Coaches Comment On State Basketball Tournament Talent

As the postseason approaches, we reached out to several head basketball coaches in all classifications from around New Mexico to ask them about some of the top players in the state.  Here are some of the descriptions/player profiles and what the coaches had to say:

(note-this is NOT a list of every team’s top player, etc.  They are names of some players that various coaches spoke about heading into the postseason and a sample of their comments)


Class 5A

Kamalani Anitielu, Farmington High School, senior: “Only the 5th player at Farmington High School to ever score more than 1,000 career points”

Kapiolani Anitielu (junior)/Kjani Anitielu (freshman): Younger sisters of Kamalani with “good court vision and quickness”, “Huge 3-point threat”

Sydney Benally, Sandia High School, sophomore: Sophomore captain averaging over 20 points a game “A threat with the ball in her hands”

Emma Christiano, Las Cruces High School, senior: “veteran guard who reached the 1,000 point plateau this season”

Kyndle Cunningham, Hobbs High School, sophomore: “Solid post player who’s had to step up”, “Good defender inside the paint”

Taejhuan Hill, Volcano Vista High School, junior: “Experienced post player who is tough to stop on the block”, “Comes up big in big games”

Bella Hines, Eldorado High School, sophomore: “One of the most dynamic girls basketball players in the state” who reached the 1,000 point mark for her career earlier this season,  “Capable of taking over a game”

Eva Love, La Cueva High School, junior: “Versatile guard with a good range and leadership skills”, “Good mid-range jumper”:

Leilani Love, Albuquerque High School, senior: “One of the top post players in the state with range off the block as well”, scored over 1,000 points in her career

Aspen Salazar, Centennial High School, senior: “The top scoring player from the south at almost 20 points a game”, passed the 1,000 point mark this season

Caitlin Turnbow, Organ Mountain High School, junior: 5’10” forward averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds a game, “Rock solid”


Kera Beall-Gleason, Kirtland Central High School, junior: “Can hurt you in many different ways”

Kiera Livingston, Gallup High School, senior: “A great shooter”

Alyssa Maes, St. Pius X, junior: “A great playmaker”

Azalia Malizia, Valencia High School, junior: “A point guard with speed and a pesky defender”

Kathleen Obisike, Hope Christian School, senior: “Forward capable of a double-double almost every game”, scored over 1,000 points in her career and grabbed over 1,000 rebounds

Rylie Whitehair, Gallup High School, sophomore: “Very tough post who draws a bunch of double teams”


Emma Lewis, Santa Fe Indian School, sophomore: “Tough to guard and a good rebounder”

Alexis Pacheco, Robertson High School, sophomore: “Fast and can create havoc”

Lauryn Pecos, St. Michael’s High School, senior: “Versatile player that can run the point or beat you in the paint”


Morgan Crisp, Clayton High School, senior: “Sharpshooting guard with unlimited range”

Analise MacAuley, Penasco High School, junior: “Versatile double-double player with good footwork”

Brycelyn Martinez, Escalante High School, senior: “Experienced player”, “game changer that does it all”

Daelyn Pacheco, Santa Rosa High School, senior: “Easily a double-double with points and assists every game”

Isabella Poison, Santa Rosa High School, senior: “Dominant on the block offensively and defensively”

Bailey Vigil, Dulce High School, junior: “Usually the best player on the floor in most of her games”


Harmony Abalos, Cliff High School, senior: “Point guard who leads her team in every game”

Alyce Apachito, To’Hajiilee High School, senior/Tyler-Rose Apachito, To’Hajiilee High School, senior: “Both are experienced players who average double figures”, Alyce is “unstoppable on the low post”

Jordan Clifton, Cliff High School, senior: “Experienced post player,” “Tough to stop inside and out”

Tanna Crisp, Roy/Quemado, senior: “A post who can play inside or outside”

Addy Offutt, Animas High School, senior: “Aggressive defensively and outworks everyone on the court”, “can shoot from the outside or take you off the dribble”, “Hard to stop everywhere on the floor”

Isabelle Sena, Melrose High School, senior: “Experienced point guard and glue for that group”



Kenyon Aguino, Volcano Vista, sophomore: “Can play inside or out with his length and soft touch”

Sean Alter, Volcano Vista, senior: Experienced 6’9” post player that is “difficult to defend”

Jalin Holland, Los Lunas High School, sophomore: “Can score in a variety of ways with excellent ball-handling skills”

Andrew Hill, Sandia High School, senior: 6’2” guard “with good ball-handling skills, capable of putting up a big number”

