Moriarty boys basketball holds on for first home victory of the season

Moriarty Coach Marcus Ortiz firing up his players in the second half of the Pintos' win over Socorro. Photo by G. Demarest.

Tyler Ortiz scored a team-high 10 points and topped it off with a last-second, ball-hawk catch to help the Moriarty High School boys basketball team secure its first home victory of the season—a 41-40 nail-biter Dec. 18 over the visiting Socorro Warriors.

“It was a big win for us,” Moriarty’s head coach Marcus Ortiz said.

In the game’s final seconds, the Warriors missed a shot that would have given them the lead and Pintos post Caleb Flaming grabbed the rebound.

Coach Ortiz immediately called a timeout with :01.1 left on the clock.

“I said [to the players], ‘Look, let’s stack it up, and Tyler you fly, all we’ve gotta do is bring the ball in—throw it down court,’” Marcus Ortiz said.

Flaming inbounded a long pass to Tyler Ortiz who caught the ball just inside Moriarty’s free throw line and cradled it as the buzzer sounded.

“Tyler did a great job of jumping up high, he looked like a wide receiver in football,” coach Ortiz said.

The teams traded leads early in the game before the Pintos forged ahead 24-19 at halftime.

Ortiz’ jumper at the start of the third quarter gave Moriarty a 7-point advantage—its biggest lead of the game.

But Socorro used several second-half 3-pointers to stay within striking distance.

Hunter Coey’s layup at the end of the third quarter put Moriarty up 35-29. He chipped in 9 points for the Pintos.

Socorro responded with a trey at the start of the fourth to trim the score to 35-32.

After Tyler Ortiz’ layup gave the Pintos a 41-37 lead with 1:15 remaining, the Warriors drained their final 3-ball with just under a minute left to pull within 1 point.

“We just couldn’t put away the game,” coach Ortiz said.

Following a timeout with under 30 seconds to go, the Pintos had possession of the ball but couldn’t find any open players to inbound it to and they turned the ball over on a 5-second violation.

That gave Socorro one last chance to score but the Warriors came up short.

“This was a great game for us—a win’s a win, by 1 or by 30 you know, the W counts,” coach Ortiz said, adding, “These guys continue to show up every day and fight hard, and we’re getting better everyday.”

With the win, Moriarty’s record improved to 2-4. The Pintos’ next game is Dec. 21 at Lovington.