Pojoaque's Taylor Roybal looks for a way out of the corner against Capital High School. Roybal had nine points in the Elkettes' 34-25 victory Nov. 27 at Pojoaque
By George Morse
It wasn’t pretty, but the Pojoaque Valley High School girls basketball team had just enough to open their season with a 34-25 victory over Capital High School Nov. 27 at Pojoaque.
The Elkettes used a good second quarter and an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to offset a bad first quarter and a slow third quarter. Taylor Roybal led Pojoaque with nine points.
“I think we had more turnovers than points,” Pojoaque Coach Seledon Martinez said.
The first quarter saw both teams struggle to score. Capital used a pair of three-pointers by Heaven Arciniega to take a 7-5 lead.
The Elkettes got going in the second quarter with a 6-0 run that Roybal started with a runner in the lane and finished with a pair of free throws to give Pojoaque an 11-7 lead. Capital got the score to 11-10 but couldn’t catch the Elkettes as the Lady jaguars went just 1-of-4 from the free throw line, including the front end of two one-and-one opportunities. Pojoaque extended its lead to 14-10 and Roybal hit a three-pointer just before halftime to give Pojoaque a 17-10 lead at the break.
Neither team did much of anything in the third quarter as they evenly split just 10 points. Pojoaque still led by seven 22-15 going into the fourth quarter.
The Elkettes were struggling to score in the fourth quarter and a three-pointer by Miranda Cortez made the score 22-19 in favor of Pojoaque. The Elkettes turned the ball over on numerous attempts to get their fast break going. Capital could have tied the game or even taken the lead, but went just 1-of-4 from the free throw line. The score was 22-20 with four minutes left in the game.
Anissa Herrera finally stopped the scoring drought for Pojoaque, sinking a free throw with 3:56 left. That seemed to get Pojoaque going and Ashten Martinez followed with two more free throws. Michaela Martinez scored on a fast break layup and Martinez added another. A steal and free throw by Adrianna Quintana made the score 30-20 in favor of Pojoaque.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars had gone ice-cold from the floor, missing shot after shot and not scoring for over four minutes. Capital finally hit a three-pointer by Kyannah Cole, but that wasn’t enough. Roybal sank a pair of free throws with less than 20 seconds left in the game to put the Jaguars away.
“A couple of bad passes (by Capital) and we were able to pull away at the end,” Coach Martinez said.
Both teams showed considerable rust in what was the opening game for both teams. The New Mexico Activities Association has shortened the amount of practice time for teams across the state by about a week. To make matters worse for Pojoaque, their entire front line of Ashten Martinez, Camille Cordova and Quintana was playing volleyball less than two weeks ago (Nov. 16) in the state volleyball tournament.
“We need to change gears and get into basketball mode,” Coach Martinez said. “Really, it takes 21 days to get them into shape.”
Pojoaque hosts Bernalillo High School Thursday (11/29) and doesn’t play again until Dec. 7, when they host St. Pius X High School.
Pojoaque's Ashten Martinez looks to drive past a Capital defender as teammate Camille Cordova posts up against the Lady Jaguars.
Pojoaque's Taylor Roybal passes to teammate Camille Cordova against Capital High School.
Pojoaque's Ashten Martinez looks to grab a rebound against Capital.