ALBUQUERQUE – The Piedra Vista Lady Panthers couldn’t secure the season sweep of West Mesa, and a spot in the 5A state finals, as their late rally came up short in a 59-57 overtime loss in today's 5A semifinals at Dreamstyle Arena.
How it happened
Piedra Vista trailed 16-5 in the opening minutes before it started clawing back.
West Mesa struggled to score at the end of regulation, allowing the Lady Panthers to tie up the game in the last minute.
West Mesa had one final chance to end the game in the fourth quarter, but it couldn't hit a last-second shot.
With five seconds left in overtime, Piedra Vista fouled Esperanza Varoz. Varoz then made both free throws.
PV got the ball to half-court and called a timeout with 2.4 seconds left in overtime.
PV's Elaina Watson fired a 3-pointer from up top, but the shot was off the mark.
They said it
“We knew they would try to take Lanae (Billy) away. They put (Cece) Barela on her, who is a great defender. We had to call something else at the last minute because the play was supposed to go to Lanae. Once we saw Barela on her we had to adjust on the fly. Ended up getting great look at the basket. I thought it was in. Unfortunately for us, it didn’t go in.”
– Joe Reed, Piedra Vista coach on the final play
Piedra Vista's Lanae Billy had 15 points and nine rebounds, while Elaina Watson tallied 11 points and four assists. Hallie Blackie scored 10 points.
Barela and Maiah Rivas scored a combined 40 points for West Mesa.
West Mesa (27-3) will face Hobbs in Saturday's 5A championship game.
PV’s season ended at 26-4, but it'll return five of its six key players next year.
PV’s comeback bid falls short in 59-57 OT loss to West Mesa Thursday in Albuquerque. Matt Hollinshead/The Daily Times, Farmington Daily Times