Despite falling 53-38 at Portales last Saturday in the district finale, Moriarty High’s girls basketball team earned the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Class 4A state tournament.

Moriarty’s loss at Portales came the day after the Lady Pintos (24-4, 5-3) defeated the Hope Christian Lady Huskies 52-39 in the district semifinal at home.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Lady Pintos put together a 7-point lead in the second quarter and led the rest of the way.

Moriarty’s Stephanie Ordoñez, left, and Brooke Burch sandwiching a Hope Christian player. Photo by G. Demarest.

The Lady Huskies pulled within 2 points midway through the third quarter before Kailei Edwards’ 3-pointer capped a 10-3 run to put the Lady Pintos up by 8 points.

Hope kept the game close by trimming the gap to 4 points with four minutes remaining in the game.

“Hope’s a good program—they’ve been in the finals four straight years—they didn’t go away,” Moriarty head coach Joe Bailey said.

Alyssa Adams’ 3-pointer with three minutes remaining and Emerald Russell’s uncontested coast-to-coast layup with :59 left in the game sealed it for the home team.

Adams scored a team-high 19 and Russell added 9.

The Lady Pintos will host No. 14 Hatch Valley in the state tournament opening round Friday at 6 p.m.