Photo: Zanen Zeller is of Los Lunas is a threat to post a triple-double in every game. He and the Tigers are in the semifinals of the Class 4A state basketball tournament. (Chris Jackson photo)
By Chris Jackson
For Enchantment Sports
“It was definitely a challenge, especially in the first half,” Zeller said. “It kind of got in my head a little bit. The team definitely helped me out in the second half. We were definitely good to go from there.”
The mental side of the game was where the battle was fought, Julian said, and his squad came out on top there and on the scoreboard.
“I just think that the kids’ toughness showed through,” Julian said. “We talked a lot about being a tougher team. This team has a theme of extending leads in the second half. We do a lot of conditioning and take a lot of pride in staying in shape. I think that’s a big part of it; these guys don’t wear down and they tend to get stronger as the game goes on.”
That mental and physical toughness will be put to the test again as Los Lunas faces No. 12 Del Norte in a semifinal game today (March 14) at 6:30 p.m. LLHS was upset in the semifinals by rival Belen last season, something none of them want to see happen again.
“I think we’re definitely more confident, considering what happened last year, and how much we’ve grown since last year, we’re definitely more confident,” Zeller said.
The main goal for Los Lunas has not changed throughout this season.“We’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done in Los Lunas history, which is win a state championship,” Julian said.