A young Lady Warriors basketball team traveled to Albuquerque for an early summer New Mexico Games youth tournament on May 25. Facing off against stiff competition from around the state, the group of eighth graders and below had a rough time out. They lost game one against the Grants Lady Pirates 37-7 during its morning matchup and went down to the hosting Highland Lady Hornets in game two 45-10.
“They’re learning every game which is what this is all about,” Head Coach Adam Paz said. “We’re trying to light a fire under them which is why we brought the girls down for this tournament. Hopefully they’ll pick it up as they get into the high school level. But they are very much improved from the last tournament.”
Collective team play was a struggle for the young lady’s. Players such as Jaylin Gonzales were slicing through the opposing defense but were unable to dish the ball out on the perimeter at the correct moment. Interior players were crashing the boards but not blocking out which gave taller opposing players the ability to get rebounds. Socorro also shot poorly, scoring only two points in the first half of game two.
“We’ve got to work these girls in the gym,” Paz said. “This is the starting point. The skill these girls have is great but we need to implement discipline. When the girls are blowing coaches off its not going to work. The only way to succeed is that we come together as a team. Myself and the other parents preach team first. It’s brand new to them growing up but we want these girls to learn responsibility both on and off the court in the community. That being said, the improvement and growth has been great to witness. I’m proud of these girls as they get better day by day.”
Albuquerque’s AAU team New Mexico Select went home with top honors in the Pool B 8th grade bracket.
The Lady Warriors will be practicing at Sarracino Middle School three days a week during the off season. Along with his son and fellow coach Adam Paz Jr., Paz is looking into the team entering future tournaments including a possible run in an AAU tournament at Dreamstyle Arena in Bernalillo.