First quarter Warriors turn civil to Pojoaque

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The Warriors came out strong in the first quarter of the game against Pojoaque last Saturday on their home court. Not quite four minutes in, they were up 11 to 9, and sinking virtually all of their shots, including a few 3-pointers. It looked like the Warriors were on a roll, until two minutes before the end of the quarter, when the Elks picked up steam and caught up, tying the game 24 -24, and then making the last shot of the quarter to pull ahead by two.

Susann Mikkelson/ El Defensor Chieftain: Zeb Esquivel shoots from under the basket for two points of the Warriors 11-point lead in the beginning of the first quarter against the Pojoaque Elks on Dec. 7. Esquivel was one of the game’s top shooters. The Warriors fell short after the first quarter, ending the game with a 48 - 81 loss against the Elks at home.

That’s when the momentum stopped for the Warriors. They quit aggressively pursuing the rebound before the end of the first, implying that they were wearing down – already. They began to miss shots and couldn’t keep up with the momentum gained by the Elks. The Warriors scored 24 points in the first quarter, and a dismal 7, 8 and 9 points respectively in the three quarters that followed.

 

This was essentially the scenario for all three Warriors teams – C, B and A. The C team shows a lot of promise in talent and skill, which needs developing. The lag after the first half is somewhat understandable in the young team. They lost 30 – 66.

The B team (JV) and A team (varsity) both quit rebounding toward the end of the first quarter. Their opponents kept going after the rebounds, and putting the ball back up to the net until they made their goal.

Varsity shooters who were making their 3-pointers in the first quarter seemed to lose their strength later in the game, missing more than they hit. They seemed intent on running the ball down the court for a quick shot, rather than slowing down and running their plays.

B team lost 32 – 53, and Pojoaque beat the A team 48 – 81.

The Warriors played in Tularosa on Tuesday evening, losing 54 – 72. Center and key shooter Ethan Smith got into foul trouble and was pulled out for the entire third quarter of the game, which hurt the Warriors in points and rebounds.

“We just have to get better defensively,” Coach Lawrence Baca said. “That’s what we worked on in practice (Monday) night. We’ll get there. It’s just taking longer than I would like.”

The Warriors schedule doesn’t get easier from here. They will face a tough match-up with Belen in this Saturday, in Belen at 1 p.m.

The Lady Warriors lost their game against West Las Vegas on the road Tuesday evening, 39-67. Makayla Jacobs scored 16 of the teams 39 points, and Maria Alderete had another 10. The Lady Warriors will face Hatch Valley next Tuesday at home at 5 p.m.