On Stands Now
February 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

northern new mexico news boy
Access Back Issues of
Print Editions Here

Questa Wildcat’s Season Recap

The Questa Wildcats Boys basketball team entered the final week of the regular season with a tough road matchup in Espanola, to take on the McCurdy Bobcats. With just two games left on the regular-season schedule, and the district tourney beginning the following week, the Wildcats had a chance to continue developing their young talent, as well as a chance to let their Seniors finish their high school playing careers off on a strong note.

For a team in a rebuild under first year Head Coach Mike Rael, the attitudes have remained positive in a season where wins have been hard to come by. “Yeah, (we) finally came around – played well for 3 out of 4 quarters. Attitudes have been good…Happy down the stretch, I think we have finally got our culture turned around,” Coach Rael said.

Despite their 3-20 record beginning the week, there has been a noticeable improvement in certain aspects of the team and moments that stood out to reflect the progression. Two of the Wildcats’ wins this season came over former district opponent, the Coronado Leopards, who had a record of 7-14 coming into the week. Questa’s other win came at the Dual Cities Tourney in Santa Rosa over a good Monte Del Sol Charter school.

By comparison to the last few seasons, the Wildcats have won two more games than last year; not to mention, the Wildcats are also playing in one of the best districts in New Mexico Class 2A this season, with District 5 having four teams likely to make the state playoffs this season, which is the most from any 2A district in the state.

Senior Antonio Romeo has led the Wildcats all season, as a consistent scorer and defensive presence. Romero also crossed the one-thousand point mark for his high school playing career this season. Martin Rivera and Nathaniel Rael have also played well in moments for the Wildcats in their Senior seasons.
Wildcats fans should be looking forward to next season. Freshman Point Guard Covo Cardenas has stood out as one of the young players that is likely to make an impact in the coming seasons. Guard Carlos Ortega will be entering his Senior season. Ortega has made plays this season. The Wildcats also have a group of underclassmen who look like players that could develop into important parts of this rebuild.

The Wildcats played one of their best games of the season in their final home game of the season, with a chance to get Penasco without their starting Point Guard, Angel Romero. Questa took advantage of the opportunity, leading 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.

The Wildcats continued playing well in the second quarter, even extending their lead to double-digits at one point, 24-14 before the Panthers tied it at the half. The Panthers jumped out early in the third, scoring the first seven points of the quarter. The Wildcats kept the lead to four points, by the end of the third, with the score, 43-39. Penasco pulled away late, extending their lead to 18 points by the end of the game.
In their final games on the court of the Mini-Pit, Senior Nathaniel Rael led the Wildcats in scoring with 11 points, and Senior Antonio Romero scored 9 points on the night. Freshman Covo Cardenas added 8 points for the Wildcats.

With the win, the Penasco Panthers improved to 7-18 on the season and 2-8 in district play. Solid win to close out the regular season for the Panthers, while missing one of their starters.

Questa might have played one of their most complete three quarters of the season, before the Panthers pulled away in the fourth. The Wildcats fell to 3-22 overall and 0-10 in the district on the season.
The Wildcats’ next game was the opening round of the 2A District 5 Tournament. Questa went on the road to take on the Mora Rangers. A loss in this game would end the Wildcats’ season.

For more coverage of 2A District 5 and other Class 2A teams, as well as teams from around the state of New Mexico throughout the season, including recaps and game highlights, please visit cwmartinsports.blogspot.com and youtube.com/CWMartinSports.

All footage and photos come courtesy of Hudl.com and nfhsnetwork.com.