All basketball games consist of four quarters, but it was almost as if the Taos Lady Tigers played a number of different games during their district matchup with the Moriarty Lady Pintos on Thursday (Jan. 31). The second half saw some real achievements from the Lady Tigers.
The first quarter was quiet in every way. They gymnasium was quiet, and scoring was quiet on both sides. Six minutes into the game, the score was Taos 4, Moriarty 5. Two points from Taos's Danielle Martinez gave Taos the only lead they would have the whole game, 6-5. The quarter ended with only 13 points scored between both teams, 6-7 Moriarty.
After another minute and a half or so of sluggish play, the second quarter exploded into an entirely different game. The Moriarty offense was able to coordinate and successfully execute plays, scoring 18 points in the quarter while holding the Lady Tigers to 3. The Taos defense was getting back in time to defend, but couldn't keep the Lady Pintos away from the basket. Once there, Moriarty was able to convert their opportunities into points on the board, which Taos was not. The Lady Tigers were less able to get the ball down the court than in the first quarter, and not able to get it into the basket. All three of their points in the second were from free throws. The half ended 25-9, Moriarty.
Though they were ahead in both quarters, the Lady Pintos fouled notably more than the Lady Tigers. Both coaches offered suggestions to the referees, one quietly, the other loudly. "You're going to call that little hustle play but not that? She bumped her." from one; "That's not even a pick! They're just driving by us!" from another.
Yet another Lady Tiger team emerged from the locker room after halftime. Most of the action was in the first three and a half minutes of the quarter. In that time, Taos scored 7 and Moriarty scored 14. Then the wind went out of the collective sails and the game came almost to a standstill. The loudest people in the gym were the Moriarty coaches.
Over the remaining four and a half minutes of the period, Taos scored three and Moriarty 2. The third quarter ended 39-16.
The final period started slowly - to Taos's credit. In the whole of the fourth period, they held Moriarty to only 6 points. Indeed, in the last 11:36 of the game, they allowed only 8 points, none of them in the final 3:18 of the game, which ended 45-30 Moriarty.
On the offense side of the game, the Lady Tigers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter - almost as many as in the rest of the game combined. They changed up the composition on the court and it paid off.
Continued innovation might help Coach Sanchez find the right combination of elements from tip-off to the final buzzer in order to maintain the level of play seen at the end of the game.