University of New Mexico women’s basketball already has two New Mexicans on its roster. Starting next year, it will feature two more locals.
And perhaps in the fall of 2025, it may also contain Bella Hines.
El Dorado’s outstanding 5-foot-9 combo guard has already been awarded a scholarship by Lubos coach Mike Bradbury.
Haynes said Bradbury extended the offer in a phone conversation last week.
“It was a big surprise,” Hines, 15, said, “UNM is my hometown school, and I was excited and very happy when it was offered to me.”
Hines only played seven games for the Eagles, but has already made a mark, averaging 24 points per game for the burning buff.
UNM was actually Haines’ second official show; J.R. Giddens, a Northern New Mexico college coach, pitched Heinz’s show when she was in the eighth grade at Hoover Prep.
It is already talking with Nebraska and the state of Arizona, and Hines said she would send a film to LSU.
“I think all the attention is great,” she said, “but I will remain humble, because humility is where I am today.”
Haynes is a former teammate of Natalia Chavez and Jaylene Bates of Vulcano Vista. This Hawks duo signed with Lobos earlier this year. UNM’s current roster includes Sandia High School alumnus Vianney Comber and former Roswell High School major Jaedyn De La Cerda.
Haynes said she was on the phone with Lobo assistant Simon Denham last week when Bradbury was added to the call.
“(He said) I’d be a wonderfully compatible with their program,” Hines said. “They like my attitude and my personality.”
The Eagles will be on the floor Tuesday night at home against Highland, then go until the Albuquerque Metro Championships begin on January 4.
“I’ll be completely honest. I don’t think she’s scratched the surface yet,” Eldorado coach Leroy Barilla said of Heinz. “She’s probably one of the best players I’ve seen playing this game, male or female. She is a very talented basketball player.”
Speaking of Frosh: Hines may be one of the best freshmen in Albuquerque, but she’s far from a sparkling ninth-grader.
Sandia has three – Audrey Wright, Hope Giddings and Sydney Biennale – who have already made a huge impact for Matador (6-1).
5-9 Wright averages 7.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists for Sandia. Giddings averages 5-8 points, 11.2 points, and 5.8 rebounds. Benali, goalkeeper 5-9, leads El Matador in scoring, averaging 14 points per game, and also represents, on average, 5 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
This trio was part of one of the biggest comeback wins of the season – truly amazing – last Friday night at Albuquerque High. The Bulldogs had a 22-point lead in the first half (37-15), but Sandia came back to win 49-47.
“It’s definitely not like anything I’ve seen before,” Sandia coach Kettig told me. “It was incredible.”
These three newcomers collected 43 out of 49 points for Matador. Benali finished with 17 points, Wright 14, and Giddings 12.
metro arch: Metro Championship arcs outside. Volcano Vista and La Cueva were ranked 1-2 in both genders in the January 4-8 event.
The Boys’ first-round matches in the top half of the draw are: No. 1 Vulcano Vista against No. 16 Rio Grande, No. 8 Rio Rancho against No. 9 El Dorado, No. 5 Highland against No. 12 Cipola and No. 4. Cleveland against No. 13 Hope Christian.
In the bottom half, No. 3 Atrisco Heritage against No. 14 Manzano, No. 6 Sandia against No. 11 Del Norte, No. 7 Valley against No. 10 West Mesa, and No. 2 seeded bear against No. 15. Albuquerque is high.
On the girls’ side, the top-ranked Falcons open with the Rio Grande. Also in the first inning, she finished eighth in Rio Rancho against No. 9 Hop, No. 5 in Albuquerque High’s No. 12 meet, No. 4 Valley and Cleveland against No. 13 Del Norte.
In the bottom half, seed No. 3 Sandia plays No. 14 Cibola, No. 6 Highland meets No. 11 West Mesa, No. 10 El Dorado meets No. 10 Atresco Heritage, and No. 2 La Cueva meets No. 15 Manzano.
The quarterfinals are January 5, the semifinals are January 7 (girls in Volcano Vista, boys are in West Mesa) and championship games are on Saturday, January 8, in West Mesa, with the boys at 4 p.m., followed by the girls’ final at 6 p.m.
This and that: Magdalena’s top guard, Jörn Mirabal, announced on Twitter Saturday that he had received his first college offer from eastern New Mexico. The Steers guard averaged 6-2 (9-0) close to 30 points in the pre-tournament game last weekend in Texico. … The Bosque School boys started 6-1, and Saturday’s Bobcats won the Ben Lujan White Bracket in Pojoaque with a 66-64 victory over Mesa Vista.
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