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No. 1 Volcano Vista rolls, but win over Atrisco Heritage marred by pushing and shoving

Feb. 6—The No. 1 boys basketball team in New Mexico continues to relish playing that part to the hilt.

Tuesday night was a showdown between the top-ranked Volcano Vista Hawks and No. 3-ranked Atrisco Heritage.

But the game, especially the second half — until the end — was largely anticlimactic.

The Hawks put together two fantastic quarters to open, led by 25 at halftime and easily put away the Jaguars 69-52 in a matchup of the two leaders in District 1-5A.

Volcano Vista is 21-1 overall, 4-0 in district. Atrisco Heritage is 17-5, 3-1.

"A great win for us," Hawks coach Greg Brown said.

However, there was some ugliness near the end.

With 1:34 to go, and with all the stars for both teams already out of the game, there was some heated pushing and shoving on the floor between players.

This led to at least two Volcano Vista players leaving the bench and going onto the floor.

One of the officials brought both coaches together, Brown and Steve Heredia for the Jaguars, to tell them what they saw.

They issued one technical for each team. And the official was overheard to tell Heredia and Brown that they knew some players had left the bench, but they didn't know whom, and that the New Mexico Activities Association would have to review the film to assess the situation and possibly dole out punishment to one or both teams.

"I thought high school kids lost their cool, lost their heads, and forgot it was a sporting event," Heredia said.

Brown declined to comment on what happened.

Coaches, and security personnel within the gym, quickly moved to get the teams separated while the officials tried to sort things out.

"It was a hard fought game," Brown said. "Two competitive teams."

One of them was just a little more competitive than the other in this game.

Volcano Vista had one of its best halves of the season in the first half, controlling things at both ends.

The Hawks led by double digits (23-12) three minutes into the second quarter, and closed the first half with a huge, 20-1 run that put them in front 38-13 at halftime.

"Our defense, everybody was connected, everybody had good gaps, our face dudes did a good job," said Volcano Vista junior forward Kenyon Aguino, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds. "And the offense was just flowing, sharing the ball, pushing in transition."

Brown was particularly pleased with the defense.

"We were locked in," he said, "and that's where the game was won. We had a game plan, we understood what needed to happen. Offensively, we had to find our way a little bit, they're a tough team to score against because they're very active defensively."

The Hawks held Atrisco Heritage junior guard Latavious Morris, who has been on fire of late, to just two points in the first half. He finished with 12 points.

"We had to take care of the basketball, be strong, be connected, on both sides of the floor," Brown said. "And I thought we were."

Freshman David Lunn led the Hawks with 26 points, including several dunks.

Volcano Vista has a quick turnaround before having to play No. 4 Cleveland on Thursday night.