Lady Eagles hold Moriarty to five field goals in Belen's home opener

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There may have been some confidence gained by the Belen High girls basketball team Thursday.

This confidence might come not only from Thursday's 44-20 win over Moriarty, but also from the types of things the Lady Eagles did well in their home opener.

Belen's defense held Moriarty in check; the offense functioned well enough to score consistently, and the Eagles were solid at the free throw line.

"For the most part, we did a really good job of executing," said Belen's first-year coach, Dereck Atencio. "We pressured them, and got ahead early."

Belen is set to play at Bernalillo on Saturday, and will then be idle until hosting Rio Grande on Thursday. The Eagles are hoping to gain some momentum from how well they contained Moriarty. Belen held the Pintos (0-3) to five field goals and single-digit points in each quarter, while outscoring Moriarty in each quarter.

Belen was led by 24 points from sophomore Mariah Forde and nine from Kaylyn Gomez. Atencio said junior post Kristian Sainz had an excellent night, and had several sharp assists.

The Eagles also went an impressive 10-of-15 from the foul line. Not known for prolific free-throw shooting, Belen seemed to take advantage of playing on its own court for the first time this season.

Atencio hopes the foul-shot performance is a sign of things to come.

"I was happy, because usually, we haven't been that good at knocking those down," said the coach.

Yesica Fong, who had 11 points, was Moriarty's leading scorer.

The Bernalillo matchup seems quite winnable for the Eagles; the Spartans were pounded 60-17 by Los Lunas on Thursday.

The Rio Grande game might pose a stiffer challenge; the Class 5A Lady Ravens nearly always seem to be an obstacle for 4A Belen, and RGHS is playing some of the toughest opponents in the metro area.

The only other game the Eagles are slated to play before Christmas is a Dec. 21 home contest against Artesia. That game will involve a charity food drive, and fans will get in for free for donating a non-perishable food item at the door.


-- Email the author at jbrooks@news-bulletin.com.