Lady Wildcats get best of Portales again in rematch

CMI staff

LOVINGTON — At least for the moment, you’d have to say the Lovington Lady Wildcats have the stronger claim to No. 1 in Class 3A girls basketball.

For the second time in a week, second-ranked Lovington handled No. 1 Portales, although Tuesday’s 45-41 victory was at least tougher than last week’s 45-33 decision at the RAC.

“I’m much happier with the way we played tonight,” first-year Lady Rams coach Wade Fraze said. “Last week, we just didn’t show up to play.”

Senior forward Selena Ornelas scored 14 points as the Lady Wildcats (21-4, 4-0 district) wrapped up the regular-season district crown.

Senior guard Jocelyn Jeffery, who hit 16-of-16 free throw attempts en route to 25 points in last week’s game, was held to just two field goals by the Lady Rams (19-3, 1-2)this time. But Ornelas was able to pick up the slack.

“That was one of our goals,” Fraze said. “We fixed some things tonight and we found a few other things to fix. But we want to be at our peak at the end (of the season).”

Lovington led by seven points at the quarter, but the Lady Rams regrouped behind five points each from senior guard Francis Armijo and sophomore forward Kambrey Blakey and four from sophomore guard Sheraya Cox to take a 23-18 halftime lead.

Lovington, though, regrouped at the intermission, dominating the third period 15-4 and holding off as the Lady Rams got as close as four points down the stretch.

Blakey finished with a double-double — 12 points and 10 rebounds — while Cox added 10 points for PHS. The Lady Rams outrebounded Lovington 37-32 — senior Savannah Vincent added a game-high 11 caroms — while Armijo finished with five assists.

Portales closes out the regular season on Friday night at Ruidoso.

SUMMARY
District 4-3A
Lovington 45, Portales 41
Portales (19-4, 1-2) — Francis Armijo 2 0-0 5, Bailey Rowley 0 1-2 1, Sheraya Cox 3 4-6 10, Kambrey Blakey 4 2-6 12, Kacie Terry 1 0-0 2, Simone Laurenz 1 0-0 2, Savannah Vincent 1 1-2 3, McKenzie Bucksath 2 2-4 6. Totals 14 10-20 41.
Lovington (21-4, 4-0) — Juztice Perry 2 2-4 7, Talyssa Valencia 1 0-0 3, Myra Salazar 3 1-2 8, Selena Ornelas 3 6-9 14, Lexi Valencia 1 0-0 3, Ryane Haley 1 0-0 2, Kylee Cunningham 2 0-1 4, Jocelyn Jeffery 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 9-16 45.
Portales    6    17    4    14    —    41
Lovington    13    5    15    12    —    45
3-pointers — Portales, Blakey 2, Armijo. Lovington, Ornelas 2, Perry, Salazar, L. Valencia, T. Valencia. Junior varsity — Portales def. Lovington (score n/a).

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