Vixens survives 1A state opener

STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

ALBUQUERQUE — Sandy Fortner scored 23 points and Fort Sumner spoiled Mescalero’s first trip to the State Tournament with a 55-47 win in Tuesday’s Class 1A girls quarterfinals at Rio Grande High School.

Tobea Patterson added 15 points for the Vixens (26-4), who will play two-time defending state champion Des Moines in Thursday’s semifinals. Des Moines advanced with a 63-49 win over Magdalena.

The Lady Chieftains stayed close through the first half, down just 20-16 going into the third quarter. Fort Sumner hit just 9-of-27 shots in the half, and misfired on nine of its 11 free throw attempts.

The Vixens forced an up-tempo game and built an 18-point cushion at one point. They led 41-27 after three periods, with Patterson scoring six points in the quarter, and the margin did not go under double digits until the final minute.

Patterson and Lindsay Mansell each grabbed eight rebounds for the Vixens, while Fortner added five rebounds and four steals.

“The third quarter, we looked like the Vixen basketball team,” Fort Sumner coach Brian Fortner said. “Our press looked good and we were running.

“But that was the only good quarter we had tonight.”
Augusta Lang led Mescalero (20-10) with 17 points.