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Texico makes it 28-0, tops Dexter

Wolverines will face district rival Santa Rosa in semifinals

 


RIO RANCHO — That’s 28 up, 28 down.

The Texico Wolverines marched right through their latest challenger Wednesday, shooting 66.7 percent from the field in an 80-46 dismantling of Dexter in the Class 3A quarterfinals at Santa Ana Star Center.

Dalton Thatcher and Luke Phipps each scored 17 to lead a balanced effort for the Wolverines (28-0), who return to the Star Center Thursday for a 4:45 p.m. semifinal against Santa Rosa, which needed double overtime to fend off Newcomb 54-52.

“I felt like we played pretty solid,” Texico coach Ty Thatcher said. “The kids were very well-prepared, and brought a lot of energy for an 8 a.m. game. They got control early and maintained throughout.”

Dalton Thatcher, a junior point guard, had three of Texico’s 3-pointers on a 6-of-11 shooting day beyond the arc, while Phipps added 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in a game that Texico led by 30 of 32 minutes and by as much as 37 in the fourth.

David Miramontes scored 15 points to lead the eighth-seeded Demons (24-5), but only two other Dexter players scored more than five. Meanwhile, Texico had six people notch at least eight, including a 13-point effort from Paden McDermid and 12 from Ben Crist.

Texico held the Demons to 14-of-47 shooting and outrebounded them 35-18, while also enjoying advantages of 46-10 in the paint and 20-6 off turnovers.

Texico is two wins away from joining rare company. There have been 16 undefeated boys seasons recorded by the New Mexico Activities Association. Since the NMAA first established Class 3A in the 1969-70 season, St. Pius is the only 3A school to finish a season undefeated, going 25-0 in 1980 and 27-0 in 1985.

Coach Thatcher knows that won’t be an easy task.

“Once you get to this point in the season, the teams are either playing good or they are really good,” Thatcher said. “There aren’t any teams that are weak at this point.”

The first proof of that is a Lion team that’s 19-9 on the season, with all of its losses coming to Class 4A teams and the top three seeds in 3A — Texico, Estancia and Pecos. Texico most recently beat Santa Rosa 48-43 in the District 5-3A championship.

“Any time you play somebody for the fourth time, it’s alarming,” Thatcher said. “They got really close to us last time. We’ve made some adjustments. We kept some things at bay (in the district title game) because we saw the writing on the wall. We had a feeling we’d be seeing them later.”

 

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