Lady Rams win at Ruidoso

By Todd Fuqua

RUIDOSO — Although the Portales Lady Rams entered District 4-3A play with a less-than-stellar 8-9 record — not something you’d expect from the defending Class 3A state champions — they opened that district play Friday with a 70-26 thrashing of Lovington Friday.
Any remaining doubts about Portales’ abilities when it comes to district were erased Tuesday with a 55-39 victory over Ruidoso.
“Ruidoso plays good defense, and they’re real aggressive and bigger than Lovington,” Portales acting head coach Sharon Max said. “I knew if we wanted to do well we’d have to be aggressive, too.”
Aggressive defense is what got Ruidoso its 11-7 pre-district record, and its half-court trap game worked well against the Lady Rams.
Portales (10-9, 2-0 district) had trouble getting the ball across the timeline more than once, even getting called for a 10-second violation atone point.
Ruidoso was also forcing a lot of Rams turnovers, but the Lady Warriors weren’t able to convert every time down the floor.
That’s something Ruidoso coach Greg Marez has struggled with this season, but he said it was Lady Warriors turnovers that hurt most in this game.
“We were making more turnovers, and that comes from not being mentally prepared,” Marez said. “If you’re prepared, you’ll make the shots when you have them, and we weren’t prepared. I blame myself for that.”
While Ruidoso may have struggled with its mental focus, Portales never had control of this game until the second half. The Lady Warriors didget behind by as much as 10 points in the second quarter, but their defensecaused enough turnovers and transition buckets to make it a competitive game right up until halftime.
It was after the break that Portales began moving the ball effectively against the Lady Warriors, with Morgan Hill or Bethany Self getting the ball on the weak side for some backdoor layups.
Hill led the game with 18 points on the night, while Self added 10. Hill also led Portales with eight rebounds and had two blocks.

District 4-3A
Portales 55, Ruidoso 39
Portales (10-9, 2-0) —
Tara Johnson 1 1-4 4, Rebekah Gonzales 0 0-0 0, Briana Hernandez 2 0-0 4, Caroline Knudson 0 0-0 0, Patty Terry 1 2-2 4, Bethany Self 3 4-4 10, Amanda Terry 1 2-3 5, Morgan Hill 8 2-3 18, Montana Russell 0 0-0 0, Dora Garcia 1 0-1 2, Ashleah Richards 2 4-6 8. Totals 19 15-23 55.
Ruidoso (11-8, 0-1) — Rebekah Hedin 0 0-0 0, Allison Rigsby 1 0-1 3, Lynette Woodward 0 0-2 0, Katie Coronado 2 2-2 7, Kristen Miller 1 1-2 3, Jessica Gibson 3 1-1 7, Kara Sparks 0 0-0 0, Lacie Garcia 0 0-0 0, Jeanette Zagone 0 0-0 0, Christine Brown 4 3-5 11, Elisa Vigil 0 0-1 0, Beth Robinson 2 4-10 8. Totals 13 11-24 39.
Portales 15 13 9 18 — 55
Ruidoso 9 11 8 11 — 39
3-pointers —
Portales (2): Johnson, A. Terry; Ruidoso (2): Coronado, Rigsby. Rebounds — Portales 26 (Hill 8), Ruidoso 23 (Brown 8). Total fouls — Portales 26, Ruidoso 23.