Newcomb smothers Menaul in 2A boys basketball state quarterfinals
RIO RANCHO — There was no escaping Newcomb's wrath, as the Skyhawks smothered Menaul's shooters on the way to a 65-41 win in Wednesday's Class 2A boys basketball state quarterfinals at the Santa Ana Star Center.
"It was a good thing. During practice, all we work on is our conditioning, our footwork and how we run our defense," said Newcomb guard Deondre Begay, who had four of the team's 13 steals. "Throughout the whole season, that really helped us, shaped us for what's coming in the state playoffs."
From one baseline to the other, Newcomb locked onto Menaul.
First came the full-court press, then the double-team traps.
Menaul kept stalling and had to get rid of the ball somehow. The Panthers opted for the outlet passes hoping to break Newcomb's press, but the Skyhawks dropped back for easy steals.
The Skyhawks opened on a 30-2 run and didn't look back.
"Us pressuring, us running, us just being relentless, that's how we get on a run," Newcomb coach Dominique Richardson said. "We can run with anybody, play with anybody. It don't matter how tall you are, how big you are, we're just going to keep coming at you."
Begay and Deion Johnhat combined for 34 points.
Menaul's season ended at 18-10.
Newcomb (22-9) will face Pecos in a 2019 finals rematch, this time in the 2A semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.
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