Now the real fun begins: Here are some New Mexico basketball quarterfinals games to watch

Matt Hollinshead,

High school girls basketball

Hobbs vs. Carlsbad, 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at Dreamstyle Arena

Hobbs’ lone defeat this season came to Carlsbad, one of many good battles the two teams engaged in over the last few years.

And the Cavegirls haven’t forgotten how the previous playoff matchup ended: a final-seconds nail biter in favor of Hobbs during last year’s semifinals.

Hobbs has reached the previous two state finals, winning one.

Expect the continuing saga to include yet another solid chapter on Tuesday.

Los Lunas vs. Bloomfield, 3 p.m. Tuesday at Dreamstyle Arena

Everything was on the line in the previous playoff matchup, in which Los Lunas beat Bloomfield to win the blue trophy in 2018.

Bloomfield went through a significant rebuilding phase last last season, graduating much of its core group following its first state finals appearance in 34 years.

The Lady Bobcats’ younger personnel went through growing pains last year, but have come a long way as this year progressed.

They’ll again face Los Lunas, which eyes its fifth state title in eight years.

New Mexico State Basketball Tournament:Scores and Schedules

La Cueva vs. Mayfield, 4:45 p.m. Tuesday at Dreamstyle Arena

Tabitha Hunter knocked down some key shots to give Mayfield double-digit leads in two critical occasions during Friday’s playoff opener against Cleveland.

However, the Trojans will have their work cut out for them on Tuesday, facing Cornell-commit Kaya Ingram and a La Cueva team that won’t hesitate to push the ball in transition.

Farmington's Kiiyani Anitielu attacks the basket against Piedra Vista's Elaina Watson during the District 2-5A girls basketball tournament semifinals on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington. PV and Farmington will square off again in Tuesday's 5A state quarterfinals in Albuquerque.

Piedra Vista vs Farmington, 8:15 p.m. Tuesday at Dreamstyle Arena

These crosstown rivals will again do battle in the state quarterfinals.

PV’s won five of the last six meetings, including that previous playoff matchup.

However, FHS coach Larenson Henderson is no stranger to the big stage, dating back to his time at Shiprock. And now that Kiiyani Anitielu is the focal point of Farmington’s run-and-gun offense, can FHS take that next big step in the playoffs?

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High school boys basketball

Artesia vs. Hope Christian, 8 a.m. Wednesday at Dreamstyle Arena

Hope Christian has had an interesting campaign so far. The Huskies (16-12) dropped seven of their first 11 games, but have been rolling since mid-January.

However, Artesia (19-9) also caught fire during the second half of the season, winning 12 of its last 15 games.

Both sides look to prolong their late-season surges, which will make this particular matchup all the more exciting to see.

Artesia's fans cheer on the Bulldogs in their game against Grants on March 7, 2020. Artesia won the opening round game and will head to Albuquerque for the remainder of the 4A state tournament.

Oñate vs. Volcano Vista, 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at Dreamstyle Arena

Let’s not forget that Volcano Vista is a few years removed from a state title.

The Hawks ousted two-time defending state champion Atrisco Heritage, 53-51 in overtime, in Saturday’s playoff opener, and now the Hawks have their sights set on their second title in four years.

However, the Knights are back on the statewide radar after last year’s improbable playoff win over Las Cruces.

Oñate (26-4) accumulated plenty of key wins as the year has progressed, including back-to-back victories against Las Cruces in February.

The Knights were the hunter as a No. 15 seed last year, and now they’ll be the hunted as a No. 4 seed this year.

Gallup vs. Española Valley, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dreamstyle Arena

This one will be a zoo, occupied by two of the most passionate basketball fan bases in the Land of Enchantment.

Both sides are scrappy, hot-shooting squads that can burn you inside and out.

This matchup, featuring two basketball-crazy towns, has fun, exciting and exhilarating written all over it.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 5055-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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