The Taos Lady Tigers had their "best 3rd quarter so far this season," said Coach David Sanchez.
The parking lot at Taos High School was full enough by 6:45 p.m. that new arrivals had a bit of a walk across the ice. The Taos Lady Tiger varsity basketball game against Capital, a 5A school from Santa Fe, was scheduled for 7 p.m., Saturday (Jan. 12). Hundreds of people were already seated in Otero gym by the tail end of the JV game. After their warm-up, the varsity girls didn't get started until about 7:45, but that didn't have any impact on the number of fans, who seemed happy to be there and together.
We often consider the vital importance of athletics in the lives of young people. Saturday night underscored another crucial role of athletics: Otero Gym (and Anaya Stadium and everywhere else the Tigers and Lady Tigers play and compete) offers a place for the community to gather, to share time and space and a common focal point for their support.
The game was slow to get going. The Lady Jaguars put up 7 points in the first quarter, with only 4 from the Lady Tigers. Capital got themselves moving in the second and scored 14 points. Meanwhile, Taos managed only 5, though not for lack of opportunities. The Lady Tigers put in the hustle without quite being able to convert the balls they won into points on the board. Between free throws and missed layups, Taos created chances for 18 points they were unable to execute.
Whatever the coaches said in the locker room, it worked.
The Taos Lady Tigers had their "best 3rd quarter so far this season," said Coach David Sanchez. They scored almost twice as many points in the third quarter - 17 - as in the first half. Though their game slowed slightly in the fourth period, Taos outscored Capital 11 to 8 in the final period.
Taos scored one more point from Capital in the second half, but it wasn't enough to get them out of the hole they'd dug in the first half. Still, the second half was progress to celebrate.
The girls are "showing gains every game," said Sanchez. "I like the attitude that the girls have - they're gaining confidence."
Among the players gaining confidence is Andrica Quintana, who "did a very good job of handling the press" against Capital. It's "her first year running point guard and she's beginning to lead the team."
The Lady Tigers will be "working on putting a whole game together," before districts begin, Sanchez says. They next play Pecos on Tuesday (Jan. 15) after this section goes to press and in the Hope Christian Tournament Jan. 17-19.
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