Lady Rams trounce Lovington in District 4-3A opener

No one knew exactly what to expect in Friday’s District 4-3A girls opener between Portales High and Lovington.
Certainly, no one really expected what happened.
Leading just 12-10 late in the opening stanza, the Lady Rams went on a 44-9 blitz that carried into the early moments of the fourth quarter in a 70-26 rout at the PHS gym.
Freshman post Bethany Self went 9-for-11 from the field and scored 21 points, all in the first three quarters, to lead four Lady Rams in double figures. PHS (9-9) shot 59 percent from the field, including 12-of-16 in the second half.
Portales made the night an easy one for acting head coach Sharon Max, running the team with head coach Brenda Gomez away attending to a family matter.
“The kids are getting better every day,” Max said. “I just want them to improve, but they overran my expectations.”
Junior Ashleah Richards finished with 15 points, including 8-of-10 free throws, and delivered four assists. Junior Morgan Hill had 11 points and a team-leading nine rebounds, while senior Patty Terry added 10 points and four assists.
“I thought we came out with a little more intensity,” junior guard Rebekah Gonzales said. “We just came out and played to win.
“This whole week we’ve been working on defensive intensity. We were just ready to play tonight.”
Junior guard Crystal Marquez scored six points for Lovington (7-12), which converted just 11-of-34 shots from the field, was outrebounded 29-13 and committed 20 turnovers.
Lady Wildcats coach Pilar Carrasco acknowledged his team seemed to hit a wall after a basket by junior Jenna Domzalski brought them within two points with under two minutes left in the first quarter.
“We hit a wall called ‘Morgan Hill,’” he said, referring to the 6-foot-1 post. “Portales is for real. We’re going to have to figure something out the next time so we can keep it close.”
Hill’s length allowed her to get to some rebounds and also created a number of steals.
“I thought No. 23 (Self) really played a good game,” Carrasco said. “They had so many people that hurt us. You can’t concentrate on just one person.”
Gonzales said the Lady Rams didn’t anticipate the lopsided game, which was played with a running clock for parts of the second half once the margin grew to 35 points.
“We just kind of put it in neutral and held our lead,” she said. “We haven’t done a very good job of playing with the lead.
“Maybe it was just an off-night (for Lovington). Maybe next time it’ll be different.”
Everyone in uniform got plenty of playing time, and most contributed, Max said.
“With our defense, we try to teach the girls to be intense,” she said. “That means people will get tired, and we’ll need everyone.”

District 4-3A
Portales 70, Lovington 26
Lovington (7-12, 0-1) —
Crystal Marquez 3 0-0 6, Shea Garcia 1 0-0 3, Melinda Enriquez 1 0-0 2, Monique Perez 0 1-2 1, Danielle Olivas 0 1-3 1, Brigett Gonzales 2 0-0 4, Lilly Borunda 2 0-0 5, Jenna Domzalski 2 0-2 4. Totals 11-34 2-7 26.
Portales (9-9, 1-0) — Tara Johnson 1-5 0-0 2, Rebekah Gonzales 0-1 0-0 0, Briana Hernandez 2-3 3-3 7, Caroline Knudson 0-1 0-0 0, Patty Terry 4-9 0-0 10, Bethany Self 9-11 3-4 21, Amanda Terry 2-3 0-1 4, Morgan Hill 5-6 1-2 11, Montana Russell 0-0 0-0 0, Dora Garcia 0-0 0-0 0, Ashleah Richards 3-5 8-10 15. Totals 26-44 15-20 70.
Lovington 10 5 4 7 — 26
Portales 19 21 14 16 — 70
3-pointers —
Lovington 2-11 (Borunda, Garcia), Portales 3-8 (P. Terry 2-4, Richards 1-1, Gonzales 0-1, Johnson 0-2). Rebounds — Lovington 13, Portales 29 (Hill 9). Assists — Lovington 6, Portales 16 (Richards, P. Terry 4). Total fouls — Lovington 15, Portales 7. Fouled out — none. JV score — Portales 48, Lovington 22.