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St. Michael's coach Garcia suspended for one game for sportsmanship code violation

Feb. 6—St. Michael's Gerard Garcia served a one-game suspension and was not on the bench for Tuesday's District 2-3A boys basketball game against West Las Vegas for a "violation of school code of conduct in regards to sportsmanship," school athletic director Josh Grine said.

Grine declined to elaborate on the suspension.

The action comes on the heels of a 52-48 loss at Las Vegas Robertson on Friday as the teams battled for the district lead.

Garcia did not return a message left by The New Mexican, nor did St. Michael's principal Martin Sandoval. Robertson head coach James Branch said nothing out of the ordinary occurred during the game, other than Garcia not participating in the post-game handshake line. He said Garcia texted him the following day to apologize for that.

"I've really got nothing to say," Branch said. "I didn't think much of it. No words or anything were exchanged between us. That was pretty much it. He texted me and apologized that he didn't shake hands with me and he felt bad about not having done it."

Garcia is in his second full season as the Horsemen head coach and his third since taking over on an interim basis late in the 2021-22 season. He has a 51-17 record during that time and led the Horsemen to consecutive appearances in the Class 3A championship game, winning the state title in 2023.

The Horsemen are 11-10 overall and 3-2 in District 2-3A after a 63-47 win over West Vegas.