ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (KTSM) – No. 1 Cleveland knocked off defending state champion, No. 3 Las Cruces 55-49 in the Class 5A State Championship on Saturday night.
In a back-and-forth game throughout, the Storm made enough plays and got enough stops in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Tre Watson III and Nathan Hasberry scored 17 points apiece for Cleveland in the win. It is the Storm’s first state title.
The Bulldawgs’ junior duo of Deuce Benjamin and Isaiah Carr was again solid for Cruces in defeat. Benjamin scored a game-high 21 points, and Carr added 17 of his own.
Las Cruces closes the truncated 2021 season at 14-1, the same record as the state champion Storm. With their two best players, plus other key contributors returning in 2021-22, the Bulldawgs should be a state title favorite again next year.