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Early in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s girls basketball game, Marissa Valencia was sitting firmly at the end of the bench.
In the endgame, Valencia was spearheading a big comeback.
Valencia, the Bernalillo Spartans’ most dangerous player, came up big in the six minutes of the contest, scoring nine points to lead the Spartans to an upset victory over the Los Alamos Hilltoppers at Griffith Gymnasium.
The Hilltoppers, the No. 3 seed in the District 2-4A championship tournament, were knocked out in their first district playoff contest.
The Spartans, who trailed by as many as seven points early in the fourth quarter, finished off the contest on a 10-2 run, earning a 36-33 victory and advancing to the 2-4A semifinal contest.
Los Alamos, meanwhile, will have to wait to learn its playoff fate. Los Alamos, a bubble team heading into Tuesday’s contest, is in serious jeopardy of losing out on a playoff berth after an early district tournament exit.
The loss for the Hilltoppers stung in several ways, not the least of which was that they had chances to close the door on the Spartans, who are playing as well right now as they have all season.
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