Josh Ornelas of Los Lunas goes up for a layup as Garrett LaLonde of Valencia defends during the third quarter of Saturday’s game at LLHS. The Tigers won 60-57 in double overtime to claim the district tournament championship.
Cameron Goeldner | News-Bulletin photo

It took double overtime, but the Los Lunas boys basketball team earned another narrow victory over the Valencia Jaguars, 60-57 in the district tournament championship game on Saturday afternoon at LLHS.

Once again it was junior Tyler Kiehne who put the Tigers on top at the end.

Kiehne hit a layup down 57-55 in the final minute and converted the and-one opportunity as well to give LLHS the 58-57 lead.

Kiehne also clinched the regular season title for the Tigers in their last meeting with Valencia with two late free throws.

Valencia had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Alonzo Deleon missed two free throws after being fouled on the layup attempt.

Los Lunas pushed the lead to three on a pair of free throws and Valencia had a final opportunity,but Jake Mattox couldn’t hit on a deep three.

Luis Ramos of Valencia goes up for a layup with Devin Gallegos trailing in defense during Saturday’s district championship game at Los Lunas.
Cameron Goeldner | News-Bulletin photo

The Jaguars were unable to get a clean look on the possession with the Tigers playing four out defensively and Mattox had to settle for a look from well beyond the arc.

Valencia held a slim lead for much of regulation and nearly all of the second half, but was unable to gain any meaningful separation despite the shooting woes of the Tigers, who missed a number of looks that typically fall.

Momentum began to shift about halfway through the third as Josiah Navarro hit an open look from three, and then the Tigers were able to come up with a steal and a bucket to cut the lead to two, which forced a VHS timeout.

From there, the Jaguars struggled to hang on to the ball which would ultimately be their undoing as they seemed unable to cope with the Tigers defensive press.

Heading into the final minute of regulation, Los Lunas held a three point lead but the Jaguars were able to run down the clock and Luis Ramos sunk a three pointer to tie the game at 45 all and force overtime as time expired.

The Jaguars drop to 17-12 overall, while Los Lunas improves to 17-10 with the win.

The win gives the Tigers both the regular season and district titles.

All-District teams

After the game, members of the All-District teams were announced.

Belen’s Josh Sisneros was named to the second team and joined by Jacob Sanchez of LLHS, Luis Ramos of Valencia.

Bryce Santana headlined the first team after being named district player of the year and was joined by teammate Josiah Navarro as well as Garrett LaLonde and Jake Mattox of Valencia.

Los Lunas head coach Travis Julian was named district coach of the year.

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Cameron Goeldner grew up in Boulder, Colo., and attended the University of New Mexico. He covers everything sports for all Valencia County schools.