Pojoaque Falls To Moriarty

Pojoaque’s Paul Martinez dribbles past a Moriarty defender
Pojoaque’s Paul Martinez dribbles past a Moriarty defender. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Pojoaque Falls To Moriarty

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

It was not the ending that Pojoaque Valley High School wanted. Facing a determined team from Moriarty High School in the opening round of the Class 4A state basketball tournament, the sixth-seeded Elks were soundly beaten by the 11th-seeded Pintos 66-32 Feb. 4 at Pojoaque.

Pojoaque’s Andres Romero tries to get past a Moriarty player . Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

The Pintos came out smoking to start the game. Marvin Encinias scored off the opening tipoff. Caleb Edwards drained a three-pointer and another basket by Encinias made the score 7-0 before Pojoaque’s Dominic Roybal scored for the Elks. Moriarty led from start to finish.

Edwards had three three-pointers in the first quarter and the Pintos led 17-8 heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter was competitive, as each team scored 13 points. Pojoaque was playing without starter James Garcia, who was suspended for the game for unspecified disciplinary reasons. Starters Roybal and Tevin Flowers, along with recently-promoted former junior varsity player Paul Martinez, managed to keep pace with the Pintos, but never got closer than six points (22-16) to Moriarty. The Elks still trailed by nine points 30-21 at halftime.

Pojoaque’s Tevin Flowers shoots a jumper against Moriarty . Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

The third quarter started with a three-pointer from the Pintos’ Elijah Tapia, but for nearly six minutes there was little scoring until Roybal finally put Pojoaque on the board with a basket with 2:27 left in the third quarter. Rather than jump-starting the Elks, Roybal’s basket seemed to wake up the Pintos.

Pojoaque’s Tevin Flowers reaches for an entry pass into the post. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Zach Trujillo sank a three-pointer that started a 12-0 run by Moriarty that Trujillo finished off with another three-pointer. That gave the Pintos a 45-23 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Pintos kept sinking shots while the Elks struggled to put the ball in the basket. Edwards had two more three-pointers and the lead ballooned to 34 points. Moriarty could do no wrong. Aaron Murphy’s three-pointer at the buzzer, Moriarty’s 10th of the game, put an exclamation mark on how the game had gone for Pojoaque.

Roybal led the Elks with 12 points.

The Elks finished the season 16-13. The highlight for Pojoaque was a 51-49 victory over Espanola Valley High School Jan. 20 at Espanola.