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.
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.
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.