Hell or high water might have been more conquerable.
It didn’t take the Socorro High boys basketball team more than four and a half minutes to seize control of Tuesday’s District 3-3A pillow fight on the way to a 64-17 win over visiting Cobre.
The visitors had about as much of a chance as a blindfolded prisoner put in front of a firing squad. Socorro unleashed some of its pent-up anger after falling to Silver by five points in a pivotal district skirmish that gave the Fighting Colts a decisive leg up in the standings.
And the Indians paid dearly for it.
“And we still got a lot of aggression to be taking out,” head coach Lawrence Baca said.
The Warriors, in the middle of the Candy Land tour, visited struggling Hatch Valley on Friday. Results were unavailable at El Defensor Chieftain press time. They routed the Bears 78-40 in the teams’ first meeting.
By the 4:41 first-quarter mark Tuesday, Socorro had built a 15-0 lead. The Indians’ first 10 possessions weren’t just unproductive; they were counterproductive, aiding the Warriors’ cause.
Socorro held a 30-3 advantage after eight minutes. Charles Contreras swished two 3-pointers in the half, while Cobre couldn’t hit point-blank shots.
Cobre committed six turnovers, had a shot blocked, clanked two mid-range jumpers and wasted a pair of free-throw attempts before Christopher Molina’s over-the-rainbow 3-pointer mercifully banked in with 3 minutes, 54 seconds to go in the first quarter.
After that, the Indians managed just two more field goals, as Socorro held an opponent under double digits in the opening half for the first time this season.
The personification of the Indians’ woes was captured when Xavier Ceasar missed a uncontested finger-roll in transition.
“I don’t really like to play against teams like that,” said sophomore guard Zeb Esquivel, who tallied 10 points. “I rather have competition.”
Zeb, there was.
The Warriors played themselves in the second half, but the bench couldn’t outproduce the starters, as SHS put up 25 points in the closing half.
The starters sat comfortably for most of the final 16 minutes and played no more than two and a half quarters total.
It got so bad that, out of a timeout, Cobre sent only four players back into the game and played one defensive possession without five guys on the court. It reinserted its fifth man on the next dead ball.
Ibrahim Maiga finished with 13 points to lead all scorers. Ray Vaiza came off the bench to score eight points. Cobre didn’t have anyone in double figures, with high man Kevin Maynes checking in at six points.
Essentially, Baca said Tuesday’s game was a primer to patch up some of the Warriors’ deficiencies.
“If we fix the little things, we got a chance to beat anyone,” he said. “That’s our goal, and I think we’re on the right path.”
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