PHS girls get back on track

By Dave Wagner

Now that the Portales Lady Rams have the District 4-3A lead back, they intend not to let it go.
Portales ended a two-game losing streak Friday night at the PHS gym with a 55-36 victory over a Lovington squad they swamped earlier by 44 points at home before losing by 11 on the road.
With a win at Ruidoso on Tuesday, the Lady Rams (11-11, 3-2 district) can lock up the top seed in the upcoming district tournament and ensure themselves a trip to the state tournament at Albuquerque in early March.
“I’m very proud of (my team) to come back after losing two games like they did,” PHS girls coach Brenda Gomez said. “The kids have heart; they always play hard no matter what.”
Lovington (9-14, 2-3) made a much better showing than in its first trip to Portales. Still, the Lady Wildcats fell behind 9-0 in the first five minutes and never got closer than seven.
“We expected them to come out hard,” said PHS senior guard Patty Terry, who scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a couple of 3-pointers, and also grabbed six rebounds. “But we knew if we did what we do in practice we’d come out with a victory.
“We worked really well. Once our defense came on tonight, our offense came around.”
Nine of the 10 PHS players who saw action scored, and the 10th — starting guard Rebekah Gonzales — contributed a team-high six assists.
Junior Morgan Hill matched Terry for team scoring honors with 12 points, shooting 6-of-9, and led a 35-15 Lady Rams domination of the glass with seven rebounds. Meantime, junior Megan Kabrick returned to action after missing six games due to injury and contributed 11 points and six boards, finishing 5-for-7 from the field while playing about 14 minutes.
“She made a big difference,” Gomez said. “Just her presence on the floor gives our team confidence.
“Megan is a competitor; she’s a fine athlete. It just gives us one more post player.”
Senior post Monique Perez was Lovington’s lone double-figure scorer, finishing with 12 points.
The Lady Wildcats began to chip into a 15-point, second-quarter deficit when they went to pressure defense, which bothered the Lady Rams at times. But after Lovington pulled to 37-30 on a 3-pointer by junior Crystal Marquez with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third period, Portales’ Tara Johnson scored five quick points to start a 13-4 charge that carried into the final stanza.
“We weren’t very patient (at first) on our pressbreaker,” Terry said, “but once we calmed down we were all right.”
Gomez and Terry said they expect the Lady Rams to play well in Tuesday’s rubber match at Ruidoso (13-9, 2-2). The Lady Warriors won at Portales 50-42 on Feb. 4.
“We’re just going to work 10 times harder,” Terry said. “We know what we have to do.”
Both games so far have gone to the visiting team.
“We know we can beat them,” Gomez said. “Now we’ve just got to do it again.”

District 4-3A
Portales 55, Lovington 36
Lovington (9-14, 2-3) —
Crystal Marquez 3 0-0 7, Melinda Enriquez 0 0-0 0, Monique Perez 6 0-3 12, Danielle Olivas 0 0-0 0, Brigette Gonzales 3 0-0 7, Lilly Borunda 3 0-0 6, Jenna Domzalski 1 2-4 4. Totals 16-40 2-7 36.
Portales (11-11, 3-2) — Tara Johnson 2-7 1-1 5, Rebekah Gonzales 0-2 0-0 0, Briana Hernandez 2-3 0-0 4, Caroline Knudson 0-1 1-2 1, Megan Kabrick 5-7 1-2 11, Patty Terry 5-6 0-0 12, Bethany Self 1-5 0-0 2, Amanda Terry 0-0 2-2 2, Morgan Hill 6-9 0-0 12, Ashleah Richards 2-9 1-2 6. Totals 23-49 6-9 55.
Lovington 4 15 15 2 — 36
Portales 11 17 18 9 — 55
3-pointers —
Lovington 2-12 (B. Gonzales, Marquez), Portales 3-10 (P. Terry 2-3, Richards 1-3, Kabrick 0-1, Knudson 0-1, Johnson 0-2). Rebounds — Lovington 15, Portales 35 (Hill 7). Assists — Lovington 8, Portales 13 (R. Gonzales 6). Total fouls — Lovington 11, Portales 9. Fouled out — none. JV score — Portales 44, Lovington 30.