Ruidoso tops struggling PHS

By Dave Wagner

It’s becoming evident that you can expect the unexpected in District 4-3A girls basketball, and the Portales Lady Rams are the best example of that.
After stomping Lovington by 44 points at home and soundly beating Ruidoso 55-39 on the road, Portales has lost the rematches to those teams — including Friday’s 50-42 setback to Ruidoso at the PHS gym.
The Lady Warriors (12-9, 1-2 district) jumped in front 10-2 and pretty much maintained a stranglehold on a game they desperately needed.
“Portales has always been a great team,” Ruidoso girls coach Greg Marez said. “To come in here and get one is really something.”
PHS coach Brenda Gomez was on the sidelines one day after the funeral of her sister in Farmington. Terry Sue Tafoya, 41, died on Sunday due to complications from diabetes, and Gomez made two cross-state trips over the past couple of weeks to be with her.
Portales (10-11, 2-2) was never really in the game, trailing by 17 points after three quarters before closing to six in the final seconds.
“Ruidoso’s a good team,” said Gomez, who missed the team’s first three district contests. “They’re very athletic and they didn’t make mistakes, and we did. They got some easy shots (early) and got some confidence going.”
Sophomore guard Allison Rigsby led Ruidoso with 13 points. The Lady Warriors were thumped on the glass by Portales 29-15, but forced PHS into 27 turnovers with the help of an aggressive zone press.
Ruidoso’s style, which didn’t bother the Lady Rams that much in the earlier meeting, obviously caused a lot of problems this time.
“We wanted to keep pressure on them,” Marez said. “We tried to be more mentally prepared. Last time we had some mental breakdowns.
“I think we executed more than we ever have. We capitalized on some of their turnovers, which they did against us at Ruidoso.”
Junior post Morgan Hill led all scorers with 17 points on 7-of-10 field goal shooting for Portales, but the rest of the team was just 9-of-26. That, combined with the turnovers, was too much to overcome.
“We didn’t get caught up in their pressure out there,” Gomez said. “Our biggest problem is we’re just not consistent enough to rely on anything.”
Portales closed to 15-13 early in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by senior guard Patty Terry, but the Lady Warriors promptly went on an 11-0 run that featured points from four players. The Lady Rams didn’t get the margin back to single figures until just over a minute remained.

District 4-3A
Ruidoso 50, Portales 42
Ruidoso (12-9, 1-2) —
Allison Rigsby 4 3-5 13, Lynette Woodward 0 0-0 0, Katie Coronado 3 1-2 7, Kristen Miller 3 0-0 7, Jessica Gibson 3 2-6 8, Kara Sparks 0 0-0 0, Lacie Garcia 1 0-0 3, Jeanette Zagone 0 0-0 0, Christine Brown 2 1-2 5, Elisa Vigil 2 0-1 4, Beth Robinson 1 1-2 3. Totals 19-45 8-18 50.
Portales (10-11, 2-2) — Tara Johnson 1-6 0-0 2, Rebekah Gonzales 0-0 0-0 0, Briana Hernandez 2-4 0-0 5, Patty Terry 3-6 0-0 8, Bethanie Self 1-4 3-4 5, Amanda Terry 0-1 0-0 0, Morgan Hill 7-10 3-3 17, Montana Russell 0-0 0-0 0, Dora Garcia 0-0 0-0 0, Ashleah Richards 2-5 0-0 5. Totals 16-36 6-7 42.
Ruidoso 13 19 9 9 — 50
Portales 10 9 5 18 — 42
3-pointers —
Ruidoso 4-12 (Rigsby 2, L. Garcia, Miller), Portales 4-13 (P. Terry 2-4, Hernandez 1-3, Richards 1-3, Hill 0-1, Johnson 0-1, A. Terry 0-1). Rebounds — Ruidoso 15, Portales 29 (Self 7). Assists — Ruidoso 11, Portales 10 (Richards 5). Total fouls — Ruidoso 13, Portales 16. Fouled out — none. JV score — Portales 56, Ruidoso 17.