Moriarty High School’s girls basketball team scored 5 unanswered points in the final 11 seconds of last Friday’s game against the visiting Portales Lady Rams, but the home team needed a few more ticks on the clock as the Lady Pintos lost 63-58.

We started digging out of the hole, we just ran out of time,” Moriarty head coach Joe Bailey said.

In their first meeting of the season against their new District 4-4A foes, the Pintos (13-4, 0-1) came out strong, hitting seven of its first 10 shots, while the Rams (11-6, 1-0) were nearly as efficient with their shooting.

The result was a back-and-forth battle that saw 12 lead changes in the game’s first 12 minutes.

Late in the second quarter, Moriarty carved out a 9-0 run—7 of those points from free throws—to surge ahead of the Lady Rams 31-23.

The home team maintained a 5-point advantage at halftime.

Moriarty's Alyssa Adams launching a jump shot during last Friday's game against Portales. Photo by G. Demarest.

Moriarty’s Alyssa Adams launching a jump shot during last Friday’s game against Portales. Photo by G. Demarest.

Early in the second half, Emily Gonzales’ 3-point basket—her only field goal of the game—staked Moriarty to a 35-28 lead.

But with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Lady Rams launched a 16-2 run that lasted into the start of the fourth quarter.

The Lady Pintos played catchup the rest of the way.

I think in the first half whenever they scored we fought back,” said Moriarty’s Alyssa Adams, who scored a game-high 28 points. “We were doing so good in the beginning that I guess we just got too excited.”

The Lady Rams extended their lead to 13 points with 3:45 remaining in the game.

Moriarty mounted an attempted comeback, outscoring Portales 15-7 in the game’s waning minutes, but it turned out to be too little, too late.

Bailey said one of the reasons for the loss was a lack of defensive rebounding that led to second-chance points for Portales.

How many easy shots did they get because we didn’t rebound well? That’s the bulk of it,” Bailey said, adding, “But I was real happy that we didn’t stop fighting, we’ve just got to get better.”

Moriarty played at district-rival Hope Christian on Tuesday after The Independent went to print.