By Kevin Wilson: PNT Staff Writer
As the pressure of district and playoff play rises for basketball teams across New Mexico, another type of pressure is rising for Portales — pressure on the ball.
Portales (10-5) spent a lot of Monday’s practice working on press-breakers for Tuesday’s home game against Carlsbad, and the team feels it’s the first of many teams that will throw the press at the Lady Rams for the rest of the year.
“I think a lot of teams think that’s the way to beat us because we’re so big (in the post),” Portales coach Brenda Gomez said. “But we handle the ball so much better than last year.”
Junior guard Amanda Terry concurs with her coach’s assessment.
“I’m more patient,” Terry said, “and I feel like I can handle pressure a little better than last year.”
About the varsity team she’s been part of for two years, Terry said, “I think we’ve come together really well. I feel confident we’ll do good.”
Portales, 5-1 at home this season and 5-1 in its last six games, has tonight’s game against Carlsbad before playing road games at Roswell High and Clovis before the Jan. 20 District 4-3A opener at Lovington.
Gomez admits the team has had ups and downs through the season, but played well under the circumstances in its first game against Carlsbad this year.
“We’d only been out of volleyball for four (practice) days,” Gomez said of the 59-43 victory on Nov. 22. “I was pretty pleased with the effort. It wasn’t pretty, but I saw the things we could do.
“Now I think we are at the point where we should do those things.”
After tonight, Portales will be away from home until a Jan. 24 district game against Ruidoso.