Father daughter duo leading Bernalillo basketball to new heights

Local Sports

BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo girls basketball team is currently undefeated at 13-0. The Spartans have the top record in-class 4-A as well as possibly the top player in the state.

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Senior point guard Juliana Aragon leads the state, regardless of class, in both points and assists per game with 34 and 9.3 respectively. To put those numbers in perspective, Aragon is averaging 8.1 more points per game than the second-highest scorer, El Dorado’s Bella Hines, and 4.4 more assists per game than second-ranked Emma Christiano of Las Cruces. Aragon has scored at least 30 points in 11 of the Spartans’ 13 games, including a 43 point performance against Miyamura. She has also recorded five double-doubles on the season.

Despite her success on the court, Aragon’s main focus remains the success of her team. “I think of myself as a pass-first point guard, but you know, when I have to score I like to score as well,” says Aragon. “You know I try to be as humble as I possibly can for sure. I definitely didn’t think I’d be up that high like at 34 or whatever, but like I said, I’m trying to get better each and every day, and as long as we get the win at the end of the day that’s all that matters to me.”

Her coach describes her as a “gym rat” and he knows all too well about his star player as she is also his daughter. The two Aragons have figured out a balance of basketball and family, and try to keep the two separate. “You know what I try not to when we go home try to talk about stuff because when we get here in the gym we’ll talk about stuff like that,” says Raymond Aragon. “She’ll ask me questions about stuff, but other than that, when we’re in the gym it’s all about business but like when it’s at home it’s just simple conversation.”

The point guard began playing basketball at a young age, and it was evident that she had a future in the sport. “I think she started dribbling a ball when she could stand,” said Raymond Aragon “As soon as she did that, I knew she was going to be a basketball player.” Juliana has a few division two offers in the state, as well as junior college offers, and while the offers are nice, she still has her sights set on going to division one.

There is still plenty of basketball left to be played before Aragon goes to the next step. She still has to finish her season and help her Spartans go deep into the playoffs. The team has made it to the state tournament each of the last three seasons, and not made it past the second round. Coach Aragon cites nerves and lack of experience in previous seasons but says this year the outcome will be different. So far, he has been right as his team has not lost a game. Looking ahead, Bernalillo still has 11 games before the state tournament, including all of the district.

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