A barrage of early baskets helped the Manzano boys cruise to a 64-38 win over visiting Moriarty in the Nov. 24 basketball season opener for both teams.

“I think we did what we were supposed to do,” said Manzano head coach Eric Orell.

Orell said he’s been preaching a team-first philosophy to his players “and tonight it was all team.”

The Class 6A Monarchs started the game with a 7-0 run and were sitting on a 15-point cushion at halftime. They extended the lead to 20 in the third period.

Eric Sonnenberg led Manzano with 13.

Conversely, the Pintos were scoreless for more than 4 minutes before a free throw by Cody Pisz got Moriarty on the board. It took nearly 6 minutes before Micah Reese hit Moriarty’s first and only field goal of the first stanza.

The Pintos shot a meager 18 percent during the first half. “They came out on fire, and we dug ourselves a hole,” said Moriarty head coach Mike Trujillo.

Moriarty’s offense warmed up a little in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Pisz led the way for the Pintos with 13 points.

“I’m not totally displeased with the things we did,” Trujillo said.

The Pintos were missing a couple of players who also play football—including their 6-foot-6 post Jake Flaming.

“When you open without your full squad against a quality 6A team with that kind of quickness it can be rough,” Trujillo said. “Once we get everybody back I think we’re going to be fine.”

The Pintos hosted Los Alamos on Tuesday while the Monarchs played at Albuquerque Academy. Both games concluded after The Independent went to print.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]