Volcano Vista’s Jakwon Hill, right, goes up for a shot over La Cueva’s Exodus Ayers during a Class 5A state semifinal on March 11 at the Pit. (Mike Sandoval/For the Journal)
After leading Volcano Vista to a Class 5A boys state basketball championship, Hawks senior guard Ja’Kwon Hill earned some personal recognition of the highest order.
Last week, Hill was named the Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year.
The 6-foot-2 left-handed Hill averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists last season for Volcano Vista, which capped a 29-0 season with an overtime win over Las Cruces in the 5A title game on March 12 at the Pit .
It was his two clutch free throws with 4.1 seconds left in regulation that got Volcano Vista into overtime.
Hill shot 61% from the field during the season, including an impressive 45% from behind the 3-point arc.
He has a 4.01 GPA at Volcano Vista.
MORE TOURNAMENTS: Coming off the Albuquerque Metro Championships in baseball and softball, now it’s Rio Rancho’s turn to do the hosting.
The Rams baseball and softball teams — who both won metro titles last Saturday — are hosting their annual events starting Thursday.
The Sal Puentes tournament at the Rio Rancho baseball stadium has a strong field that includes the host Rams, plus Carlsbad, Cleveland and Albuquerque Academy.
The Chargers and Cavemen are in the first game, and most handsome matchup (on paper), Thursday, starting the tournament at 11 am
Cleveland takes on Artesia at 1:30 pm (winner to play Academy or Carlsbad in Friday’s semis, which are at 4 and 6:30 pm), Valley plays Goddard at 4 pm, and Rio Rancho faces Bloomfield at 6:30 pm
The championship game is 3 pm Saturday.
- Nearby at Eagle Ridge Middle School, the Rio Rancho softball team hosts its Kristin Griego Memorial Invitational, and it, too, has attracted an excellent field that also includes 5A powers Carlsbad, Volcano Vista and La Cueva.
The championship game is 2 pm Saturday.
Cleveland’s softball team is also hosting a tournament, although it’s more of a round-robin that began Tuesday and ends on Saturday. Some strong teams are in this field, including Cibola and Atrisco Heritage, plus Valley, Manzano and Albuquerque High and 4A power Gallup.
TRACK AND FIELD: Cleveland’s boys and Rio Rancho’s girls won team titles at Saturday’s Buddy Robertson Invitational in the “red” division that featured a handful of the best teams in the state.
The Storm outpointed Rio Rancho, 107-95, with Albuquerque Academy (86) third. The Rio Rancho girls scored 112 points, followed by La Cueva (82) and Cleveland (78).
Some boys notes: La Cueva’s Christian Buzzard won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and he was nearly half a second ahead of Cleveland’s second-place Evan Wysong in the 100; Charles Sanchez of Cleveland was the Storm’s only individual event winner, in the shot put, but the Storm won three of the five relays and placed second in the other two that were won by La Cueva’s sprinters.
Girls notes: The Rams won four of the five relays in their team victory; Angela Korte of Volcano Vista won a close race with Cleveland’s Leah Futey in the 800-meter final (2:24.56 for Korte, 2:25.51 for Futey); the 1,600 was even closer than that, with Academy’s Katie Patton scoring an extremely narrow victory over Albuquerque High’s Dani Figueroa (5:21.12 for Patton, exactly half a second ahead of Figueroa, who was 10 seconds ahead of the third-place girl); Gigi Galles of Academy won the triple jump and the pole vault; individual event winners from Rio Rancho included Sterling Glenn in both the shot put and discus, plus Gracey Lovato in the 3,200.
PETERSON RESIGNS: Rio Rancho High School is looking for a new girls basketball coach.
Scott Peterson stepped down earlier this month after seven seasons coaching the Rams.
Rio Rancho did not qualify for this year’s 5A state tournament.
“It’s time,” he said. “I’ve been feeling this way for the last couple of years.”
Peterson said he was going to continue coaching through his Championship Basketball Academy (CBA).