Jaguars defeat Warriors in season home opener

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The Socorro Warriors kicked off the varsity game with a 5-0 lead on Tuesday night, but that lead was short lived.

The Jaguars rebounded quickly — literally and figuratively — surpassing the Warriors to reach 11 points in the first seven minutes of play. The Warriors continued to work, but stayed a consistent 15 to 20 points throughout the second and third quarters, and faltered further in the fourth with fouls resulting in successful free throws for the Jaguars. The final score was 53-83 Jaguars.

The Jaguars couldn't seem to miss a shot, scoring as many 3-pointers as 2-pointers, and consistently rebounding and going back up for the shot again until they scored.

The Warriors moved up and down the court, seemed to keep the pace without any problem, and overall played good ball, with just an average number of turnovers and errors. Their play became a little more reckless in the last quarter, as they struggled to match the Jags' score. White uniforms were too often absent beneath the net, leaving the rebounds largely to the Jaguars, offensively and defensively.

"We played a good team that shot the ball well," coach Lawrence Baca said of Tuesday's game. "(Valencia) lives and dies by the 3-pointer."

Baca said he is happy with the improvements he is seeing in his team since the first game, but not satisfied yet. He said he thought they could have been more competitive against even this tough team.

"We need to get better in all aspects of the game," Baca said. "We have a lot of work to do."

Warriors No. 1, Sean Moore, was small but mighty with his aggressive play. He drove to the basket three times in the second quarter — once from a steal — and drew the foul every time. His free throw percentage was average.

Senior Ethan Smith started the fourth quarter with a crowd-pleasing block that was called a foul and resulted in two free points for the Jaguars.

The Warriors B team (junior varsity) also came out strong in their game against the Valencia Jaguars, but had similar problems with rebounds and struggled to make their shots. They had particular trouble scoring on layups, with at least eight points lost to missed layups. The B team defense improved some in the second half.

The Warriors' next matchup is this Saturday against Pojoaque at home, starting at 1 p.m.