Moriarty High School’s boys basketball season ended Feb. 25 with a 64-53 loss at Los Alamos.
The defeat—Moriarty’s eighth-straight in what has been a challenging campaign for first-year head coach Marcus Ortiz—came four days after the Pintos dropped their final home game to the Pojoaque Valley Elks, 53-44.
In that matchup, the Pintos trailed Pojoaque throughout most of the first quarter until Reyes Chavez’ 3-point basket pulled the Pintos within a point.
Midway through the second quarter, Tyler Ortiz’ put-back tapper off an offensive rebound, followed by Caleb Flaming’s free throw, lifted Moriarty to a 21-18 lead.
Pojoaque tied the game 22-22 at halftime.
Another Chavez trey gave the Pintos a 1-point lead early in the third quarter, but the Elks took a 27-25 advantage near the end of the stanza and never trailed again.
“I thought we controlled the game up till the third quarter,” coach Ortiz said.
Moriarty’s Michael Pisz nailed a 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter to cut Pojoaque’s lead to 36-32.
Pisz led the Pintos with 11 points. Chavez and Tyler Ortiz both scored 10 points, and Flaming chipped in 9.
“This game came down to turning the ball over at critical times, missed shots, and free throws—we didn’t make them, and they made theirs,” coach Ortiz said.
Moriarty finished 3-23 overall and 1-7 in district.
When asked about where the Pintos go from here, coach Ortiz said, “There’s an old saying, ‘You can’t win games in the offseason but you can lose them,’ and we’ve gotta have a good offseason going into next year.”
Ortiz said he’s planning on returning as the Pintos’ skipper, adding, “Seasons like this get me hungry for the next year.”