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Artesia High’s Puentes and Martinez having best season ever

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ARTESIA — Gracie Puentes, a senior on the Artesia High Lady Dogs basketball team, admits the first couple of years she was on the squad weren’t great times. This year is a different story as they are tied with Lovington for the District 4-5A lead heading into Friday’s regular season finale against Goddard.

The Lady Rockets are tied with Roswell at 2-3.

“This season has been the best,” said Puentes.

Fellow senior Stacia Martinez has been on varsity for four years, “my freshman year was absolutely awful. As we’ve continued throughout the years, we’ve gotten better and better. This is our strongest year and we definitely have a good chance,” she said.

Puentes is a post player and Martinez is a guard. Tuesday night Artesia defeated Roswell 41-32 at the Bulldog Pit. Both players were tied in scoring with 8 points. For most of the season, Puentes has been Artesia’s leading scorer.

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Both were asked recently to compare this district season with past ones.

“I’m pretty happy,” Puentes said. “I’m content with what we’ve been doing, I think we could have finished (stronger) against Lovington and Goddard. I’m pretty happy because we haven’t won a district game in a long time, so this year is pretty good.”

Martinez added, “I agree, I think we’ve played really hard throughout our district and we have a very competitive district. We’ve been at that level and better these past few weeks.”

Artesia split their season with Lovington, winning 48-33 in Artesia and losing 57-47 last week on the road.

Goddard defeated Artesia 60-40 earlier this month in overtime.

Both Martinez and Puentes want to savor what’s left of this season and like other student-athletes at AHS, both participate in other sports.

Puentes has participated in volleyball and softball, “and this year I’m doing both softball and track.”

Martinez also participates in volleyball and she’s also participating in track and field and softball.

What are their plans after college?

“I want to attend NMSU (New Mexico State University) and go into kinesiology for pre-physical therapy,” Puentes said.

Martinez also wants to attend NMSU and major in pre-dental.

Friday’s game against Goddard tip’s off at 5:30 p.m. and the boys will play at 7 p.m. Both will be played at the Bulldog Pit.