Lady Jags strong in third quarter in win at Moriarty

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An “inspired” talk at halftime netted a 17-point third quarter for the Valencia basketball girls on the road as the Jaguars beat Moriarty, 39-27, on Tuesday.

The Jaguars will have one more tune-up game before the Village of Los Lunas Classic on Dec. 27, 28 and 29. Del Norte will visit the Jags on Saturday with tip scheduled for 7 p.m. The Knights come in with a 1-3 record.

News-Bulletin file photo: protecting the ball is Valencia guard Tori Torres against two Santa Fe defenders in a recent game. The Jags won Tuesday night at Moriarty and are preparing to host Del Norte at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Valencia opens the Los Lunas tourney with the new Las Cruces-based school, Centennial, at noon on Thursday.

At Moriarty, the Jags could not get the offense going until the third-quarter explosion. Valencia led 15-6 at the half after building an 8-4 edge at the end of the first quarter.

“Moriarty was very athletic and physical, and that just shows us we need to get physically stronger,” said Jaguar coach Shannon Vigil. “We came out very nonchalant in the first half, and after a speech to fire them up at half time, we had a strong third quarter.”

Valencia lacked firepower from the outside, as neither team hit a trey in the game. Brenda Baeza led the Jags with 12 points and Savannah Stump scored 10.

Karina Dow and Miranda Chavez added five points each as Valencia improved its season mark to 5-2.

“We didn’t play to our potential,” said Vigil. “We had a lot of unforced turnovers, which stems from us not valuing each possession and being careless with the ball.”

Moriarty closed the gap with a 13-7 run throughout the final period, but it was not enough.

“We have to do a better job of closing out games,” said Vigil. “Even though we have a young bench, we have to get in there and maintain the same tempo, and each player has to contribute positively on the court.”

Harold Smith of the Mountain View Telegraph contributed to this coverage.


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