Area girls hoops players earn All-State honors

Matt Hollinshead,
Piedra Vista's Lanae Billy puts up a contested shot against West Mesa's Jazmin Cordova (30) and Esperanza Varoz (15) during the 5A state semifinals on Thursday, March 14 at Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque. Billy made the 5A All-State first team.

FARMINGTON – Multiple area girls basketball players yielded the rewards of deep playoff runs, landing All-State first team accolades.

Piedra Vista's Lanae Billy was named to 5A's All-State first team after the Lady Panthers reached the 5A state semifinals. Kirtland Central's Tatelyn Manheimer was named to 4A's All-State first team, while Navajo Prep's Aiona Johnson made 3A's All-State first team.

Although PV's season ended with a 59-57 overtime loss in the 5A semifinals to district foe and eventual state champion West Mesa, Billy averaged 16.7 points per game during the playoffs, including a 26-point outburst against Farmington during the 5A quarterfinals.

Kirtland reached the 4A state championship game, its first state finals appearance since 2012, but lost 49-43 to Los Lunas.

Manheimer knocked down some well-timed jumpers and scored in double-figures during the 4A quarterfinals and semifinals, averaging 14.5 points a game during that two-game span.

Navajo Prep made its first state semifinals appearance since 2012. Johnson will be among several key returners next season.

FHS's Jordan Vasquez, Newcomb's Deondre Begay earn second-team honors

The Lady Scorpions' season ended in the 5A quarterfinals versus PV, but Vasquez concluded her high school career with a double-double. She had 18 points and 17 rebounds.

Begay lifted the Skyhawks to the 2A state finals, thanks to his game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds left in the 2A semifinals versus Mesilla Valley Christian.

Newcomb's playoff run ended in heartbreak, falling 58-37 to eventual state champion Pecos, but Begay averaged 13.5 per game during the state semifinals and finals. Begay will be among three key returners next season.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.