Basketball: Sundevils remain alive after nipping Jags in quarterfinal

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By The Staff

The Española Valley Sundevils squeaked past the Capital Jaguars in a battle of District 2AAAA teams to advance to the boys basketball state semifinals Wednesday.
The Sundevils, who won the district regular season title but were upset by the Jaguars in the 2AAAA tournament championship game, earned a 49-47 victory over the Jaguars in The Pit.
Española Valley will advance to play St. Pius X at 6:30 p.m. for the right to advance to its second-straight Class 4A title game.
In the game of the day in the state tournament, the Santa Teresa Warriors took St. Pius’ Sartans to quadruple-overtime before the Sartans came away with a 79-77 victory.
Española Valley, the No. 2 seed in the 4A bracket, was the odds-on favorite to win the 4A title each of the past three seasons. However, Española Valley was upset in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 in the semifinals.
In 2010-11, as the No. 1 seed in 4A for the third straight year, Española Valley made it to the title game but was again upset, this time by Roswell, which won its second straight state title.
However, the Piedra Vista Panthers ensured there would be a new state 4A champ this season as they bounced the Coyotes from the tournament with a 63-52 victory.
Piedra Vista, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, will face eighth-seeded Goddard. Goddard upended top-seeded Gallup 72-54 Thursday. Gallup had spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in statewide polling.
The 4A boys tournament will crown a new champion Saturday afternoon in The Pit.
The girls 4A tournament also continued today. It will conclude Friday with the state title game at 8 p.m.
Defending champ Kirtland Central was a 47-29 winner over Valencia and took on Grants at The Pit today — the result of that game wasn’t available as of press time. Fifth-seeded Grants knocked Los Alamos out of the 4A tournament last Friday, then went on to top the Hilltoppers’ arch-rival, Española Valley, 38-37 Tuesday. Española Valley entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed.
In the other girls semifinal, third-seeded Gallup and second-seeded Roswell were scheduled to face off today.
For scores from the state basketball tournament, check lamonitor.com.