Moriarty’s Alyssa Adams drives past Pojoaque Valley’s Dallas Archibald while other defenders await during Thursday’s Class 4A semifinal. Moriarty won 47-38 and faces Portales in today’s final. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
Even a gimpy ankle could do little to slow down Moriarty’s do-everything guard Alyssa Adams, who scored 29 points with 12 rebounds and three blocks in the third-seeded Pintos’ 47-38 win over No. 7 seed Pojoaque Valley in Class 4A girls semifinal action Thursday at the Pit.
Next up for the 27-4 Pintos is top-seeded Portales in Friday’s 3:30 p.m. championship game at the Pit.
No. 3 MORIARTY 47, No. 7 POJOAQUE VALLEY 38: It took Adams a bit to get going. She scored just one point in the first quarter as the Elkettes (23-6) built an 11-5 lead.
Pojoaque increased that advantage to 20-13 in the second quarter before the Adams train really started chugging along.
“What happened in the second quarter, we played pretty good defense the whole time,” Moriarty coach Joe Bailey said. “We dug ourselves a hole in the first quarter. We didn’t rebound well and gave them too many easy chances. Once we started rebounding better, that got us turned around.”
Adams then scored five points in a quarter-ending 6-0 run, then seven more as Moriarty (27-4) scored the first nine points of the third quarter, pushing the Pintos to a 28-20 lead.
The run at the end of the second quarter was crucial going into halftime, said Moriarty post Lydia Schmutz, who had six rebounds.
“I think it started in the first half when we came back and it just carried through,” she said. “At halftime, we realized we’re back in this game and we can come back.”
Pojoaque, however, didn’t go away, despite falling behind by as much as 36-25 at the end of the third quarter.
“It’s the state semifinals,” Bailey said. “They have good coaching. They have good players, as well. It’s not always easy.”
Twice in the waning minutes, Pojoaque cut it the deficit to three points, including once after Adams had gone to the sidelines to get her right ankle worked on.
“I think I was just freaking out a little bit because it hurt,” she said.
The Elkettes thought that might have been their chance, coach Seledon Martinez said.
“We could tell right away that they opened the door for us and we just had to walk through,” he said. “We made a little bit of a run, but we had to sustain all the way to the end and we didn’t. Then she came back in.”
And Adams said there was no way she was going to watch the end of the game from the sidelines, and even sealed the game by hitting four straight foul shots after returning.
“Honestly, we all just really want to get to the championship game,” she said. “We all want to play in the state championship. I want it and I know my teammates want it. My part is to try and give that to them.”
3-point FGs: PV 2 (Roybal, Cordova); M 1 (Adams). Rebounds: PV 32 (Quintana 4, As Martinez 4); M 46 (Adams 12). Assists: PV 9 (As Martinez 4); M 6 (Strader 3). Total fouls: PV 23; M 11. Fouled out: PV, Roybal.
NO. 1 PORTALES 65, NO. 4 SHIPROCK 54: Once the Rams got rolling, there was nothing the Chieftains could do to stop them.
Portales (27-2) went on a 28-4 run that began with less than a minute remaining in the first half and continued throughout the entire third period to bury Shiprock (20-10). When complete, the Rams held a commanding 53-28 lead, and it was difficult to believe that they had once been clinging to a 25-24 advantage late in the second quarter of what had been an extremely competitive game.
“I think our intensity level and getting to settle in and playing the way that we want to play, I think that was the main change,” Portales coach Wade Fraze. “It was a mental difference.”
Zamorye Cox had her hand in everything as Portales took the game over. The senior point guard finished with 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds and harassed the Shiprock guards into multiple turnovers with her pressure on defense. The momentum appeared to shift right before halftime, when Cox found Sarah Lovato on the wing for a 3 to give the Rams a 30-24 lead heading into the locker room.
“They were pressuring us a lot. Really, when they have all that pressure on you, you have to find that open man before they trap you,” Cox said. “So it was really just a mindset and knowing that we have each other’s backs.”
Cox set the tone immediately in the third quarter, as she stole the ball from Lanae Billy on Shiprock’s initial possession and converted a layup at the other end. Moments later, Cox found Kelly Fraze in the corner for another 3-pointer to give the Rams a 35-24 lead, and the rout was on. Shiprock didn’t make a field goal in the third quarter until Billy hit a 3 with 1:32 remaining to cut the deficit to 48-28.
“We knew that if we just kept pushing they can’t take it the whole game,” Cox said. “We had to just keep pressuring and being smart and aggressive.”
Shiprock regained its composure to make the score respectable in the fourth quarter, but the Rams were never truly threatened after halftime.
In addition to Cox, Lovato (10 points), Lindsay Blakey (12) and Taylee Rippee (14) reached double figures for Portales. Billy topped Shiprock with 15, while Tia Woods added 11.
SHIPROCK (20-10): Kylie McKinley 8, Laila Charley 0, Mikayla Charley 0, Kimora Tso 2, Aiona Johnson 11, Chamika Begaye 0, Lanae Billy 15, Sanaa Keeswood 0, Tia Woods 14, Evette Lansing 4, MarieLynn Lansing 0. 20-47-FG 8-14-FT 54.
3-point goals: S 6 (McKinley 2, Billy 3, Woods); P 5 (Lovato 2, Cox, Flores, Fraze). Rebounds: S 34 (Woods 11); P 45 (10). Assists: S 11 (Woods 3); P 16 (Cox 11). Total Fouls: S 24; P 16. Fouled Out: S, McKinley.