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Buffs absorb first setback of season

Jan. 9—DES MOINES, N.M. — Melrose's boys figured they were in for a test on Saturday, and they certainly got all they wanted.

Des Moines, ranked fifth in Class 1A by MaxPreps, posted a 10-1 advantage in 3-point baskets to hand the previously unbeaten and second-ranked Buffaloes a 63-53 setback.

Senior Caleb Sumpter netted 20 points while senior Noah Johnson had five 3s and 16 points. Four of the trifectas accounted for most of Des Moines' scoring in the period as the Demons (10-3) erased a one-point halftime deficit with a 15-10 rally.

It was a two-point game with about 1 1/2 minutes to go, and the Demons put it out of reach from the free throw line.

Sophomore Jaxon Odom scored 14 points for the Buffs (10-1), while juniors Chance Brittenum and Cy Draper had 12 apiece.

In the girls' half of the twin bill, Melrose bounced back from a loss to Class 2A No. 1 Tatum at home on Friday night with a 44-33 victory.

The Lady Buffs (9-2), ranked second in 1A, got a personal-best 15 points from senior Karlee Elliott while senior Graci Odom had 12. Melrose trailed by two at the quarter, but outscored Des Moines 26-12 over the next two cantos to take control.

Sophomore Ali Poling led the Lady Demons (5-5) with 11 points.

Also on Saturday:

Elida 57, Capitan 33 (boys) — The host Tigers led 18-11 at the quarter and steadily pulled away behind a personal-best 15 points from senior Gage Hartman.

Senior Seth Jimenez chipped in 13 for Elida (4-7). Top scorers for Capitan (4-6), which was coming off a home loss to Texico on Friday, were seniors Edward Garcia with eight points and Aiden Smith with six.