Pair of champions crowned and defending champ avoids upset at state tournament

High School Sports

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The defending champions of Class 5A basketball in the state of New Mexico will get a chance to go back to back. The 3 seed Las Cruces avoided an upset on the road at 2 seed Roswell on Thursday night, winning in the semifinals 68-64.

Las Cruces trailed in the fourth quarter before a surge from standout guard Duece Benjamin. After hitting a pair of three-point buckets, Benjamin put Roswell away for good. Las Cruces will meet the Cleveland Storm in the final game Saturday at 6:30 pm at The Pit.

Cleveland nipped Atrisco Heritage in the semifinals 58-54. In the girls, Class 5A semifinals defending champion Hobbs defeated Los Lunas 63-40. The Eagles will meet the Volcano Vista Hawks next.

The Hawks got 29 points from Jaelyn Bates in a 56-44 victory over the Eldorado Eagles. In the ranks of Class-A top seed, Magdalena got past three-time defending champion Melrose 65-43. In the Class-A girls championship game Roy/Mosquero got 19 points from Riley Clavel to defeat Melrose 44-38.

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