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The Staff of The News 

Melrose claims district

 

March 3, 2019



MELROSE — New district, same result.

Friday at Melrose High School, the Melrose girls basketball team defeated Logan 40-32 to win the District 6-1A championship.

It was the second straight district title for the Lady Buffaloes, but their first in the newly-realigned district. Last year, they nipped Elida 36-32 to capture the District 4-1A crown.

Whatever the district, Melrose is happy to win it.

“It’s a really good district,” Melrose head coach Caleb King said of 6-1A, “so to come out on top of it bodes well for us in the future. To play the competition we have to play to win it, it’s a great thing for the kids. Hopefully, we can use the momentum toward states.”

Friday’s game marked the teams’ fifth meeting of the season. They first clashed in the EPAC Tournament semifinals on Jan. 11, with Melrose winning 49-45 at Eastern New Mexico University’s Greyhound Arena. They played a regular-season game at Melrose 13 days later, with the Lady Buffs winning that one, 48-45. Then came the last regular-season matchup, won by host Logan 43-40 on Feb. 7.

And they needed a district tiebreaker on Feb. 23 to determine which team would win the regular-season district title and earn the postseason tournament’s No. 1 seed. Both went to the Lady Buffaloes, who won 64-47 at neutral Tucumcari High School.

Friday, Melrose won the most important head-to-head game so far despite trailing 13-8 after one quarter, 24-22 at halftime. A strong defensive third quarter, in which the Lady Buffs outscored Logan 13-2, did the trick.

“We figured out their triangle-and-two (offense) which had kind of slowed us down in the first half,” King said. “Once we figured that out, we were able to get into our press and make it a lot harder on them.”

Melrose (21-6) won without having any of its players reach double figures in scoring. Hayley Martin, Shannon May and Nataley Mondragon paced the Lady Buffs with nine points each.

Harlie Roach topped Logan (22-6) with 11 points.

 
 

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