Navajo Prep boys outlast New Mexico Military Institute in 3A state quarterfinals

Peter Dindinger, Special to the Daily Times

RIO RANCHO — It was sweet revenge for the Navajo Prep Eagles.

After losing to New Mexico Military Institute in last year's 3A playoff basketball opener, the Eagles eliminated the Colts, 48-47, in Monday's 3A quarterfinals at Cleveland High School.

The Eagles (12-1) will face Hot Springs in Wednesday's 3A state semifinals.

“(NMMI's) a tough team. Those two guards, (Daniel Xibille) and (Ricardo Mata), are fierce,” Navajo Prep coach Matt Melvin said. “We’ve never won a state game on the boys’ side. Hats off to those guys in a COVID year and everything we’ve faced.”

It was a back-and-forth affair until the ball bounced in the Eagles’ favor.

Javy Atcitty scored 14 points for the Eagles, while Isaiah Morris added 11 points. NMMI’s Xibille led all scorers with 28 points, and Mata added nine points.

NMMI out rebounded Prep 23-22, but the Eagles knocked down seven 3-pointers in the victory.

NMMI Sports Information Assistant Peter Dindinger, formerly a sports reporter with the Alamogordo Daily News and Odessa American, can be reached on Twitter at @PDindinger.

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