Lady Warriors enjoy Pit game despite loss

........................................................................................................................................................................................

The Lady Warriors woke up Tuesday morning both pumped up and a little nervous about playing in the University of New Mexico’s Pit. This was the first scheduled game of the 3A girls quarter finals against the No. 1 ranked Hope Christian High School.

Dezirae Armijo secured the jumped ball tapped by Hope’s Longmire, which should have resulted in a foul as a Hope player towered over Armijo hoping to take the ball, but the call didn’t come. Instead, Armijo drove the ball down court to draw first blood, but the bucket didn’t fall. Instead Marissa Perry scored the first two points of the game.

Photos by Adria Malcolm for El Defensor Chieftain: The Lady Warriors senior Amanda Saenz runs the ball up the court as Huskies senior Megan Joe guards her in the 3A quarterfinal rounds of the 2013 Girls Basketball Championships in Albuquerque at The Pit Tuesday. Socorro fell to Hope Christian 66-29.

Not too long thereafter, it was Amanda Saenz’s spin move that put the Lady Warriors’ first two points on the scoreboard that tied the game 2-2.

The game seemed like it would be Hope to score with Socorro answering back, but the lead started to slip away as Megan Joe and Longmire each scored a bucket apiece. Saenz’s drive down court was tipped out of bounds, but Ashton Monette drained a jumper to keep the Warriors alive 10-6 on the inbounds pass.

A couple of threes by Hope and one trey by Socorro’s Saenz would total the score to 20-9, and a last ditch effort by Ashley Pyke for a shot at the buzzer did not get her the goal, but it should have got her the foul.

Both Longmire and Saenz each grabbed their teams’ respective buckets to start the second quarter. Pyke chimed in for another two points before being replaced by Socorro’s Amber Willie. It was Willie who picked up a loose ball and shot for two, who not only made the shot, but also got the “and one” call.

Hope’s Joe added six more points bringing the score to 36-15, but a pass from Pyke to Monette added two more to Socorro’s score. Then Saenz grabbed a loose ball and drove it in for two, and was fouled by No. 23 Marissa Perry. Saenz made both free throws that added two more, bringing the score to 38-19 with 2:04 minutes left to go in the first half. The halftime score would be 41-19 Hope Christian.

Solid defense by Brianna Baca and Pyke spoiled Hope’s effort to score at the start of the third quarter. A pass from Saenz to Pyke would put Pyke on the line; she split the free throws and added one to the halftime score.

Lady Warrior Ashley Pyke makes a layup in the 3A quarterfinal round of the 2013 Girls Basketball Championships in Albuquerque at the Pit on Tuesday.

A few more baskets by Hope Christian players contributed to their lead to 49-20. But with 1:54 left in the third quarter Monette would attempt a 3-pointer, but missed the shot. However, Monette on the follow through grabbed her own rebound at the foul line and scored on a jumper.

Sophomore Alvarado made her debut at the Pit when she grabbed a rebound on a missed shot, put it back up and was fouled by No. 40 Shelby Perry. Alvarado easily converted the free throws maintaining life for Socorro 51-26.

Defense by both teams gave the fourth quarter a slow start. The first two buckets by Hope were scored at 5:18, and then the next bucket at 3:15. Ashton grabbed her first 3-pointer for the night, but the Warriors were short of winning the game as the final score was 66-29 Hope Christian.

Despite the outcome, coach Greenwood said that the team did a lot of good things, and that “their goal was to play at the Pit, and they did it.” She also stated that the girls knew who to key on and “they slowed down No. 23 Marissa Perry as they held her to only one 3-pointer.” “The girls also defended No. 43 Longmire the best they could,” Greenwood said.

Monette was the leading scorer with 11 points. Alvardo, Amber Willie and Armijo all scored two, Pyke three and Saenz nine points for the day.