Socorro boys turn it up a notch vs. Ruidoso
The Socorro High School boys basketball team started the new year out right with a big win at home over Ruidoso on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
After a fast-paced four quarters, Socorro finished the game with a 85-55 victory, improving its record to 5-4.
“A great team effort tonight brought us the win,” said SHS head coach Lawrence Baca.
Although Socorro started out a little slow, ending the first quarter tied with Ruidoso, the host Warriors picked up their game and had a comfortable 41-30 lead at the end of the first half.
“I tell the guys I am curious to see when we play a full 32 minute game,” Baca said. “We had a slow first quarter but the second half was our style, and it showed.”
Ruidoso (4-6) was unable to keep up with the fast pace set by Socorro in the second half. Every player on the Socorro team scored at least once, with Jared Marquez leading the charge with 30 points — his highest output of the season. Michael Contreras had his best game of the season, finishing with 15 points. Though Zach Esquivel added just seven points, Baca said the senior did all the little things right.
Socorro maintained its lead through the third quarter but then exploded for 35 points in the final period to complete the blowout.
Baca said that with the turning of the calendar his players sense that it’s time to step up their game.
“This time of year they know it is time to take it to the next level and work hard,” he said. “We had a great week-and-a-half of practice over break. Hopefully, we will get to move to the second or third round at state. They are working their tails off.”
The coach said that after reviewing game films he thinks that his team had a chance to win every game they’ve lost this season, but they made too many mistakes early on.
“We are capable of playing good basketball,” he said.
Socorro played St. Michael’s (4-1) on Friday, Jan. 7. The Horsemen earned the runner up spot in the state tournament last year, and coach Baca said he knew the Warriors would have to play the whole game and couldn’t afford to start off slow (Results of the St. Michael’s Socorro game not available at El Defensor Chieftain press time).
The Warriors hit the road with a game at Las Vegas Robertson today, a trip to Albuquerque to play Sandia Prep on Tuesday and a return to the Duke City for a tournament hosted by Hope Christian on Jan. 13-15.