Warriors suffer setback

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A solid three-game win streak for the Warriors came to a halt Friday night in Socorro as the visiting Silver Colts handed the Warriors a 63-40 District 3-3A loss.

Socorro fell to 7-14 overall and 1-1 in league play, while eighth-ranked Silver improved to 15-6 and 2-0 in district.

The Warriors, who had been on a roll since a Jan. 19 win over Hatch Valley, hung with the Colts early, but a cold-shooting evening doomed the home team to an irreversible 31-16 halftime deficit.

Matthew Jojola scored nine points for Socorro, and Adam Paz and Ethan Smith scored seven and six points, respectively.

Derek Salas had 15 for Silver and Michael Arsola added 14.

A win for Socorro would have put them in the league’s driver seat, and while the moment didn’t seem too big for them, their lack of consistent scoring still hurt.

“We had nobody in double figures and that’s not like us,” Warriors head coach Lawrence Baca said.

“It’s just unfortunate we had a bad night. Silver is a good team.”

Another factor involved may have been Socorro’s all-around lack of league experience.

“There’s a lot of pressure because it’s a big game,” Baca said. “They knew it was going to be tough coming into the game. Our weakness all year has been handling the pressure, and it showed again tonight. We knew they were going to come in and play physical.”

The Colts were ahead just 15-9 after the first quarter, but Salas scored an old fashioned three-point play with 4 minutes and 23 seconds left in the second to give SHS a commanding 27-12 lead.

The Colts went on a 12-6 run and opened up a 42-22 lead with 3 minutes left in the third, then scored consistently in the game’s final 11 minutes en route to the win.

The loss might be somewhat of a setback for Lawrence and his squad, but the season is far from over. The Warriors still have a home game against district foe Hot Springs on Feb. 19 before they make the trip to Silver City for a rematch with the Colts on Feb. 22.

“The kids understand that every game from here on out is big for us, so we don’t have time to get down on ourselves,” Baca said. “In order to make the state tournament, we’re going to have to win some games down the stretch.

“We have to play every game like it’s our last game. We win or we’re out. We battled. We’ll get ready for the next game.”

Socorro will play host to the Belen Eagles for a rematch on Feb. 16. Tip-off is slated for 12 p.m.