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The Las Cruces High School boys basketball team’s dream of a second straight state championship ended just one step short of fruition.
The Bulldawgs lost 55-49 to Cleveland High of Rio Rancho in the Class 5A New Mexico State Championship Game on Saturday night at The Pit at the University of New Mexico.
Las Cruces hadn’t lost a game since February 2020.
Las Cruces beat Roswell 68-64 Thursday night in Roswell in a Class 5A semifinal . The Bulldawgs had trailed at halftime and going into the fourth quarter before rallying for the comeback win.
Las Cruces also beat Los Lunas 46-38 in the opening round of the playoffs on May 4.
In the girls 5A playoffs, Centennial lost to Eldorado 47-44 in the opening round on May 4. In boys 1A, Mesilla Valley Christian lost to Fort Sumner/House 50-20 in the first round on May 3.
In girls 3A action, Hatch Valley beat Sandia Prep 47-24 in the opening round on May 3 but lost to top-seeded and eventual state champion Navajo Prep 53-29 on May 5 in the semifinals. Navajo Prep beat Robertson 63-47 in the girls 3A title game on Friday.