Following three frustrating losses at Moriarty’s Alice King tournament, the Lady Pintos lost 60-47 at home Dec. 17 to the Socorro Lady Warriors—and any one of the four defeats could have been victories.
Moriarty (2-6) came out strong against Socorro. The Lady Pintos did the same at the 47th annual Alice King Invitational Tournament, Dec. 12-14—but an inability to hold on to the basketball foiled the Lady Pintos’ efforts in each of the four matchups.
“Turnover, turnover, turnover, turnover,” Moriarty’s first-year head coach Erin Edwards said, pinpointing the reason for the losses.
Against Socorro, the Lady Pintos took the opening tipoff and freshman Aneesa Chavez promptly nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner.
“I’m always nervous at the beginning, but at that moment when I shot that three, I knew it was going in and I was very confident at that time,” Chavez said.
Socorro tied the game at 3-3, but another Chavez 3-pointer fueled a 9-0 Moriarty run to put the Lady Pintos up 12-3.
Then the Lady Pintos started throwing the ball away and their lead evaporated.
“I think that’s our freak-out moment,” Moriarty senior Kailei Edwards said. “We have a freak-out moment and it’s because we turn the ball over too many times.”
The Lady Warriors took the lead in the second quarter and outscored Moriarty 22-7 in the frame to forge a 35-21 advantage at halftime.
“It’s always in the second quarter,” Chavez said. “We just made dumb turnovers and the turnovers are what kill us the most.”
In the fourth quarter, Moriarty pulled within 5 points after Chavez and Payton Edwards hit back-to-back 3s, followed by a trio of Chavez free throws—two on a technical foul by Socorro—to trim Socorro’s lead to 49-44 with 2:51 remaining in the game.
But Socorro used an 11-0 run to seal it.
Kailei Edwards’ 3 with :21 left was Moriarty’s final basket.
Chavez led the Lady Pintos with 16 points, Hannah Beukelman scored 10, Payton Edwards added 8, and Kailei Edwards chipped in 7.
As they did against Socorro, the Lady Pintos kept the score close in the early goings of all three games during the Alice King tournament but lost 36-27 to Aztec in the opener, 42-31 to Del Norte the next day, and 62-49 to the West Las Vegas Lady Dons in the finale.
The Lady Pintos hit 60 percent of their first-quarter shots against West Las Vegas, including a trio of 3-pointers by Kailei Edwards and one by Tristen Sauter to go up 19-9 at the end of the stanza.
But the Lady Dons, who played very physical and were slapped with two technical fouls, outscored Moriarty 21-10 in the second quarter and never looked back.
Beukelman paced the Lady Pintos with 12 points; Kailei Edwards added 11.
“It was a very physical game and I wanted to be physical back and I think it worked,” Beukelman said.
In the first half against the Del Norte Lady Knights—who Moriarty beat on Dec. 3—the Lady Pintos squandered a couple of leads but only trailed 20-19 at halftime.
A 3-point shot by Chavez at the start of the third quarter pushed the Lady Pintos ahead 22-20, but Del Norte led 29-27 at the end of the quarter.
The Lady Knights outscored Moriarty 13-4 in the fourth quarter.
“There was no energy and they were just rushing instead of running our offense,” Coach Edwards said.
Payton Edwards led the Lady Pintos with 11 points. Chavez chipped in 8.
Coach Edwards said her players need to fix the mistakes, but “some of them are young so they’re going to make those mistakes,” adding, “We have moments, that’s the nice thing, they just have to put all those good moments together and make it a full game instead of just two quarters.”
The Lady Pintos play Dec. 20 at Hope Christian in Albuquerque.
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.