Lady Warriors shine on senior night

Socorro's Audry Baca shoots over Hot Springs' Abby Wood during their District 3-4A contest Tuesday. The Lady Warriors won 78-29.

SOCORRO – Socorro had five different players score in double figures and the Lady Warriors overcame a slow start to eventually fly past Hot Springs Tuesday on senior night at Socorro High School.

And in near storybook fashion, three of those players were seniors Audry Baca (13), Ashlyn Aguilar (10) and MarinaRae Rosales (10).

"It’s great for those seniors. It’s something they’re going to remember,” Socorro coach Lawrence Baca said. “We started off a little slower than we liked but we finally woke up, and we opened it up and played basketball.”

And that eventually came in the second quarter after the Lady Warriors limped through the opening set against a 2-19 Tigers team it beat by 35 points on Jan. 23, and led by just three points.

But Socorro (20-4, 4-2) opened up the second quarter with a 14-3 run to give it a 27-10 lead and with 3 minutes and 15 seconds left in the half Zoe Esquivel hit a 3-pointer, then Aguilar followed up 30 seconds later with her own 3 to extend the Lady Warriors lead to 37-17.

Baca didn’t need to give any impassioned speeches in between quarters or at halftime.

“They know. They just had to wake up and play basketball, and they finally did. There’s no secrets, they know what we need to do,” he said. “The thing I keep saying is, we can’t come out against a Silver like that, or else we’ll be in trouble. That’s the only thing. We’re not going to score 80 points against Silver. We’re going to have to come out fast and strong.”

Tarah Apachito also scored 11 points for Socorro and Esquivel led all scorers with 18 points, while Kaylene Baca scored seven and Lece Gutierrez chipped in four. That kind of scoring effort is precisely the formula Lawrence Baca and his team have been utilizing for three seasons: a parity in scoring and solid defense, which frequently leads to wins for the Lady Warriors.

“That’s what we need from those girls. If those girls do that every night, we’ll give ourselves a chance,” he said. “Scores don’t lie. Every game we’ve scored 50 points or more … we’ve either won or we’ve had a chance to win.”

Senior night was also a special one for Baca as he was able to watch his daughter Audry compete for the final time during the regular season at Socorro High School as a coach as well as a dad, but despite the emotional evening it doesn’t seem like anyone in the program is losing sight of the prize.

“It is different. It’s emotional, but it’s all good. All good things come to an end,” he said. “We’d just like to do something with it this year because we’ve got something special going on. Our goal is to make it to The Pit.”

Socorro finishes off the regular season on the road at Silver on Friday.