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Melrose contingents move into title games

Jan. 13—MELROSE — Melrose's boys and girls were set to face Logan on Saturday night in the championship games of the 66th annual Eastern Plains Athletic Conference tournament.

In boys semifinals on Friday, the third-seeded Buffaloes defeated Fort Sumner 52-40 while the unbeaten (14-0) Longhorns, seeded No. 1, got past No. 4 Texico 72-64.

For the girls, the top-seeded Lady Buffs slipped past Texico 32-27 and the Lady Longhorns, seeded third, upended No. 2 Fort Sumner 37-27.

Melrose (11-1) opened a 20-11 lead at the quarter in the second boys semifinal and kept the Foxes (10-3), seeded No. 2, at bay for the most part. Juniors Chance Brittenum and Cy Draper led a balanced Buffs attack with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Freshman Jordan Holland scored 13 points and freshman Aaron Torres added 12 for the Foxes (10-3).

Texico's boys (8-6) carried a seven-point lead into the intermission against Logan, but the Longhorns put five players in double figures and responded with a 44-point second half.

Logan's sophomore twin towers, 6-foot-5 Hayden Bruhn and 6-4 Mason Wallin, scored 21 and 13 points, respectively. Senior Kaeden Stoner and juniors Brock Burns and Diego Sanchez all had 11 points.

For the Wolverines (8-6), senior Cade Figg led the way with 19 points, while freshman Jett Curtis added 13 and senior Blake Curtis, his brother, chipped in 12.

Girls semifinals — Melrose (11-2) led by a point at halftime, then survived a third quarter in which it outscored the Lady Wolverines 2-1 before nailing down a hard-fought victory.

Senior Graci Odom scored nine of her 13 points in the fourth quarter for the Lady Buffs, including a key 3-pointer midway through the period. Senior Sonia Ortiz led fourth-seeded Texico (5-8) with 11 points.

In the other semifinal, third-seeded Logan (10-4) erased a 1-point deficit with the first 11 points of the final canto and held off the second-seeded Vixens (9-4) down the stretch.

In boys consolation semifinals:

Elida 51, Dora 50 — Senior Seth Jimenez made three 3-pointers in the final three minutes, including the game-winner with 12 seconds remaining, as the Tigers edged their Roosevelt County rivals and advanced to Saturday's fifth-place game.

Earlier in the period, Jimenez — who finished with six 3s and 27 points — knocked down back-to-back trifectas to stake the Tigers (5-8) to a 45-44 advantage. Dora (6-5) rallied back to lead 48-45 and 50-48.

Senior Gage Hartman added two 3s in the final period to help the Elida cause. For the Coyotes, senior Cole Kircher scored 12 of his team-leading 19 points in the second half.

Grady 49, Floyd 26 — Senior Zane rush tallied 19 points and the Bronchos (5-5) pulled away after trailing 11-9 at the quarter.

Freshman Zander Ciancio added a pair of 3s and 12 points for Grady, while freshman Hays Rush scored nine. Meantime, Floyd (4-6) got six points apiece from seniors Benton Cain and Drew Essary.

In girls consolation semifinals:

Grady 42, Elida 35 — The Lady Bronchos erased a two-point deficit in the final period, holding Elida to just two points for the win.

Junior Juanita Ramirez put in 16 points and senior Taylor Foote added 11 for Grady (6-5). Freshman Reatta Munsell led the Lady Tigers (7-7) with 11 points.

Dora 66, Floyd 33 — The Lady Coyotes (6-4) broke open their game with Elida by outscoring the Lady Tigers 14-0 in the second stanza for a 31-9 intermission advantage.

Senior Faith Jasso led Dora with 22 points, including nine in the opening canto, while sophomore Dakota Jones added 18 and freshman Karen Inge scored 16.

Leading the way for Floyd (1-8) were senior Jona Baros with 12 points and eighth-grader Klowie Bustamante with eight.