We did a good job of going to the rack.”

Ross Cortese scored 15 points for No. 3 Fort Sumner (14-15), which was playing its third game in three days.
Melrose played at top-seeded Floyd on Saturday night.
Both teams advance to next week’s regional round.