RUIDOSO – Ruidoso’s boys and girls basketball teams entered their District 4-4A doubleheader against Moriarty, Jan. 31, in need of some wins.
The Warriors hadn’t won since defeating New Mexico Military at home on Jan. 17, the Lady Warriors had yet to win a district game.
Neither got their wish Tuesday, as the boys fell 56-43, while the girls lost the nightcap, 53-27.
Ruidoso’s boys (10-11, 1-3 district) actually held the lead through much of the first half, although it was never that large a lead. At the break, the Warriors were up 17-16.
They led by one at the end of the third quarter, as well – a 31-29 advantage – but that was after the Pintos (11-11, 2-2) led most of the period.
“This game hurts. It’s a loss at home that we’re not going to get back,” said Ruidoso coach Billy Page.
Ruidoso’s shooting woes eventually caught up to them, and the Pintos were able to go ahead thanks to a whopping 33 points from center Matt Soto and some terrific passing to the interior.
“We just over-rotated (on defense),” Page said. “We’ve got to quit out-thinking ourselves. We might be too good for our own good.”
Tyler Murphy added 10 as the only other Moriarty player in double figures.
That was more than enough to counter the Warriors, who were led by Josh Romero with 14 points.
There were a lot of missed shots – both from the field and the foul line – by Ruidoso.
“Free throws, they were making theirs and we didn’t make ours,” Page said. “We also had some wide open looks underneath the basket that just didn’t fall.”
Ruidoso now needs wins at NMMI and Moriarty the rest of the way to at least guarantee they won’t be the bottom seed in the upcoming district tournament.
“We’ve got to split with Moriarty and sweep NMMI. If we can sneak in a win (against Hope Christian and Portales), great,” Page said. “It will be a chore, but that’s what we need to do to get an even halfway decent seed in the State playoffs.”
Girls sputter down the stretch
Ruidoso’s girls found themselves downs 11-4 at the end of the first quarter, and were never able to fully recover, despite a fairly solid second quarter.
The Lady Warriors (4-17, 0-3 district) were down 22-12 at the half, and might have been able to make a run at Moriarty (14-5, 1-2) had they been able to knock down their shots.
“We did a lot of good things, but the main thing was we didn’t shoot the ball well,” said Ruidoso coach Jason Kampsky.
Ruidoso had just one player in double figures, and that was Lia Mosher with 12 points. She led the Lady Warriors in everything, adding nine rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks.
For Moriarty, it was the Alyssa Adams show, who put in 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. She was complimented by 10 points by Emerald Russell.
“Alyssa Adams is a good ball player, and she hurt us,” Kampsky said. “And we knew the x-factor would be Emerald, and it turns out she was the only other one in double figures.”
The girls will likewise need at least two district wins the rest of the way to stave off a last-place finish, and they’ve got non-district tilts against Capitan and Artesia that could build momentum if they can pull off victories there.
“We just have to play hard and try to get better doing what we do,” Kampsky said. “You never know. There’s still a little bit of basketball left to play.”