|Eagles Team Effort Tops Alford and the Bears|
|Written by Chris Martinez|
|Thursday, 07 February 2013 23:25|
Eldorado High School @ La Cueva High School- 2/7
I had a coach who would constantly repeat a variation on a quote by Aristotle. “The sum of our whole has to be greater than the sum of their individual parts.” Well the sum of La Cueva’s individual parts was not greater than the sum of Eldorado’s individual parts tonight as the Eagles downed the Bears 80-69 in boy’s basketball.
The gym at La Cueva High School was packed to the rafters to see a rematch of last year’s 5A state championship game and the top two players in the state, Bryce Alford and Cullen Neal, go head to head. The tale of this game could be told in two consecutive possessions during the 2nd quarter.
Neal brought the ball into the front court blew past his defender into the lane where three La Cueva players awaited. He tossed the ball up toward the rim as senior forward Zach Lee snagged the pass and threw it down with authority.
Alford got the ball and dribbled between a couple Eldorado defenders and then drove hard to the basket where his shot was contested by three Eagle defenders as he threw up a tough layup which failed to thread the hoop.
The Eagles have limped their way to a 14-6 record this year but they look to be hitting their state championship winning form as district play heats up. The return of Lee was the missing piece as he was injured during the rough patch and could not add his defensive presence and unmatched athleticism. Zach Gentry has taken over the traditional role of a forward by setting picks, crashing the boards, and scoring from the paint. Kane Martinez is a chameleon; he finds success in every aspect of the game. Tobien Brazier was the wildcard of this game, he led the Eagles in scoring and helped to frustrate Alford more than anyone has this season.
I’m not saying the rest of the Bears are terrible players, I saw them be a great supporting cast for Alford in the Metro Championship against Atrisco Heritage and against Cleveland a few weeks ago. However, the Bears as a team, on their best night, can’t beat the Eagles, as a team, on their best night. If Bryce has a tough night like he just did (I say this after he scored 37 points—just a testament to the caliber of player he is) his teammates’ weaknesses are magnified. When Lebron James joined the Cleveland Cavaliers he immediately took them to a playoff and NBA Finals team. Why? Because he has a skill set that allows his teammates’ strengths to be highlighted rather than their weaknesses. This is what Alford does for his team.
I look forward to the next time these teams play on 2/19. I hope Alford and his teammates are back on their game because that will be a nail biter. ABQ Sports will be there once again so stay tuned.