The free throw line was not an issue for sophomore Jacob Robinson. His game in the paint was on point against Hatch Valley.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain


Socorro won a district game, and they won big. The Hatch Valley Bears visited the Warriors’ gym and were no match as Socorro took home a 76-29 victory on Feb. 1.

“For our first district game this was a good win,” Socorro head coach J.J. Griego said. “We’ve had a bit of a lull lately, and I told the kids that we need to pick things up. This is district play, so we have to step it up. Tonight, we played some really great defense and our rebounding was spot on.”

The JV game was not quite the same domination, but it was a route as well. Andrew Hendrick led Socorro with 10 points as he was running up and down the floor. Hatch had a hard time finding the bottom of the net with Franklin Williams being the top scorer for the Bears with seven points. The matchup ended at 52-28 Socorro.

“We don’t have much in game experience,” JV head coach Baylee Robinson said. “For a young team we fought hard but we had a hard time with execution. Making shots was a big problem. At the end of the day, Socorro is a really good team. I was encouraged tonight with our execution at times.”

At 7 p.m. it was time for the varsity squad to come on. The tone was set early with senior Duda Jackson splashing a big three. Junior Damian Greenwood got into the action as well with tough play in the paint and the team was off. Junior Warren Chewiwi also found a hot hand from a distance. It was 47-14 as the two teams went into the locker room at half time.

“We’re trying to keep getting better,” Hatch head coach Fernando Sanchez said at half. “We’re trying to get experience and our goal this year is to just get better and never stop playing. Finding the positives and try to build on that going forward.”

During halftime, Greg Ezell was honored as he recently passed away. He coached football as well as girls and boys basketball for many years.

It was slow going until Chewiwi hit a logo-long three in the middle of the third quarter. Jackson then went off on a stretch in which he was unstoppable on both sides of the floor. Sophomore Jacob Robinson once again ignited the crowd with a thundering dunk. Once things were clearly locked up, the starters were all pulled by coach Griego.

Senior Alejandro Baca was a big key for the team coming off the bench, particularly on the defensive end.

“We’ve been practicing pretty hard,” he said. “We wanted to get better in the second half because we haven’t been doing too hot there. This win was all about teamwork tonight. Calling out screens, switches, presses and passing the ball.”

The show stopping down low Greenwood, who blocked his opponents all night, was also pleased with the results of the game.

“This game was pretty exciting,” he said. “We worked on a few post moves this week and I was able to find success there. Getting those blocks really gets our team going which is what I care about.”

The win puts Socorro at 14-5 on the season. Next up is a road rematch at Hatch Valley on Feb. 11.

3A District 3 Standings:

  1. Socorro; 14-5.
  2. Hot Springs; 11-10.
  3. Cobre; 6-12.