Manzano High School’s varsity team beat the visiting Highland girls 42-28 Thursday on the Monarch’s home floor. The Monarchs led after each quarter as they advanced their overall record to 16-5. Hornet’s Deborah Arguelles, April Romero, and Sydney Graham played with great energy. Arguelles intercepted a pass and snatched a rebound early in the first. April Romero rebounded and converted a free throw attempt. Graham came away with a Monarch pass and started up the floor on a fast break.
But Manzano got out to a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter via early hustle. Monarch April Semler rebounded and teammate Ty Romero scored. Caroline Lantor scored once and Destiny Bragman scored once and grabbed two rebounds. Monarch Sarah Evans grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball in the basket. After a steal by Graham the Hornets came away without scoring. But on their next offensive possession Taylor Dennis dribbled into the middle and tossed in a hook shot.
Beverly Rhoades fouled Lantor and the Monarch hit both free throws. Sarah Romero snatched a rebound for the Hornets but had her shot attempt rejected by Rebecca Sanchez.. Rhoades and Graham simply took the ball away from the Monarchs they were guarding on the next two Manzano offensive plays. Rebecca Sanchez got an assist on a scoring layup by Monarch Jackie Apodaca. Bragman made her presence felt throughout the game on offense and defense for the Monarchs. On two successive plays she grabbed a rebound, then grabbed another rebound and scored. Lantor grabbed a rebound for the Monarchs but her team lost the ball twice as Amber Trujillo and Dennis took it away. Then Trujillo scored on a three-point shot before Bragman blocked a shot attempt by Sarah Romero. Manzano led 25-13 at the half.
The teams went up and down the floor in the third quarter without scoring until Lantor scored for the Monarchs with 3:31 left. Rebecca Sanchez grabbed two rebounds to give her team possession of the ball. Semler and Bragman also rebounded for the Monarchs. Arguelles rebounded and hit a free throw for the Hornets. Lantor shot it in from the outside, then she fouled Trujillo who converted both free throws for Highland. Hornets Trujillo and Adreanna Nunez grabbed rebounds battling with Monarchs under the basket. Rebecca Sanchez grabbed a rebound, then she scored after a steal by Lantor. Manzano took a 31-16 lead into the fourth quarter.
Chelsy Kitcheyan started the fourth quarter by scoring for the Monarchs after stealing the ball. Rebecca Sanchez fouled Trujillo as she drove to the basket and scored for the Hornets. Semler grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball in for Manzano. The action filled fourth quarter saw Semler foul Heather Navasie who hit one of one for the Hornets. Lantor grabbed a loose ball for Manzano and scored on a layup. Even with her team leading Kitcheyan continued to fight with Hornets under the basket. She grabbed two offensive rebounds and tried to put the ball in twice on the same play. Later Kitcheyan stole a pass before Semler grabbed a rebound for the Monarchs and Bragman scored.
The Hornets did not give up down the stretch. Sarah Romero hit one of two free throws while Graham also converted one attempt. Dennis drove aggressively to the basket and scored on a layup. Monarch Tina Jones fouled Graham who put it in from the free throw line. Sarah Romero grabbed a rebound and scored. Graham continued her free throw prowess by converting two of two attempts. With this victory the Monarchs are 4-1 in 5-5A competition. The Highland Hornets will take their 6-15 overall record to West Mesa High School on Saturday where they will face the Mustangs who have an identical record.