Don’t tell the Carrizozo girls a 4-23 basketball team can’t win.
Win is exactly what they did at Reserve, Feb. 21, in the first round of the District 2-1A tournament, coming home with a 37-34 victory.
“It was a long trip there, and we had a slow first half,” said Carrizozo coach George Vega. “In the second half, we came out ready to play, we shut down some of their scorers and gave us a chance to win.
“Some of the girls were sick, but they all pulled together and made it happen,” he added.
Like the Animas girls in the season finale, Reserve tried to sag the defense in on Carrizozo center Hannah Ventura to keep her from getting any points, only this time the rest of the Lady Grizzlies came through to pick up the slack.
It’s not like Carrizozo didn’t have experience against them. They faced the Lady Mountaineers in the Magdalena Steer Stampede in the third game of the season and won handily.
“A couple of our scorers weren’t putting up points on the board before. That’s what we’d been having trouble with,” Vega said of the district losses. “When we beat them before, we had some players we don’t have now, like Deline (Arteche) and Joanna (Vega).”
Vega and Arteche are both done for the season with injuries, which is why scoring has been at such a premium beyond the points they can get from Ventura in the middle.
Although coach Vega was able to install new plays to get Ventura open a bit more, and she ended up with 19 points at Reserve.
Tonight, it’s another long road trip, as the Lady Grizzlies travel to Quemado for the tournament’s next round.
“For most of the game when we played them (Quemado) last time, we were up for most of the game by a couple of points,” Vega said. “Then they caught up to us. If we score a bit more and play good defense, I think we have a chance.”