Rams’ fans can reminisce with Zias’ game

Kevin Wilson

The Portales girls basketball team opens its season on Dec. 2, but those looking to reminisce might want to wait for a Dec. 16 game at Greyhound Arena.
The Eastern New Mexico University women’s team is hosting West Texas A&M that night in its home debut. This year’s Zia roster reunites junior guards Ashley Golden and Laci Lee, who were teammates on the 2001 Portales Class 3A championship team.
Lee signed with ENMU in the spring of 2001, after helping both the volleyball and basketball teams win state titles. Golden has returned to Portales after two years of general education classes at Wayland Baptist — WBU didn’t offer her major of communicative disorders.
Golden walked on for the chance to continue her basketball career and to renew old bonds. She’ll be the first to admit that she isn’t in high school anymore, though.
“It’s all business, I guess,” Golden said. “It’s very intense and it’s very serious. But at the same time, it’s fun.

If evaluations from District 3-1A coaches are at all accurate, the 2004 season should be an enjoyable one to watch full of quality players returning.
Of the 12 members chosen to this year’s squad, nine are juniors. The three seniors are Melrose’s Allison Cochran and Elida Lady Tigers Keisha Chenault and Halee Best.
District champion Fort Sumner led the way with four selections — juniors Kayla Britain, Leslie Wood, Tobea Patterson and Sandy Fortner.
Other selections include Elida’s Amber Griffin and Floyd’s Noel Carpenter, along with Jena Bilberry and D’Shawn Pettigrew of Dora.

Miscellaneous notes from last weekend’s state volleyball tournament in Roswell: Though picking up a Class 1A third-place trophy wasn’t their ultimate goal, the Fort Sumner Vixens arguably left the tournament with the best jump on the 2004 season. The Vixens, who finished the season at 21-5, were the only team out of 36 state tournament participants that had no seniors on the roster. Class 5A champ Rio Rancho is most likely to rebuild, with nine seniors on its 2003 roster. … Portales won its fifth state title in school history on Saturday, putting the Lady Rams in a tie with Las Cruces for fourth-place all-time. Portales and Las Cruces trail West Mesa (seven), Hot Springs and Goddard (nine each). … Loaded with height and talent across the board, Des Moines put itself in select company. The Lady Demons became the second Class 1A team to win three-straight state titles, joining the 1981-83 Melrose Lady Buffs. The three wins at the tournament also moved their winning streak to 51 matches, tying Hope Christian (1994-96) for the state record.