To no one’s surprise, the Las Cruces and Mayfield girl’s squad met again to battle it out for the Distirct 3-5A Tournament Championship on February 27, 2010. The surprise, however, was the outcome; Las Cruces, the heavily favored team, ranked #2 in the 5A state polls, was dropped by the unranked Mayfield Trojans.
These two teams had met three times in the regular season (the normal district games and once at the Hoop-La tournament), as well as numerous times over the summer, and I think I’ve been to each game. With all the familiarity, especially on my part, I decided to shoot from the second level for the first half and get a different perspective on the well-acquainted foes.
Back on the floor for the second half, I stayed on Mayfield’s side of the court. I get asked about why I stick on one side of the floor. It depends on many things, but mainly to make sure I have a good opportunity to photograph both teams. It also depends if there is a cheer squad around. Many times, it’s just easier not to have to worry about a pom-pom getting in the shot.
The shot above is my favorite of the night. Coach George Maya, the Mayfield bench and fans made a rush onto the floor to celebrate. The fans (many were members of the Trojan basketball team), were quickly rounded back to the stands.
The shot of Mayfield guard Elena Holguin going up for a lay-up is also a favorite, although it is a little deceiving.
With eight seconds left, and two points down, the Bulldawgs had gotten the ball back and had the opportunity for the tie. Unfortunately, Tina Licano (far right) had lost her balance while being defended and lost possession of the ball. Elena subsequently picked up the ball and went in for the lay-up.
Although she made it, time had already expired and the shot was called off. By this time, I had already put on my 28-70 f/2.8, and set up an exposure for the celebration that was sure to follow. I’m a little surpised I caught this with my shutter speed (around 1/320 second).
Regardless of the outcome, both teams had a great season. Both Las Cruces and Mayfield, along with Oñate will be participating in post-season play. Las Cruces, the #3 seed, will host Carlsbad. Mayfield travels was given the #9 seed and will play the #8 seed and defending state champs, La Cueva. Oñate got the #15 seed and has to face a very strong Sandia team.