By Mickey Winfield: PNT staff writer
With the District 4-3A No. 1 seed tucked tightly in their pocket, the Portales Lady Rams are cruising through the second half of their district schedule, undefeated in district play with one game left.
Three Lady Rams scored in double figures as the Portales girls dominated Lovington Saturday evening at Portales High School 69-37. But Portales head coach Brenda Gomez concedes defense may still be a problem.
“I’m still disappointed in the fact that we let them get all the way to the block, and didn’t stop them from penetrating,” Gomez said. “We’re going to have to do better than that if we expect to do anything at the state tournament.”
Offense, however, wasn’t a problem.
Briana Hernandez, who led Portales with 17 points, connected on five three-pointers.
“When we play a certain team, if I do good against that team, I’ll do good against them again,” Hernandez said. “I guess I’ll just have to keep shooting no matter what.”
After Hernandez’ 17 points, junior Bethany Self contributed 15 points and senior shooting guard Sabrina Villanueva added 12 points.
The Lady Rams (15-9, 5-0) took an early lead as Hernandez and Self scored six points each in the first quarter to give Portales a 19-10 lead. The Portales girls outscored Lovington 17-10 in the second quarter to take a 20 point half-time advantage.
Both teams scored 10 points in the third quarter, before Self scored eight of her 15 total points in the fourth period to send Lovington home.
“I was happy with the offensive boards,” Gomez said. “Defensively I thought at times we were all blocking out and nobody went to get the ball, so that’s a good thing to have to fix.”
Lovington (10-12, 3-4) was led by juniors Jazmine Hernandez and Kim Madrid with eight points each.
The Portales girls end their district regular season at Ruidoso Tuesday before hosting the District 4-3A tournament championship game later this month.