Brandon Kehres, Organ Mountain High School, junior: 6’5” forward who “is the top player in District 3 and can get his points in a variety of ways”

Michael Mackey, Hobbs High School, senior: “Three-year starter scored 51 points earlier this season against Clovis”, “The Eagles go as he goes”


Alex Alfaro, Deming High School, senior: 6’1” captain, “he’s our district MVP”

Alexis Dominguez, Highland High School, senior: “An experienced guard with very high basketball IQ”, “He gets his shot off quickly and knows when to make the right pass”

Shane Douma-Sanchez, Del Norte High School, senior: “Can score from everywhere on the court and is a great passer, so he is very hard to game plan”, the state’s leading scorer (also one of the state’s best in assists) who put up 60 points in a game earlier this season.  He is also the school’s all-time leading scorer.

Daemon Ely, Taos High School, senior: 6’8” post player who is “one of the top scorers in the north”

Kellan Gehres, Albuquerque Academy, senior: “All-around athlete with good shooting range”, has scored over 1,000 points in his career.

Satchel Hogue, Kirtland Central High School, senior: 6-foot guard “with range and skill”

Joe Jack, Albuquerque Academy, junior: “At 6’3” he’s a matchup nightmare in 4A”

Brian Kalb, St. Pius X School, senior: A 6’3” post player who “can score at every spot on the floor and knows how to make his teammates better”

Derek Sanchez, Pojoaque Valley, senior: 6’1” senior averaging almost 25 points a game and “tough to defend”

Nick Sanchez, Artesia High School, senior: 3rd year point guard with over 1,00 career points, “can really score and set the pace for the Bulldogs”

Jett Wyckoff, Hope Christian School, senior: A 6’3” forward who “can score at every spot on the floor”, reached the 1,000-point mark for his career


Cooper Hautau, Bosque School, junior: Averaging over 19 points a game for the Bobcats, “guard with range”

Adam Montoya, St. Michael’s High School, senior: “Returning leader for the Horsemen”

Kyle Morris, Bosque School, junior: Has over 1,000 career points with another season left to play, “consistent scorer for the Bobcats”

Jude Thomas, Navajo Prep School, junior: 6’ guard who leads the upstart Eagles with over 17 points a game, “a key part of a three-headed monster at Navajo Prep”


Jahvon Askew, Texico High School, senior: A 6’2” guard who “can play above the rim making him a dynamic rebounder and scorer”

Julian Bernadino, ATC, junior: “Athletic and, at 6’3”, is a tough matchup”

Marky Chavez, Santa Rosa High School, senior: “Lefty slasher with a smooth jump shot”

Andres Madrid, Santa Rosa High School, senior: 3-year starter who “plays inside and outside and can beat you at both”

Jodaiah Padilla, Pecos High School, senior: “Good ball handling ability”, “He’s a legitimate scoring threat every time he has the ball”

Rylan Ruf, Clayton High School, senior: “Ability to play interior and perimeter”, “He can score from anywhere on the floor”


Cash Burney, Ft.Sumner/House, junior: “A HUGE presence inside at 6’7”, “Big and strong and not afraid to shoot”

Brock Burns, Logan High School, junior: “Overall athlete could play for anyone at any class”

Michael Cardonita, Melrose High School, junior: “Can get to the rim in a variety of ways and a long,athletic defender”

Orren Floyd, Maxwell High School, senior: “Excellent 3-point shooter who can also get to the basket using either hand”

Steven Masini, Dora High School, senior: A 6’5” post player who averages 25 points and 15 rebounds a game. “Top 5 post player regardless of class”, “one of the best, most athlete, inside players in the state”

Clay Norman, Ft.Sumner/House, senior: “Unlimited range”, “Best 3-point shooter in our class”

Tristan Pierce, Maxwell High School, senior: “Plays up tempo”, “deadly quick release from downtown”

Kael Stephens, Magdalena High School, senior: “Can score both inside and out”, “he’s a matchup problem on both ends”

Kaedan Stoner, Logan High School, junior: “Good shooter”,“Don’t leave him open”

Caleb Sumpter, Des Moines High School, junior: “A versatile scorer who can get to the basket”

Carter Tuene, Clovis Christian High School, senior: Scored over 1,000 points in his career “a pure shooter”

D’Shaun Vinyard, Magdalena High School, senior: “Athletic guard and good rebounder”, “high flyer that can shoot from deep”

Dathan Yeary, Melrose High School, junior: “You want this guy”

User Input