Lady Tigers get two more victories; will host Belen
The Los Lunas High girls basketball team flexed its muscle in handily winning a home contest over Moriarty before traveling to the Hope Christian School Invitational tournament beginning Thursday with a first-round win over Socorro, 53-26.
The semifinal against Hatch Valley was set to be played Friday after News-Bulletin press time.
The classic could afford Los Lunas with a chance to avenge one of their two losses on the year, should they meet the host Huskies in the final. Hope Christian beat the Tigers in the Academy tournament semifinal, 69-54, and Hope Christian and West Las Vegas were set to meet in Friday's other semifinal.
"We will see them again," said coach Marty Zeller emphatically after that early season tournament loss.
The Lady Tigers open District 6-4A play with a 7 p.m. game Tuesday at home against Belen.
Los Lunas 53, Socorro 26
In the first round of the Hope Christian tourney, Los Lunas took advantage of an undermanned Class 3A Warrior team, gaining an 18-3 lead in the first quarter.
The Tigers capitalized on turnovers, superior guard play and the defense and rebounding of their 6-foot, 2-inch star, Teige Zeller.
Zeller only had eight points, but Tinaya Murphy's 17 points and the pressure by the Class 4A Tigers was more than enough.
Zeller left the game for good in the fourth quarter after a blow that led to a cut under her chin, and a sore bridge of her nose that required ice.
Socorro's Bryahna Baca and Ashton Monette each had eight points for the Warriors.
Neither team shot free throws well. Los Lunas was 13-of-26; Socorro was 6-for-19.
Los Lunas 66, Moriarty 21
It was wall-to-wall pressure for the Tigers in an easy victory over the hapless Lady Pintos as the host Tigers held Moriarty to just four points in the second half.
Los Lunas continued to apply a full-court trap defense throughout the contest, substituting freely as 12 players saw action for the Tigers.
Katie Inman showed some versatility, hitting two 3-pointers from the head-of-the-key, perfectly swishing each. The junior post player had 16 points, surpassed only by fellow junior Teige Zeller with 18.
Los Lunas sealed the game early as Inman hit one of her treys to make it 14-4. Nikki Hathoot scored two buckets in the final 1:30 of the first period on fast break opportunities to make it 18-6 after one quarter.
Tinaya Murphy added nine points, Hathoot had six, Sanae Gaerlan and Elisa Tapia had five each.
Kaitlyn Thompson hit one 3-pointer, while Mariah Doyle and Alyssa Vigil added two points each.