The Fightin’ Bucks will sprint to the finish of the basketball season with three games in six nights. A battle with first place Crane on Wednesday will be followed by Anthony on Valentine’s Day and Tornillo on Tuesday, Feb. 18. All three games are at home, and three victories would ensure that Alpine finishes second in the District for the third year in a row. Crane has already clinched a tie for its fourth straight District title.
When Crane left town on Wednesday, it marked the end of an era on the hardcourt. Over the last 20 years, the Fightin’ Bucks and Golden Cranes have shared the same basketball District, but that changes next year when Crane gets grouped with Reagan County and Sonora, among others. The rest of the Bucks’ current District will remain intact.
Alpine last beat Crane back in 2018 on an exciting night in the Buck Dome. The upset victory allowed the Bucks to finish in a tie with the Cranes for the District title, and both teams got a trophy. Although Crane clinched the number one spot with a victory in a tiebreaker game later, Alpine could still claim its first District championship in 28 years.
On Feb. 7 Alpine traveled to Presidio to play the last place Blue Devils. Presidio played an inspired first half, and led 32-23 at the break. That’s when the Bucks exploded for 34 points in the third quarter. Seven different players got buckets, including Isaiah Nuñez who scored 10 in the third.
Nuñez has emerged as the leading scorer for this year’s squad, although several players have routinely reached double-digits this year.
Alpine won 67-51 on Friday. Brady Crump led all scorers with 17, while Nuñez had 14 points. Sophomore Jayden Canaba scored 10.