Jerry Herrera scores on a layup after making a steal. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post
Pojoaque Comes Back For Win Over The Warriors
By George Morse Sports and Outdoors
The final score may have looked like a solid 10-point win for the Pojoaque Valley High School Elks, but things were looking less than good at one point in their 71-61 win over the Socorro High School Warriors Dec. 8 at Pojoaque.
Down 49-41 to the Warriors with just two minutes left in the third quarter, the Pojoaque boys team gathered around Coach Joey Trujillo during a time out.
“I asked them if we were going to give it away,” Coach Trujillo said “They (Socorro) were dictating to us how the game was being played.”
The Elks started their comeback when James Garcia took a lob pass from Dominic Roybal and scored underneath the basket and drawing a foul. He sank the ensuing free throw to complete the old-fashioned, three-point play. After a player-control foul on Socorro’s Mike Armijo, Andres Romero hit a floater from the left side. The Elks then trapped the Warriors Justin Angel at midcourt, forcing a turnover. Roybal came up with the ball and drove in for a layup. On the next possession, Avery Torrez stole an inbounds pass and drove to the basket for another easy two points that gave Pojoaque a 50-49 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“They picked up the intensity on defense,” Coach Trujillo said.
The momentum carried over into the fourth quarter. Jerry Herrera battled underneath, scored and drew a foul. He completed the three-point play with a free throw. Roybal then buried a three-pointer from the top of the key. A free throw by Garcia finished off a 16-0 run by Pojoaque that gave the Elks a 57-49 lead.
“It was all defense,” Coach Trujillo said. “I changed my rotation and used just 5-6 kids because my bench was a little shaky. We were able to trap around halfcourt. We turned that into layups.”
Pojoaque extended their lead to 12 points 65-53 after a basket by Garcia. The Warriors cut the lead to seven points 68-61 after two three-pointers by Marquez Perez, but that was as close as they would get. The Elks finished off the game in less than stellar fashion, sinking just 3-of-8 free throws, but the Warriors couldn’t score again and the Elks took a 71-61 victory.
Garcia led all scorers with 28 points. He had scored 12 of those points in the first quarter when the Elks took a 24-16 lead. Pojoaque had built a nine-point lead in the second quarter when the Warriors came back behind Wesley Mauldin, who canned a three-pointer, then scored with three second left in the first half to give the Warriors a 33-32 lead.
Pojoaque’s James Garcia drives on Socorro’s Tyler Greenwood. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post
Pojoaque was leading 38-33 in the third quarter. The Warriors went on a 16-3 run fueled by Perez and Mauldin to lead by eight points before Pojoaque went on their 16-0 run.
“It was kids who turned it around,” Coach Trujillo said. “They made me look smart.”
Pojoaque will host the 16th Annual Ben Lujan Tournament Thursday (12/15) through Saturday. Boththe elks and the Elkettes will be competing. The Elks will face Mora High School in the opening round Dec. 15, while the Elkettes will face Wingate High School in the opening round.