ALAMO— Mountainair threw a scare into Alamo Navajo, but the Cougars refused to allow a complete rally as they won their school’s first-ever boys district basketball championship with a 62-51 win over the Mustangs on Feb. 18.

“I’m so excited for these guys, and this is a historic achievement for them, and it sets a bar for the teams that come in the future,” Alamo coach Lemuel Guerro said.

It was a shocking turnaround for Mountainair, which was dominated by the Cougars on Feb. 8 on its home court by a 75-39 margin on Feb. 9., and it was the type of game that Guerro had been suspecting might show up.

“I was expecting this (a potential upset) because I know that we just got to be at work harder. I mean, lately, we haven’t been practicing as hard as we should, and we’ve been resting on our laurels,” Guerro said.

Truthfully just about everybody in attendance was expecting Alamo to hand out another pummeling, but the Mustangs arrived prepared and hustled along with the Cougars’ speed game.

When Alamo lost post Mathis Apachito to foul trouble for more than a quarter in the first half, the Cougars were thrown out of sync, and Mustangs climbed back into the contest.

Alamo was only up 24-19 at the half and escaped with the win thanks to an 18-12 third quarter because the Mustangs managed to tie it up the remainder of the way. Both teams scored 20 points in the final eight minutes.

Junior scorer Jacob Apache was coming off an ankle injury and was a step slower than usual but came up with ten points. Senior Mike Monte and freshman Scotty Guerro stepped up to lead the scoring with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Little nagging injuries are plaguing the Cougars as the season wears on, and there’s still the district championship game to deal with on Feb. 25 before starting the playoffs. Winning the district title was Alamo’s first goal, and of course, the next one is to win a first-round playoff game.

The scare against Mountainair will be remembered by the Cougars, who are likely to face the Mustangs again on Feb. 25 (1 p.m.) in the championship game of the District 3-1A tournament.

Despite his limited minutes, Apachito netted 12 points and eight rebounds. Scotty Guerro pulled down a team-high nine boards.


Tayshawn Pino 1, Jacob Apache 10, Mathis Apachito 12, Mike Monte 16, Scotty Guerro 15, Jay Apachito 5, Zephaniah Guerro 3.