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Basketball: LA girls are 15th in power rankings

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NMHSCA tracks poll trends ahead of today’s playoff bracket release

By Mike Cote

Kirtland Central and Gallup top the list of the girls and boys basketball power rankings.
The power rankings, a summation of voting in the Class 4A prep basketball polls for the season, put both teams ahead of all comers, according to the New Mexico High School Coaches Association.
The Kirtland Central Bronco girls, the winningest program in the history of New Mexico girls basketball, earned a grand total of 894 points during the two month tracking by the NMHSCA, which runs statewide coaches polling throughout the season in several major sports.
Kirtland Central, which has grabbed a total of 18 state championships, a figure that’s among the top total in the nation, nipped Roswell in the power rankings. Roswell finished with 877 points, 68 points better than third-ranked Gallup, that despite the fact that Gallup spent time at the No. 1 spot this season while Roswell didn’t.
The New Mexico Activities Association, which runs most major state playoff events in the state, is scheduled to release the official postseason brackets for classes A-5A today. The NMHSCA polls are used as one factor in determining seeding and selection for the postseason.
Los Alamos, in the girls 4A rankings, finished 15th unofficially. The Hilltoppers garnered 10 points during the tracking time. Should the power rankings hold up, Los Alamos would be matched up with Roswell in the first round of the girls’ 4A playoffs.
However, NMHSCA’s Thomas Mabrey emphasized that the rankings were “not designed to foreshadow NMAA seeding and selection,” but rather track the perceived strength of the teams throughout the 2010-11 season.
The NMHSCA poll is one of the determining factors in selecting and seeding teams around the state.
Española Valley, Los Alamos’ longtime arch-rival, finished sixth in the power rankings with 461 points.
On the boys side, Gallup, which earned 51 first-place votes during the season, amassed 931 points. Española Valley, which has been at the top of statewide polling for the majority of the past four seasons, finished with 897 points and 16 No. 1 votes.
Los Alamos’ boys were unofficially 20th, picking up 10 points this season.
Another District 2AAAA team, Capital, also finished in the top five in the power rankings, while Santa Fe landed at No. 13.
Española Valley was the No. 1 ranked team in the state in the final regular season poll, released last week, a spot it swapped with Gallup throughout the season.
The power rankings, which were released Friday, may not hold much sway for Española Valley now, however, if they did heading into today’s NMAA seeding meeting.
The Sundevils, the four-time defending district champions, lost the 2AAAA  title game Friday night at home to the Capital Jaguars.
Losing two straight district contests at home, including a loss to the last-place team in the  2AAAA standings, Bernalillo, six days earlier, could certainly come back to haunt the Sundevils today. The Sundevils were the top-seeded 4A team last year.
Kirtland Central topped the final girls poll.