Juniors Tamra Fowler and Faith Lucero ignited a 27-point fourth quarter that Socorro needed every bit of in winning the District 3-3A girls basketball title 60-56 over Cobre on Feb. 25.
The duo netted 23 of Socorro’s 27 final-quarter points, where Fowler scored 15 of her team-high 22 points, and Lucero pumped in eight of her 13 points in the final minutes.
Cobre came looking for an upset and had Socorro down 25-19 at the half after the Lady Warriors scored six points in the second quarter.
Socorro’s defensive press ended up drawing fouls, and Cobre found ways around it. Still, despite those early problems, it was the Lady Warriors’ press that ended up beating the Lady Indians into submission.
“We just kept pressing. We just wanted to keep putting some pressure on them. They broke the press in the first half. So, we had to stay in a man and kind of stay in the half court,” Socorro coach Jarrod Storey said. “The second half, we just had to go with it and hope it worked for us – it did.”
It was a roller-coaster ride for Socorro fans as they watched the Lady Warriors move to a 54-44 lead with 2:48 to play, only to see Cobre mount a 12-6 rally.
Fowler had been saving her best for last. When she stepped to the free-throw line with eight ticks left on the clock, Socorro was clinging to a slim 58-56 advantage. Socorro fans were on the edge of their seats, but there was no need to sweat as Fowler nailed both shots – completing a 10–12-night at the charity stripe.
On a foul-filled night, the Lady Warriors made the most of their trips to the line and hit 26-40 shots. Jaylin Gonzales had seven free throws in making up her nine points, while Ariana Crespin had nine in the field.
The win is a miracle turnaround for Socorro after Storey took over a 3-17 team and has since gone 6-1 against district opponents. Socorro had already wrapped up the regular season crown with a 5-1 record.
As Storey put it, his halftime speech was heated, and the Lady Warriors responded.
“We played pretty poorly in the first half, and there was no blocking out. We had slow feet on defense, and I dug into them pretty deep at halftime and got into them a little bit,” Storey said. “I think it kind of freaked them out, and probably they didn’t necessarily like it, but they responded pretty well.”
Socorro drew the No. 13 seed in the state tournament bracket and will travel on Friday to take on No. 4 Tohatchi in a 6 p.m. game.
Lucero and Fowler were named All-District players following Socorro’s win and were joined on the All-District 3-3A roster by Jaylin Gonzales and Alex Crespin. All four players were recognized with plaques.
Coach of the Year
Storey was selected Coach of the Year by the district coaches.
His attempt to dodge on-the-court recognition was cut off by Lucero, who grabbed the microphone to ensure the crowd knew he had been named Coach of the Year.
Jaylin Gonzales 9, Faith Lucero 13, Kaedyn Gonzalez2, Jasmine Alvarado 5, Ariana Crespin 9, Tamra Fowler 22.