The Valencia Jaguars boys basketball team blew out Belen on Saturday afternoon, 68-39 to complete the season sweep of the Eagles.
Valencia jumped out to a fast start, going up 10-0 before Belen was able to get on the board and never looked back. The Jags were able to keep BHS from making a basket from the floor until it was 10-1, when the Eagles hit a three.
Belen was able to cut into the deficit as the end of the quarter drew near, getting to within five, 13-8 by the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the focus turned away from the basketball and towards some of the extracurricular activities going on in the gym.
Things began to get chippy after a Valencia player was whistled for a technical foul for talking to his opponents following a difficult basket.
The Eagles got two free throws and possession for their troubles and things seemed to be back under control.
Shortly after, a Belen player was injured when he hit the floor hard after having his shot blocked.
Play was initially allowed to continue as the Jaguars broke out on the fast break and connected on a shot before play was stopped for the injured player to receive treatment.
While he was being tended to, a fan sitting in the bleachers behind the Eagles bench was removed from the game after yelling to the officials they couldn’t to blame the Eagles players if they started throwing punches because the officials were not calling fouls.
As he was exiting the gym, a woman who was walking in front of the Eagles bench began talking to one of the players, who threw his hands up as though he was unsure what he had done.
She had to be reminded to move along by a member of the BHS coaching staff before the situation was resolved.
In the meantime, the injured player had been helped off the court and was sitting on the end of the bench with an ice pack. When play resumed, the Jaguars had a 30-18 lead with 50.8 left in the second quarter.
Eight more points would be scored before halftime, and the Jaguars would take a 36-20 lead into the break.
In the third quarter, the VHS defense shut down Belen almost entirely as it suffered a scoring drought nearly as barren as the one that BHS had in the third quarter at Los Lunas a few weeks ago, when they were held to zero points in the third.
This time, they managed to score four points, but the Jaguars had 19 in the quarter and effectively blew the doors off of the matchup as they grabbed a 55-24 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars were expanding on the lead early, going up 61-27 before they pulled their starters and emptied the bench.
Belen was able to make some inroads and had their best offensive quarter of the game with 15 points, but it was too little too late as VHS cruised to a 68-39 win to complete the season sweep of BHS.
The Jaguars are now 13-10, 3-2 in district play, while the Eagles fall to 7-15, 1-4.
The Eagles returned to action on Tuesday night as they hosted Los Lunas, while the Jaguars traveled to Albuquerque to play St. Pius X.
VHS’ girls team also got in on the action and knocked off Belen on Friday night at BHS, 46-27.
The win completed the sweep for the Jaguars, which began last month with a 43-30 win at VHS.
The Jaguars improved to 6-16 on the season and 2-3 in district play and looked to make it two straight on Tuesday against St. Pius. The Sartans took the first matchup of the year, 44-38 back in January.
Meanwhile, a difficult year continues for the Eagles who are now just 2-20 and 1-4 on the season. Belen traveled to Los Lunas on Wednesday for the return leg of their rivalry with the Tigers. The first matchup of the season was won easily by LLHS, 57-18.
Los Lunas came into Wednesday’s matchup fresh off of a week of rest. The Tigers haven’t played since a 57-35 win over Valencia on Tuesday, Feb. 4.