Loaded weekend awaits Portales

By Kevin Wilson: PNT Staff Writer

The goal for the 4-3 Portales girls basketball team is to get more consistent, and with apologies to Elvis Presley, it’s not going to take a little less conversation.

“We started out OK, but we keep turning it on and off,” senior forward Ashleah Richards said before Tuesday’s practice.
“We need to get to the point where we’re pretty good consistently.

“I think that we need to talk more (on the floor) to each other. We have to be a lot smarter on offense and keep our turnovers down, because that’s been hurting us on offense.”

Whether or not they use them to talk with each other, Richards and her teammates will have plenty of opportunities this weekend on the basketball court.

Thursday starts a back-to-back-to-back for Portales, fresh off of a fifth-place finish in the Mel Otero Invitational in Rio Rancho. Portales lost the opener to Highland by a 55-54 score, then defeated an overmatched Del Norte squad 57-19 and rallied from a 10-point deficit to beat Los Lunas 43-40.

“We had one great game, one good game and one horrible game,” Gomez said, referring to the Del Norte game as the horrible one. “The great game, we lost. We did some really good things all over on both sides of the floor.”

“We got to see some tough man, some good zone.”

Now, Portales gets to see another tournament scenario, with three games in three nights, starting with a home game against Goddard Thursday.

“It will be good because two of them are at home,” Gomez said.

Friday will see Portales travel to Hobbs, then the team returns for a Saturday matchup with Moriarty in the first game of a doubleheader with the Portales boys squad.

“As many games as you get,” Gomez said, “there aren’t enough weekends where you can space the games apart. Sometimes you have to play three games in a row.”

The Mel Otero was the first of three tournaments Portales will play in, with the Lady Horsemen Invitational in Santa Fe and the Clovis Classic being the others. Teams are limited to three tournaments per season — the Portales Shootout later this season doesn’t count against the limit of three because it’s more a round-robin format than a bracketed tournament.