By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Hobbs senior shooting guard Samantha Acosta sank three of her five 3-pointers in the fourth period and led all scorers with 19-points, as the visiting Class 5A Lady Eagles beat Portales 65-49 Saturday night at Portales High School.
The Lady Rams trailed Hobbs by 9-points at the half, but Acosta led a Hobbs second half flurry that separated the Lady Eagles from Portales for good, despite a solid fourth-quarter effort from the top ranked Lady Rams.
“I’m very pleased with a lot of the effort,” Lady Rams head coach Brenda Gomez said. “Turnovers, we cut those way down in the second half, (I’m) just disappointed that we were in the game and we were doing well … we didn’t put a whole game together, but it’s getting better.”
Moments after the win, Hobbs head coach Johnny Casaus seemed concerned that his fifth ranked Lady Eagles (9-3) never put the game away.
“We had a problem in the first half making shots,” Casaus said. “We missed a lot of shots especially in the first quarter, we had a chance to kind of build up a lead and we didn’t do that. The other thing is once we got a lead, (Portales) came back because our defense was kind of weak.”
After taking a 20-15 lead in the first quarter, senior point-guard Selena Florez added 5 points in the second period, helping Hobbs build a 37-28 half time advantage. Florez finished the game with 12 points.
Portales junior Bethany Self led the Lady Ram charge in the third quarter, scoring 6 of her 16 total points, but Acosta hit her first two 3-pointers and went 2 of 2 from the free throw line in the third quarter to stretch the Hobbs lead to 13-points.
Portales post Kaycee Quick also asserted herself in the final period, scoring 3 of her 7 total points, but Acosta warmed up from beyond the arc, hitting her three 3-pointers to finish the Portales girls off.
Self led the Lady Rams with her 16-points, followed by Vicki Huber and Briana Hernandez each with 10-points.
“Even though we lost, I think we played a lot better,” Self said. “And we handled the press better. We played a lot better as a team tonight.”
The Lady Rams (3-5) travel to the Clovis Classic after Christmas.