In a fierce battle at home in the Den, where it was win or go home, the Tigers advance in the State Championship Playoffs after defeating Socorro, 49-38. The Tigers, at the second seed, hosted this first round matchup with the fifteenth seed Warriors, on their home court before the action moves up to Albuquerque on Wednesday. The Tigers will face New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) Wednesday at the Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho, with the tip off set for 4:45 p.m.
The Saturday evening battle in the Den was played out before a near capacity crowd of Tiger fans, with the Tigers providing a thrilling performance to mark their final home appearance this season.
Building a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of the first quarter, the Tigers saw the lead slip to 15-12 as the second quarter opened, With some fans growing a little nervous in the stands, the lead went over to Socorro at halftime, with the teams heading to the locker rooms as the scoreboard stood at 24-21.
Adjustments made during the intermission, the Tigers came back strong, and retook the lead, 25-24 three minutes and change into the third quarter and recapturing it for good in the final minute and a half of the quarter. The Tigers rock solid defense held their opponents to just 14 points in the second half, while scoring that many points themselves in each of the final two quarters.
With fans, led by the Tiger Cheer team shouting "Defense" at ever Socorro possession, the cheering went wild in the last couple minutes. Fans were on their feet, filling the Den with a Tiger Roar of appreciation as our Tigers finished off the game with a flurry of points and sealed the victory, and their advance to the playoff quarterfinals.
For a complete write up, see Friday's Sentinel.