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McKinley County teams move through state tournament

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Gallup girls making progress

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M. — Tohatchi beat Tularosa 78-43 and advanced to once again play in the New Mexico 3A state girls championship basketball game. The game is March 9 at 1:30 pm at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

To get to the championship game, Tohatchi (24-6, 8-0) eliminated Loving 69-51, Dulce 67-45 and Tularosa. The Lady Cougars are led by all-state point guard Kalian Mitchell, who is averaging double figures for the state tournament.

“We still have another game to play,” Tohatchi head coach Tanisha Bitsoi said. “The girls have played hard and have played together in the tournament. I was very happy with the way our defense has played the last few games.”

The Lady Cougars held the Lady Wildcats to 20-second half points. The score in the Tularosa game was 45-23 at halftime.

3A Loving 69-51

Senior point guard Kalian Mitchell torched Loving for 27 points March 2 and the No. 2 Lady Cougars beat No. 15 Loving 69-52 in a girls first round state playoff game at Tohatchi High School.

In the subsequent quarterfinals playoff game against Dulce at the Sana Ana Star Center, the Lady Cougars sent the No. 7 Lady Hawks packing by the score of 67-45. Mitchell hit 22 points in that game and the win earned the reigning state 3A champs the right to play Tularosa (20-7).

Dulce beat Cuba 74-69 March 2 to go into the second round of play. As the reigning 3A state champions, the Totatchi team has made the post-season in each of the past five years.

Mitchell hit a game high 22 points in the Dulce game, which about equals what she’s putting up in post-season play recently. The Lady Cougars canned nine 3-pointers in the first half, with Mitchell getting two of them.

In the Loving game, junior guard Chastidy Onsurez helped carry the scoring load for the Lady Falcons and chipped in 12 hard-earned points in the game. Onsurez was mostly guarded by Cecil and junior forward Genae Morris of the Lady Cougars.

Gallup High 5A

The No. 3 Gallup Lady Bengals are also making headway through the 5A state playoffs. Gallup beat local rival Miyamura 61-52 in the quarterfinals of the state tournament. The Lady Patriots were seeded No. 11.

Miyamura led 26-22 at halftime and still led 42-39 at the end of the third quarter. Sophomore guard Kamryn Yazzie hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Lady Bengals a lift late in the fourth quarter. After the shots, Gallup was able to maintain the lead until the end of the game.

Senior guard Amanda Mitchel scored 14 points and four assists for Gallup (20-10) in the game. Tia Washburn of Miyamura (14-16) ended with 11 points.


Gallup Lady Bengals took the court March 8, but were bested by Bloomfield by a score of 59-56.

Bloomfield goes on to play against Los Lunas for the Class 5A Girls championship March 9.

By Bernie Dotson
For the Sun