“Our destiny is in our control”

 In General News, Press Releases

Early this season, the Sandia Matadors have established themselves as one of the top teams in girls basketball this season. “I firmly believe I have the deepest team in the state,” said head coach Lee Kettig.  “Many of our girls, at different levels, will go on to play in college.  To be able to say that about a team is a massive advantage.”

The Matadors already pounded perennial power Volcano Vista by 29 points with a downpour of three-point shots. “We have kids that can drive to the basket and if you don’t respect it, they will take you one-on-one,” said Kettig.  “If you do respect it and help, we’re going to take that shot behind ‘em.  I don’t sub people out for missing shots, I might sub you out for not taking a shot.”

Sandia is a veteran team with a core junior and senior group, many of whom played every varsity game for the past two years, including standout Sydney Benally. “Being a point guard, I know I have to lead, and I’ve grown over the years,” said Benally.  “I want to be a pass first point guard and mainly build up my team and not be so individual.  To get far, it’s going to take a team being all together.”

“Syd’s a good captain and it’s good to be led by her,” said senior Olivia Montano.  “She’s always making sure we’re doing the right thing and keeping us on track, staying positive, calling the right play and making the right decisions for us and doing what’s best for all of us as a team.”

Benally has received scholarship offers from schools like New Mexico, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, SMU, and San Diego State, just to name a few.  She is versatile and can play any position, but her coach says what makes her most valuable is her will to win. “When she was a freshman, and we were up in Farmington, we were on the verge of getting ourselves routed and she just wasn’t going to have it,” recalled Kettig.  “We weren’t going to win the game, but she wasn’t going to have it.  We were going to continue to compete.  The thing I appreciate about her is it’s about trying to figure out how to win the game.”

The Matadors lost in the state quarterfinals last season, but plan to make a deep run this postseason. “We’re just looking to win, we’re a very determined team, hardworking team, and we’re well put together,” said Montano.  “We have our goals set and we’re chasing that blue, and we’re going to get it.”

“I believe our fate, our destiny, is in our control,” explained Kettig.  “If we’re working every day and improving in ourselves, then the sky is the limit.”

“We know it’s going to be a battle to the Pit, but we’re going to make it there,” added Montano.

Sandia last won it all in 2017.

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