Smiles were plentiful after Moriarty dominated the visiting Los Alamos Lady Hilltoppers on April 29 in the Lady Pintos’ final home game of the season.
But two days after that sizzling victory, the Lady Pintos went up to Taos and ended their season with a 46-36 defeat.
Moriarty head coach Erin Edwards, who navigated the team to its first winning season under her tutelage, said the Lady Pintos did not play to their full potential against Taos.
“It was sad that we couldn’t step up and finish, but we have to come to every game ready to play,” Edwards said, adding that the practice the night before their season-ending loss “was sluggish.”
And that sluggishness carried over into the start of the Taos game as the Lady Pintos fell behind 13-7 in the first quarter. Moriarty dialed it up a notch in the second quarter to pull within 25-21 at halftime. But the Lady Pintos went ice cold in the third quarter, scoring just four points on two Aneesa Chavez baskets.
Chavez and Payton Edwards led the Lady Pintos with 10 points each. Hannah Beukelman added 9.
It was a different story in Moriarty’s April 29 home finale as the Lady Pintos rolled to a 57-31 victory over Los Alamos.
Payton Edwards started the party with a 3-point shot in the game’s opening 30 seconds. Chavez added a 3-pointer a minute later.
“I shot one and it went in, but Aneesa, she was hot the entire first quarter, she was on fire,” Payton Edwards said of Chavez.
Later in the first quarter, Beukelman grabbed an offensive rebound and sank a put-back basket to start a 17-0 surge that carried into the second quarter. During that run, Chavez drained two more 3s.
“It was my birthday on Tuesday and we lost [against Española], and my goal was to get 16 points and I only got 13,” said Chavez, who just turned 16 years old. “But today I got 16 so I was like, all right, I accomplished my goal.”
Edwards hit another 3 with a minute left in the second quarter to put the Lady Pintos ahead 30-16 at halftime.
Chavez sank her fourth 3 of the game during a third-quarter 13-0 spurt.
“It was sick because me and Payton work together so good, that like, if we’re open we pass to each other,” Chavez said. “Whenever she knocks one down I give her support, and when I knock down one she gives me support, so like we just have that special bond together.”
The third quarter ended with a Beukelman putback just before the buzzer to increase the lead to 47-23.
“I was just ready to fight, I mean, I think we were all ready to fight,” Beukelman said. “It was fun, we kinda just calmed down and played our game.”
In the waning moments of the game, Mia Encinias, Moriarty’s only senior, sank a jump shot just before the buzzer for her only points of the game—and her final basket as a Lady Pinto.
“It was pretty sweet, it was either Sophia [Marez] or Payton who got me the ball and it felt pretty good, yeah,” Encinias said, adding, “Like, I’m kinda sad, but I mean, we had a good run, all of us did.”
Payton Edwards led the Lady Pintos with 22 points. Chavez scored 16 points—on the heels of her 16th birthday—and Beukelman pitched in 14.
Following the loss at Taos, coach Edwards said there’s work to be done with her players but there’s nothing that can’t be fixed.
“We just gotta get back at it in the summer, improve our defense and go from there,” coach Edwards said. “I think we had a great season considering we even had a season—and it’s exciting to have most of them back next year.”
The Lady Pintos finished 7-4 overall, 4-4 in District 2-4A.