PNT Staff Report
ALBUQUERQUE — The Dora Coyote defense successfully contained the second-leading scorer in the state Saturday as they snared a 63-44 win over Temple Baptist Academy in the first round of the 1A state basketball tournament.
Temple senior forward Mike Russo, who is used to running roughshod over opposing defenses, found himself with just four points at halftime as Dora (21-6) posted a 15-2 first quarter score before going up 32-16 at the half.
“We did a good job on defense in the first quarter,” Dora coach Ty Thatcher said. “We did what we wanted to do. But we struggled a little offensively getting things rolling.”
Sophomore Kyler Smith jump-started the Coyotes with a pair of 3-pointers in the first, but Dora fouls put the Roadrunners in the bonus early in the second quarter. Temple Baptist knocked down eight straight from the stripe.
Russo, aided by fellow senior Nick Woloshuck helped the Roadrunners (19-6) to bounce back to their best period of the night in the third.
But Dora junior Wesley Skelley kept the Coyote spark from going out with a 3-pointer and two penetration buckets in the period. After that, his teamed settled in to maintain the lead down the stretch.
“Overall, it was a hard-fought game,” Thatcher said.
Smith paced the Coyotes with 18 points including an 8-for-8 night at the line. Skelley had 13 and senior Casey O’Connor tallied 10.