West Las Vegas hands Socorro second straight loss

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The Lady Warriors basketball team played host to West Las Vegas on Dec. 11, and the Lady Dons walked away with a convincing 47-27 win over Socorro.

The visiting Dons outscored the Lady Warriors 28-5 in the second and third quarters combined, utilizing their size and strength to frustrate Socorro.

The Lady Warriors are now 2-2 on the season, while West Las Vegas improved to 5-0.

“They just physically beat us up,” Socorro head coach Marleen Greenwood said. “They were a much bigger physical team than us. I think the girls were frustrated that we weren’t able to follow our game plan and show up and have a better game than we did.”

Socorro kept it interesting in the first quarter, using their full-court press to force the Lady Dons into turnovers and playing solid transition defense. After one period the Lady Warriors were behind just 13-10. But the size and athleticism of West Las Vegas eventually wore the Lady Warriors down.

Deanna Bustos converted a three-point play with 3 minutes and 30 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Lady Dons a 20-12 lead, then stole the ball and hit a fast-break layup with 15 seconds left in the half to extend their lead to 23-14.

Being behind on the scoreboard hasn’t been a big deal for Socorro this season though, as it had previously come back from halftime deficits twice this season, once beating Belen and the next time almost beating Pojoaque Valley.

But West Las Vegas would have none of that on Tuesday night. The Lady Dons went on an 8-2 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter to extend their lead to 31-16. West Las Vegas outscored Socorro 18-1 in the third, and behind 41-15 heading into the fourth, another Lady Warriors comeback was looking unlikely.

The Lady Dons went into cruise control in the final quarter to put the game away and remain undefeated this season.

Jeriana Contreras led Socorro with seven points while Dez Armijo and Theresa Chavez each added six points. Michelle Tapia and Bustos both scored 12 for West Las Vegas.

The loss was Socorro’s second consecutive, and it was the first time in the young season it didn’t set itself up with a chance to win in the game’s waning moments.

“They were mad,” Greenwood said. “They just didn’t perform as well. Honestly, offensively we just shut down in the second and the third quarter, so we couldn’t get going.”

While the loss wasn’t necessarily a wake-up call for the Lady Warriors, it does afford them a good learning experience and gives them a gauge of how they’ll have to perform if they want to stay competitive with some of the better teams in the state. The Lady Dons didn’t out hustle Socorro, but they were far more aggressive and physical in the paint.

“We’ve got to get stronger,” Greenwood said. “We can’t make girls bigger, but getting them in the weight room and getting them stronger would be the only way to counter that. This team was particularly more physical than the teams we’ve played in the past.”

And the obvious theme with this year’s team comes in their maturity and experience. It may have been a bad loss, but that doesn’t seem like it will affect them negatively.

“Their mentality, they take a loss personally as an insult. It’s not crying, or oh woe is us,” Greenwood said. “It’s ‘that’s not going to happen again.’ That’s the type of mentality they approach things with.

“It’s only our fourth game of the season. I’ve just got to stay consistent so they know I’m not bailing ship, I’m not changing the plan. This is what we’re going to do, and realize that our per-season hopefully is preparing us for the tournament.”

Socorro will return to the court on Dec. 18 when it will play host to Hatch Valley at 6:30 p.m. The Bears are currently 4-3 on the season.