The Eldorado High School Golden Eagles, trailing 31-22 at the half, came back to defeat visiting Gallup High School 57-42 Monday. Gallup started the game with a 15-3 record. The Bengals charged out to a halftime lead due to the all around play of Amber Kitts, Allanah Spencer, and Paulette Coffey. In the first quarter the two teams went up and down the floor, intercepting passes and missing shots like two fighters missing their punches in the first round.
Madison Lopez scored for Eldorado. Spencer stole a Golden Eagle’s pass but as soon as the Bengals dribbled up the floor Ashley Hoisington took the ball back for Eldorado. Kayla Dobson contributed with a rebound for the Golden Eagles. The rebound led to Kya DeGarmo’s three-point shot attempt which was good. Coffey was fouled and hit one of two free throws. Then Spencer stole her second pass of the first quarter for the Bengals. Natalie Kane scored for Eldorado with an assist from Lopez. Dobson grabbed a rebound and banked it home for a score to give her Golden Eagles a 9-8 lead after one.
The second quarter began with Coffey heating up. She was fouled and the Bengal sank both free throws. Later Coffey stole a Golden Eagle pass near the midcourt line, dribbled all the way to the basket and scored. Then she scored again on a short jump shot. De Garmo grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball into the basket for Eldorado. Bengal Jeryn Wilson converted both free throw attempts after being fouled. Justina Prairie Chief of Gallup was fouled as she scored on a layup. She converted the free throw.
Dobson put in a layup with an assist from Lopez for Eldorado. Kitts scored on a three-point shot for Gallup. Eldorado fought back with De Garmo stealing a pass and Lopez grabbing a rebound. Then Bengal Stacy Charley made an exciting play when she took a pass in full stride at the midcourt line, dribbled quickly down to the baseline and scored. Eldorado’s Sarah Olinger scored on a layup. Kitts hit two free throws for Gallup and the quarter ended with Lopez scoring for Eldorado. The Bengals were up 31-22 at the half.
Gallup only managed to score 11 points in the second half while Eldorado fueled its comeback with 35 second half points. Lopez scored on a layup for the Golden Eagles to start off the third quarter. Kane stole a Bengal’s pass but on its next possession Prairie Chief scored for Gallup. Eldorado started putting points on the board; Dobson layed one in, Hoisington converted a free throw, Kane blocked a shot which led to a score by De Garmo. Lopez scored with an assist from C.C. Rode for Eldorado. When Lane stole a pass and scored on a layup she tied the score at 33-33 with 3:44 left in the third quarter.
Courtney Billy scored for Gallup but the Golden Eagles continued their momentum with successive scoring baskets by Olinger, Hoisington and De Garmo. Eldorado took the lead 39-36 and Regina Okoye banked in a layup for them. Celia Herrera put the ball into the basket for the Bengals and the third quarter ended with Eldorado leading 43-38.
De Garmo sent a shot slicing through the net for three points to start off the fourth quarter for Eldorado. Hoisington intercepted a pass but Gallup’s Wilson converted two free throws. Golden Eagle Kane stole yet another pass and assisted on a score by De Garmo. Kitts hit one of two free throw attempts as Gallup missed free throws in the second half when it was trailing by eight points or less. Eldorado increased its lead to 51-41 by converting free throw attempts. Then Golden Eagles Hoisington scored and De Garmo hit another three-point shot.
As evidence of their ability in this come from behind win Eldorado is ranked first in District 5A by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Poll. The team earned nine first place votes in the poll. Gallup is ranked fourth in the poll behind Sandia High School (2nd), and Las Cruces High School (3rd).