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November 27, 2012
Week Three is finally here and the real season gets going with several marquee games throughout the state. Plenty of Top-25 action taking place.
Top-25: Must See Games
No. 4 LA CUEVA BEARS (0-0) vs. No. 9 CIBOLA COUGARS (0-0)
Where: Cibola High School, Abq, NM
Time: 5:30 PM
The first match-up between two Top-10 teams in the NMPreps.com Top-25 Rankings should be an exciting one. The No. 4 Bears (0-0) are coming off a State Runner-Up season and will be led by clutch shooting guard, Bryce Alford who signed to play at the University of New Mexico earlier this month.
No. 9 Cibola (0-0) like last season comes in looking to make an early name for themselves. Led by 6'6 senior big man Ross Buchman, the Cougars will look to to get him more touches this season. The Cougars will have a new backcourt with several role players from last season in Preston Bungei, Kevin Saiz and Derek Martinez.
THE PICK: La Cueva +3 points
Backcourt: La Cueva
Experience: La Cueva
Game Changer: The Shooting hand of Bryce Alford.
No. 7 Albuquerque High (0-0) vs. No. 10 SANDIA MATADORS (0-0)
Where: Albuquerque High School, Abq, NM
Time: 5:30 PM
Another, match-up between two Top-10 teams that could be a surprise game to most. The No. 7 Albuquerque High Bulldogs (0-0) will lean heavy on point guard Mahlik Sims but the frontcourt could be the eye opener with senior James Croasdell and sophomore Matt Knight.
On the other side is the No. 10 Sandia Matadors (0-0) who failed to win the early season games like this. They will look to the frontcourt and specifically Ryan Ashbaugh who is the NMPreps.com Top-20 players. The Matadors need to make a statement early the key factor that will keep the Matadors in this one is the amount of depth that they have.
THE PICK: Bulldogs +5 points
Game Changer: A solid guard like Mahlik Sims can take over the contest.
No. 5 VALLEY VIKINGS (0-0) vs. No. 12 RIO RANCHO RAMS (0-0)
Where: Valley High School, Abq, NM
Time: 7:00 PM
Probably one of the most exciting games of the evening will be between these two teams. The No. 5 Valley Vikings (0-0) fresh off a Final Four, will be a early favorite this season. On-top of returning their backcourt of Top 100 Players, they add Top-25 player Adonis Saltes who transferred from Farmington.
The No. 12 Rams (0-0) also come into the game with an experienced backcourt and also the addition of a Top 100 Player in Marquis Sedillos (Fr. Volcano Vista). The Rams once again look to be a favorite and this game is a statement one, look for the triple feature returning in Josh Lucero, and the Patterson brothers (Brady and Austin).
THE PICK: Vikings +7 points
Game Changer: The backcourt of the Vikings is great on paper to start the season.
Bracket Implication Games
No. 22 CLEVELAND STORM (0-0) vs. No. 24 HIGHLAND HORNETS (0-0)
Where: Highland High School, Abq, NM
Time: 7:00 PM
Right now you might think it's too early for bracket talk but every game counts. The Hornets (0-0) and Storm (0-0) will be to teams look to build their resume each game. The Storm missed the playoffs a season ago, will look to win these games and make sure that they are taken this season. Look for the frontcourt to play a big role with Top 100 Players Desmond Branch and Charles Napier clogging the paint up. Highland is a great team orientated team and will look to it's experienced guards against the Storm.
Pick: Storm +4
SANTA FE DEMONS (0-0) vs. ALBUQUERQUE ACADEMY CHARGERS (0-0)
Where: Albuquerque Academy, Abq, NM
Time: 7:00 PM
Sante Fe and Albuquerque Academy both missed the state tournament a season ago and both play in tough Districts. They will both need this game as a resume "bubble DON'T bust" game. The Demons have a solid guard in Elliott Nicholas returning that could be a game charger. The Chargers return players but will be a make-up new players looking to establish themselves.
Pick: Demons +7
No. 1 ELDORADO EAGLES (0-0) vs. No. 23 WEST MESA MUSTANGS (0-0)
The defending state champs will look to start the process of returning to the title game and defending the trophy. Led by three next level players, the Eagles will have so much gun power in this one.
Pick: Eldorado +15
No. 11 MANZANO MONARCHS (0-0) vs. MORIARTY PINTOS (1-1)
The Monarchs have some serious depth and a par of wings that could surely help them fly to a solid start this season. TJ Holyfield and Jarrell Harper are both Top-50 Players. Both will look to make a statement early. I like what Moriarty is doing and look for point guard Luke Thomas and freshman post Jake Flemming to continue the work that they did last weekend.
Pick: Monarchs +6
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Joshua J. Grine joined NMPreps.com before the 2010 basketball season as our Senior Basketball Analyst. Grine is a former coach (Valencia, Rio Rancho) and basketball player (Grants, Rio Rancho) who has been around New Mexico for several years.
Twitter: Twitter Here.
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