BERNALILLO - Adrianna Tafoya scored a game-high 22 points, and 5-foot-8 sophomore Carly Gonzales had 12 points and 20 rebounds for the Panthers (25-4), who beat the No. 6-seeded Lady Steers 53-44.
Michaela Zamora had three 3-pointers and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Magdalena (22-7), with 14 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
After falling behind 11-9 in the first quarter the Lady Steers found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-3 Penasco run, but Melphina Apache hit a layup with 1.7 seconds left in the second quarter to pull her team to within 26-18.
In the third Alaska Lopez made a 3-pointer with 4 minutes and 7 seconds left, and Jennifer Aguilar followed up a minute later from beyond the arc to give the Panthers a 39-28 lead.
Zamora tried to will Magdalena into the game in the fourth making all three of her 3-point baskets, one of which cut the Penasco lead to 44-34 with 3:338 left in the contest.
Zamora hit another 3 with 1:17 remaining to pull the Lady Steers to within 51-44, but Alexandria Sandoval made a pair of free throws and Magdalena missed its last four shots to help give the Lady Panthers the 53-44 win.
The Lady Steers finished the season 21-7 and 7-1 in District 2-2A play.
Editor's note: For a full wrap-up on the Lady Steers season please read the March 22 edition of El Defensor Chieftain.
Warriors wrap up season at Silver
With the odds stacked against them the Socorro boys basketball team nearly pulled off a bracket-busting upset over Silver during the Class 4A quarterfinals March 3 in Silver City.
The No. 15-seeded Warriors had lost to the Colts by an average of 65-34 going into that game in the road, and nearly came out with a win.
Socorro lost 45-40 in the closing seconds, but Warriors coach Ernie Lopez seemed pleased with his team's effort.
“Our game plan going in was need to give ourselves a chance. The first three we played them when it got to the fourth quarter, we really didn't have a chance to win it,” he said. “We had a game plan and the kids did a great job of trusting me and executing it. All of the credit needs to go to them.”
That plan was to slow down their own offense, take long possessions, and shorten the game against the normally high-powered Silver offense and it worked. Socorro had just 20 shots during the game compared to Silver's 40, and the Warriors had an opportunity late.
Socorro outscored Silver 17-13 in the fourth and were down just two points with less than a minute left, but the Colts hit free throws down the stretch to slip by the No. 15-seeded Warriors.
“The kids did a great job of giving themselves a chance to win. We were able to guard, we were able to take care of the ball, we were able to his some shots,” Lopez said. “That's all we wanted was in the fourth quarter to have a chance to win.”
Socorro finished the season 12-17 overall, 5-3 in district, made it to the district championship and made the 4A playoffs for a second straight season.
Lopez said he had no regrets.
“To me whenever you look back on a year, you want to make sure you don't have any type of regret; we should've done this, we should've done that. I don't have that with this group at all,” he said. “I'm really proud of our seniors. I'm really proud of our development and progress over the year. Looking at us from game one to game 29, I think everyone can agree, I get to see that they grew and progressed a great deal.”
Quemado teams make it to semis
The Quemado boys fell to No. 1-ranked Melrose 55-39, while the girls fell to No. 2-ranked Melrose 46-42.
The Quemado girls were ranked No. 3, and the boys No. 4 in 1A heading into the state tournament.
No. 1 Melrose 55, No. 4 Quemado 39: Tristan Sena hit three 3-pointers and scored 18 points for the Buffaloes, who bullied their way to a 34-20 advantage in rebounding. Jordan Jasso had 13 points and 12 boards.
Adrain Lackey led Quemado with 14 points.
The Eagles finished 23-6.
No. 4 QUEMADO 71, No.12 EVANGEL CHRISTIAN 53: Surprising Evangel Christian led 37-36 through three quarters before Quemado came storming back, hitting 13-of-18 shots from the field in the final stanza.
DJ Mathis led Quemado with 20 points, and three others joined him in double figures.
Lucas Tenorio scored 25 points for Evangel Christian (13-17), which shot 50 percent from the field for the game.
No. 2 Melrose 46, No. 3 Quemado 42: Hailey Martin scored 17 points and had 11 rebounds for Melrose (23-7), which rallied from a 77032 deficit entering the fourth period.
The Bauffaloes won the game from the free throw line, hitting 12 of 13 attempts.
Ashanti Mathis’ 12 points led Quemado, which finished the season 21-7.
No. 3 QUEMADO 52, No. 11 ROY/MOSQUERO 31: Quemado flipped the script in the second half when it began with a three-point lead.
Siera Green led the Lady Eagles (21-6) with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Mariesa Cohoe also had a double-double for Quemado, as she posted 11 points and 10 rebounds. Quemado pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Roy/Mosquero 17-5.
Freshman Riley Clavel scored a game-high 20 points to lead Roy/Mosquero (16-11), also known as the Lady Blue.
Roy/Mosquero led just once during the game, early in the second quarter, 9-7.