Portales State Tournament Notes

By Rick White

On the sidelines
Sophomore Megan Kabrick has become a student of the game since her season-ending knee injury in late December.
Assistant coach Greg Poynor said Kabrick has handled the setback well.
“She comes to every practice and never misses a game,” Poynor said. “She’s been real supportive and cheers for her teammates.”
Kabrick, a starter on last year’s state title team, is determined to get something positive out of this season, even if it’s watching from the bench.
“Before, I would just go out there and play and have fun,” the soft-spoken 5-foot-10 post said. “Now I understand why somebody makes a cut or why we do something a certain way.”
Kabrick said it’s difficult not playing, but “I still have two years left.”
She said she’s working hard at rehabbing her knee under the direction of her father, Eastern New Mexico Head Athletic Trainer Ed Kabrick, and hopes to return to playing basketball again as early as June.

Driver and the Pilots
Lady Rams bus driver Galen Isaacs is not just along for the ride.
Isaacs, who has been taking the Lady Rams on road trips since 1996, also keeps the scorebook and one of coach Brenda Gomez’ numerous lucky charms.
Per order of coach, Isaacs uses only Pilot pens — black for the first half and red for the second. He keeps the coaches informed of foul and possession situations.
Gomez said messing up “the system” is not quite a fireable offense, “but it’s not acceptable,” she told Isaacs.
“He’s the easiest person in the world to get along with,” Gomez said. “He’s always happy and real supportive.”

One last time
Gomez said she’s been thinking all year that her special relation as coach and mother of senior point guard Roni Gomez is coming to an end.
The veteran coach got a little teary-eyed when she thought about today’s game against Socorro being her last as coaching her daughter.
“Winning a state championship is one of the greatest experiences a person can have in sports and life,” Gomez said. “I love all the kids, but it’s been a little bit more special with Roni.”

Robo sub
Junior Patty Terry has overcome several knee, foot and shoulder surgeries and become a key reserve.
With several players in foul trouble in Wednesday’s 56-46 win over Robertson, Terry was pressed into more playing time than usual and responded with a big game.
She finished with seven points and six rebounds, including a 3-pointer that capped a decisive 14-3 run midway through the fourth quarter.
Her putback with three seconds left in the half to give Portales a 30-16.
“She really stepped up,” Gomez said. “She just let the game come to her and didn’t try to force anything.”

Picture perfect pass
Roni Gomez will have a special keepsake to take home from the state tournament. She is one of two players — a boys and a girl — pictured on this year’s passes for coaches and players.