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Cards hold on, drop Warriors

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Brandon Maes’ return to the lineup gave the Robertson boys’ basketball team a boost Saturday night, and it came in handy as the Cardinals carved out a 49-44 win over Socorro at Mike Marr Gym.

Maes scored 13 points, including six in the second quarter, when the Cardinals wrested control from the Warriors.
Socorro came out firing freely from the perimeter, and initially that approach worked well.

Matthew Jojola and Ethan Smith both swished 3-pointers and Sean Moore scored off the dribble to give Socorro a 10-5 advantage midway through the first quarter.

Playing with poise in front of their home crowd, the Redbirds retaliated with a run.

Ricardo Martinez took a pass from Joe Armijo and knocked down a turnaround jumper. Then Keith Romero hit a baseline jump shot. Then David Romero, providing a lift off the bench, went inside for two points. Francisco “Coco” Arguello did the same, off an assist from Keith Romero, and RHS led 13-10.

Socorro regained a slim lead before Maes tied it with a long 2-pointer.

Zeb Esquivel’s bucket gave the Warriors a 17-15 edge, but David Romero answered from the baseline, and Maes scored twice as the Cardinals went on another run, this one leaving them ahead 22-17. Chris Quintana closed the half with a pair of free throws to make it 24-19.

Robertson managed to retain control throughout the second half, twice taking the margin to double digits. Key to the effort was strong team defense that resulted in either  turnovers or tough shots for Socorro.

Maes’ old-fashioned three-point play gave the Cardinals their biggest lead, 46-34, with 4:47 left in the fourth period.
The Warriors came back after that, beginning with a 3-pointer by Jojola. Esquivel capped a 10-2 Socorro rally by finishing off a long lob to make it 48-44 with half a minute remaining.

But the Warriors couldn’t capitalize after an unforced RHS turnover, missing multiple shots at the rim, and James Gonzales grabbed the defensive board and drew a foul with 2.5 seconds left.

Martinez finished with 10 for Robertson. Keith Romero and David Romero had 7 each.

In other weekend boys’ basketball action:

• West Las Vegas (4-5) defeated Ruidoso on the road 58-49 on Friday.

• Mora’s boys took fourth in the Northern Rio Grande boys’ bracket, losing to Escalante 55-47 Saturday in Jacona.
The Rangers won big, 81-49 against Coronado on Thursday, but lost to McCurdy 64-52 on Friday.

Pecos’ boys placed seventh in the NRG, beating Coronado 61-47. Pecos had lost a close one to Peñasco 73-65 in the opener, then fell to Dulce 46-37 Friday.