Elida game away from fourth straight title
Elida will face Corona for the third-straight year in the Class B finals. The Lady Tigers will seek perfection for the fourth-straight year.
Senior Hunter Haley scored 15 points for Elida, which defeated Carrizozo 64-40 Thursday at Bernalillo High School to set up a 1:30 p.m. Friday matchup with the Cardinals.
Corona, which defeated Grady 52-38 in Thursday’s other semifinal, lost to Elida 63-27 in the 2013 title game and 59-41 in the 2012 title game — but only lost 58-48 in the team’s Jan. 24 matchup.
link JOSHUA LUCERO: PNT correspondent
Elida sophomore Lauren Stone shoots for two points over Carrizozo's Gracie Hooten in the first half of Elida’s 64-40 win over Carrizozo in the Class B semifinals Thursday morning at Bernalillo High School.
I think they’re a much-improved team,” Elida coach Dan Howard said of Corona. “They’ve got a new coach. They’ve worked hard, and they know what’s in front of them. They’ve paid their dues; it’s going to be a tough ballgame.”
The win was Elida’s fifth in a row and ninth in their last 10. Eleven players scored for Elida, including a 13-point effort from Marily Varela, and the Lady Tigers led 38-16 at the half.
“We got off to a good start,” Howard said. “It was a rough game, but we fought through it. Everybody got in the game, everybody got to play.”
Gracie Hooten scored a game-high 16 to lead Carrizozo (15-13), but nobody else reached double figures and only two other players scored more than two points.
Elida is 55-0 in the four years that Class B has existed.
Class B semifinals
Elida 64, Carrizozo 40
Carrizozo (15-13) — Gracie Hooten 16, Sarah Ferguson 8, Kaitlyn Pierson 5, Hannah Ventura 2, Kristie Gallacher 2, Cirsten Barela 2, Lexi Zamora 1, Totals 10 8-15 40.
Elida (19-8) — Kayla Summers 2, Bonnie Bennett 3, Marily Varela 13, Madison Haley 4, Kenzee Criswell 3, Hunter Haley 15, Taylor Epps 8, Kynzi Creighton 2, Brianna Bargas 3, Kaylen Jasso 8, Lauren Stone 3, Totals 23 15-27 64.
Carrizozo 10 6 8 16 — 40
Elida 18 20 17 9 — 64
3-pointers — Carrizozo, Pierson, Hooten. Elida, Varela 3.