The New Mexico State Basketball Championship brackets have been published and games are set to begin Mar. 3.
The New Mexico State Basketball Championship brackets have been published in a “Seeding and Selection” show that took place Feb. 26. All tournament teams and schedules for both boys and girls in each of the six classifications or divisions were made available to the public on maxpreps.com after 8 p.m.
Taos Lady Tigers
One of the surprises of the evening was the inclusion of the Taos Lady Tigers (12-15) who snuck in as the No. 16 seed. Taos is pitted against the No. 1 seed, Hope Christian Lady Huskies (25-2) and will travel to Albuquerque for the opening round Mar. 3. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.
Peñasco Lady Panthers
The Peñasco Lady Panthers (18-9) are in as well, and will travel to Tierra Amarilla as a No. 11 seed to challenge the No. 6 seed, Escalante Lady Lobos, for a fourth time this year. The Lady Panthers have yet to beat Escalante in the 2016-17 season – losing twice during the District 5-2A season, and most recently in the district tournament semi-finals. The opening round game (otherwise known as a “regional” game) is scheduled for Mar. 3. Game will start at 6 p.m.
Led by first-year coach, Tomas Madrid, the Questa Wildcats (15-10) make it in to the state tournament as a No. 10 seed and will have to travel down to southeast corner of the state to play the Jal Panthers (16-9) who finished the season ranked No. 7. All boys regional games will take place on Mar. 4. Game time is to be determined (T.B.D.).
Absent from post season play were the Peñasco Panthers boys team who finished the year with a 5-21 overall record and in No. 26 in class 2A state rankings. Also not invited to the dance was the Questa Lady Cats who garnered a 2-20 overall record and finished the 2016-17 season on an 18-game losing streak.
The Taos Tigers boys basketball team ended the 2016-17 season by yielding all the wins it acquired during the year, and was the only team from District 2-4A not to make the state tournament.
The wins were taken away due to an administrative infraction discovered Feb. 16. Therefore, Taos finished its season with an overall record of 1-26 according to multiple standings listed in the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) website. A win over the St. Michael's Horsemen Feb. 8 stood as Taos' lone win.
A statement from the Taos Tiger athletic office indicated that a discovery was made regarding an infraction related to the age of a Taos Tiger player. According to athletics director Nickie McCarty, the school "immediately self reported [the discovery of the infraction] to the NMAA."
"The win against St. Mike's will remain," said McCarty. "But all other wins had to be forfeited."
The yielding of wins came between the season finale and the start of the district tournament. In the tournament, the Tigers lost to Pojoaque Valley, 52-44, Feb. 21.
The absence from the state tournament bracket ends a 6-year streak for Taos who had been included in the post-season affair continuously since the 2010-11 season.
Check taosnews.com throughout the week for state tournament updates: including brackets changes, coaches' analysis, game times and any new developments.
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