Moriarty’s Payton Edwards didn’t want to lose on her birthday. Her sister, Kailei Edwards, said the team was determined to prove it was better than its winless home record indicated.

Together, the sisters combined for 39 points and the Lady Pintos hit 11 3-point shots in their 51-45 victory Feb. 7 over the visiting Los Alamos Lady Hilltoppers.

The victory was the Lady Pintos’ first at home this season—snapping a six-game skid on their own court—and their first district win.

“Our home games, we haven’t played very good as a team,” senior Kailei Edwards said. “So, I think that we just came together and were like, we wanna show everyone that we’re way better than what we’ve been showing people.”

The Lady Pintos had trouble finding their footing early in the contest and Los Alamos used a 7-0 run to take the lead.

Payton Edwards—celebrating her 16th birthday—buried a pair of 3-pointers and Kailie Edwards added a 3 near the end of the first quarter to stay within striking distance at 14-10.

In the second quarter, Payton hit another 3 and Kailei buried three more 3s to give Moriarty its first lead of the game at 25-24 with just over a minute before intermission.

Kailei Edwards trying to get a shot past a pair of Lady Hilltoppers in the first quarter of the Pintos’ win over Los Alamos Feb. 7. Photo by Ger Demarest.

But Los Alamos pushed ahead 30-26 at halftime.

Tristen Sauter opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and Aneesa Chavez hit a 3 followed by a layup to give Moriarty a 34-30 advantage.

Midway through the third, Los Alamos rallied to tie the game at 34-34.

A minute later, Payton Edwards nailed her fourth 3 to give the Lady Pintos the lead for good.

Kailei Edwards hit her fifth 3 to extend Moriarty’s lead to 40-36 at the end of the third.

“I was like, ‘We can not lose on my birthday!’” Payton Edwards said. “Even before the game, I felt like this was our game, this is where we’re gonna show that we can win.”

Kailei Edwards finished with a game-high 20 points and Payton Edwards scored 19. Chavez added 7 points, and Sauter chipped in 5.

Los Alamos cut Moriarty’s margin to 2 points with less than a minute left in the game, but the Lady Pintos used their defense and a flurry of free throws to seal the victory.

“I just told them to go out and have fun,” Moriarty head coach Erin Edwards said. “I told them to run our offense and play defense—and the threes were working for us tonight.”

Moriarty (8-12, 1-4) hosts Española Valley (14-9, 4-1) Feb. 13.

Ger Demarest
Ger Demarest

Ger has been writing and shooting photos of high school sports for The Independent for 15 years. His dedication to youth athletics goes beyond sports reporting. He is past president of East Mountain Little League and works as a baseball umpire. He lives in Edgewood with his family.