Feature photo: Guard Ricky Lujan has led Las Cruces Oñate into the state tournament
For Enchantment Sports
In less than two weeks, we’ll know the best high school basketball teams in New Mexico.
As for the state’s best players, that will still be a debate.
Heading into this week’s state tournament, I’m sure many who followed the season have developed their own 10-top player lists. I picked mine based on the impact they had on the season.
Here’s my top 10:
1. Ricky Lujan, Oñate, 6-0, Sr., G: Ricky brings an all around exciting game from the outside, plus the ability to go down the lane with a dunk.
Ricky is a nightmare for anybody to guard in high school.
2. Deraje Agbaosi, Eldorado, 6-6, Sr., F: Deraje may very well be the most athletic player in New Mexico. He brings a strong athletic frame and loads of potential to be something special.
Deraje plays the post for the Eagles, but we’ll see him as a forward/guard in college. Keep tabs on him.
3. JB White, Santa Fe, 6-6, Jr., F: JB is highly regarded on the national scene. With JB I look for dominance. I haven’t seen that yet.
JB has loads of potential and I’m waiting for him to go up another level.
4. Jude Tapia, Albuquerque High, 5-11, Sr., G: Jude is an all-around player who can get his shot off against anybody.
I almost get the feeling that Jude is bored with high school ball and is ready for college ball. He should be a great guard for some college program.
5. Elijah Davidson, Bosque Prep, 6-4, Sr., G: Elijah is a high-flying guard who can shoot from the outside.
He is one of those players with the right size and skill to make things happen. Western Colorado University got a steal by snatching Davidson.
6. Joziah Ramos, Atrisco Heritage, 5-6, Sr., G: Joziah has a special “it” factor about him that defies conventional wisdom.
He is one of those players that finds a way to make things happen. He is a player that you can’t disregard.
7. Tre Watson, Cleveland, 6-5, Jr., F: Tre is an all-around athlete in football and basketball. It’s just a matter of picking a sport.
If Tre were more consistent from the outside, I would easily put him in my
8. Isaiah Carr, Las Cruces, 6-9, So., C: Isaiah has burst onto the scene this year as an X-factor for the Bulldawgs.
I love how he blocks shot after shot and keeps the ball in play. We will be talking a lot about Isaiah in the next two years.
9. Owen Olney, Magdalena, 6-1, Sr., G: Owen has also roared onto the scene this year, using high-flying dunks and exciting athleticism.
Owen has caught the attention of many following the high school scene and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a big state tournament.
10. Jose Murrillo, Highland, 6-9, So., C: Jose is averaging a double-double with several stat-stuffing games under his belt this season.
The state tournament could be a coming out party for Jose.
Derek Aeilts, La Cueva, 6-5, Sr., G.
Nate Hasberry, Cleveland, 6-1, Jr., G.
Antoine T.J. Sanchez, Capital, 5-11, Sr., G.
Ray Brown, Las Cruces, 6-3, Sr., F.
Eloy Medina, West Mesa, 6-3, Sr., G.
Who are your choices? (See below)
So, is there anyone you think I left off the list, or I ranked too highly?
Let the debate begin — as state begins.
And feel free to let us know at EnchantmentsportsNM@gmail.com.
Russell Gurule was born and raised in Albuquerque and is a long-time resident. He graduated from Highland High and also attended Hope Christian.
Russell is a long-time observer of New Mexico Lobo and high school athletics.
Logistics is his day job. Basketball and politics are his passions. To contact Russell with comments of tips, please email EnchantmentSportsNM@gmail.com