Elkettes Eliminated By Lady Pintos In State Semifinals

by Staff Reporter / Mar 13, 2018 / 0 comments
Pojoaque’s Adriana Quintana drives to the basket against Moriarty. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Elkettes Eliminated By Lady Pintos In State Semifinals

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Valley Daily Post 2018 State Tournament Coverage is brought to you in partnership with KDCE Radio 

Riding a wave of momentum after their 58-52 upset of second-seeded Robertson High School March 6 in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state basketball tournament at the Pit, the Pojoaque Valley High School Elkettes took the court again at the Pit against Moriarty High School March 8 in the semifinals.

The third-ranked Lady Pintos are led by senior Alyssa Adams. Known as a fearless offensive player who can score from anywhere on the court, Adams didn’t disappoint the fans. She proved to be the difference, scoring 29 points to end the Elkettes best season and deepest run into the state tournament since 2009, leading Moriarty to a 47-38 victory.

The Elkettes got off to a good start in the first quarter as they tried to stifle Adams and she only had one point in the first eight minutes. With the score tied 2-2. The Elkettes put together a 6-0 run to take an 8-2 lead on Two free throws by Michaela Martinez. After an Adams free throw, a basket by Dallas Archibald and another by Camille Cordova gave the Elkettes an 11-3 lead. Moriarty’s Meredith Wilson scored inside to make the score 11-5 at the end of the first quarter.

Pojoaque’s Camille Cordova drives to the basket against Moriarty. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Adams started to assert herself in the second quarter. She sank two free throws and Wilson had another score in the paint. Pojoaque’s Shania Thronas was finding room inside and she had two buckets and a free throw to give Pojoaque an 18-11 lead.

After two more free throws by Martinez gave Pojoaque a 20-13 lead, things started to go awry for Pojoaque. With the score 20-16 in favor of the Elkettes after three Moriarty free throws, Adams dribbled behind the three-point arc as time was running out in the first half. She pulled up at the top of the key and buried a three-pointer that made the score 20-19 at halftime.

Adams put the Pintos ahead 21-20 with a short jump shot to start the third quarter. All during the season, even in some of their victories, the Elkettes have been plagued by a mysterious scoring drought and they were suffering through one now. Adams was having no such problems. She keyed a 9-0 run by Moriarty that gave the Pintos a 28-20 lead. Pojoaque didn’t score until 3:17 remained in the third quarter on an old-fashioned, three-point play by Adriana Quintana. That snapped a 15-0 run by the Pintos. Moriarty closed out the third quarter with an 8-2 run that ended with a basket by Adams that gave the Pintos a 36-25 lead. Adams had 11 points in the third quarter.

Pojoaque started to come back in the fourth quarter. A basket by Thronas, who had been oddly missing from the offense after the first half, followed by a three-pointer by Taylor Roybal made the score 36-30. With the score 39-30 in favor of Moriarty, Cordova drained a three-pointer. Quintana followed with a driving layup that cut the Pintos lead to four points. The layup hurt, but what really had Moriarty fans taking a deep gasp was the sight of Adams limping off the court after turning an ankle.

Pojoaque’s Taylor Roybal dribbles the ball against Moriarty. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

With their opponent’s best player parked on the bench and seemingly with some momentum, this was Pojoaque’s chance to turn the game around. With 2:21 left in the game, Quintana drained a free throw to make the score 39-36 and a turnover by the Pintos gave the Elkettes an opportunity to draw even closer or perhaps tie the game with a three-pointer.

Meanwhile, Adams was about to check back into the game, but immediately returned back to the bench. Her ankle was still bothering her.

“It was taped all weird,” Adams said. “The tape was bothering me so I had to go take it all off.”

Moriarty Coach Joe Bailey called a timeout.

“The time out wasn’t for strategy,” Coach Bailey said. “It was to give the trainer time to tape the ankle.”

While Adams was getting her ankle taped again, the Elkettes tried to score and couldn’t put the ball in the basket. When Adams returned to the lineup, she promptly made her presence felt, draining two free throws to make the score 41-36 with 1:31 left in the game.

“I knew I had to go back in the game,” Adams said.

With 1:21 left to play, Cordova hit a pair of free throws to make the score 41-38, but that would be the last points Pojoaque would put on the board.

Despite forcing a turnover and having chances to score, the Elkettes couldn’t put the ball in the basket. After teammate Stephanie Ordonez made two key free throws with 51 seconds left to play to make the score 43-38, Adams slammed the door that had once opened for Pojoaque shut by sinking four straight  free throws for a 47-38 victory. Adams finished the game sinking 18-of-21 free throws.

“We could tell right away that the door had opened for us and wejust had to walk through it,” Pojoaque Coach Seledon Martinez said. “We made a little bit of a run but we have to sustain it until the end. We didn’t.”

In the second half, Pojoaque sank just 6-of-29 shots and was 2-of-9 from three-point range. The Pintos won the battle of the boards, hauling down 46 rebounds to Pojoaque’s 32 boards. Cordova led the Elks with just eight points.

Moriarty would advance to the championship March 9, where they would lose to Portales High School 50-39 in the championship game.

Pojoaque ends its best season since 2010 with a 23-6 record. The Elkettes will lose Thronas, Haley Ortiz and Dallas Archibald to graduation. The Elkettes have improved every season since Coach Martinez took over four years ago.

“Every year, we’ve made a progression,” he said. “This is part of the progression, part of the process”.