Lady Rams prevail over Farmington

By Dave Wagner

CLOVIS — It’s been a bit of a climb, but the Portales Lady Rams have reached the .500 mark.
They did it by taking command early with a 17-2 run, then hanging on late to beat Farmington 42-36 in a Monday morning quarterfinal game of Clovis’ Plateau Holiday Classic.
The Lady Rams (5-5) won for the fifth time in six games and face Rio Rancho (9-2), a 73-28 winner on Monday over Carlsbad, in a 2:45 p.m. semifinal matchup today.
Trailing 5-2, PHS scored the final 12 points of the first quarter and built a 19-7 lead less than 90 seconds into the second stanza after a 3-point play by 6-foot-1 junior Morgan Hill and a steal and layup by sophomore guard Briana Hernandez.
“We were just playing like we know we can play,” Hill said. “We were moving the ball good.”
Portales didn’t score the rest of the half, however, and when the Lady Scorpions revved up their fullcourt pressure the game tightened up in a hurry.
Farmington (5-4) got within two points late in the third quarter, and pulled to 37-36 with just under a minute left on a steal and layup by junior Sara Elledge. But Portales salted it away with 5-of-6 free throw shooting the rest of the way, including two each by Hill and junior Megan Kabrick in the final 20 seconds.
“I’m pleased,” Portales coach Brenda Gomez said. “They (Lady Rams) did some really good things, and at good times.
“We’ve got to be able to handle pressure, but I think we’re tons better than we were a month ago.”
Hill led a balanced attack with 11 points, and also contributed eight rebounds and at least six blocked shots.
“Sometimes we’d have a hard time getting the ball down the court, but at the end we did a better job,” Hill said.
Portales got solid contributions off the bench from freshman post Bethany Self (eight points, seven rebounds) and Hernandez (seven points, five rebounds). Junior Ashleah Richards added seven points and seven boards.
The Lady Rams were without senior guard Patty Terry, who had four wisdom teeth pulled last week.
Senior Dominique Bitsilly led Farmington with 10 points. The game was a battle of 2004 state finalists — Portales won its second consecutive Class 3A title last March, while the Lady Scorps were second in Class 4A.
“We definitely dug ourselves a hole,” said Farmington coach Tammy Davis, whose team meets Carlsbad in a 1 p.m. consolation semifinal today. “Portales did a great job of getting the ball where they wanted it. They were able to control the tempo offensively.”
Randi Grimes, Farmington’s 6-foot senior post, had her hands full with Hill, who stuffed several of her shots. Grimes eventually fouled out late with four points, but Davis said the experience should benefit her.
“That’s what Randi needs,” she said. “We’re going to see a lot of big teams this year. It was a good learning experience for our kids.”

Portales 42, Farmington 36
Farmington (5-4) —
Kaley Welsh 0 0-0 0, Toni Platero 1 0-0 2, Sara Elledge 3 0-0 7, Dominique Bitsilly 3 3-4 10, Sable Slowman 0 0-0 0, Leane Irvin 2 0-0 6, Breanna Telavera 2 0-0 5, Amber Doughty 1 0-0 2, Randi Grimes 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 3-4 36.
Portales (5-5) — Tara Johnson 0-7 0-0 0, Rebekah Gonzales 0-3 2-2 2, Briana Hernandez 2-2 3-5 7, Caroline Knudson 1-2 0-0 2, Megan Kabrick 1-10 3-4 5, Amanda Terry 0-0 0-0 0, Bethany Self 4-5 0-1 8, Morgan Hill 4-7 3-3 11, Ashleah Richards 2-4 3-6 7. Totals 14-40 14-21 42.
Farmington 5 8 11 12 — 36
Portales 14 5 8 15 — 42
3-pointers —
Farmington 5-14 (Irvin 2, Bitsilly, Elledge, Telavera), Portales 0-5 (Johnson 0-4, Knudson 0-1). Rebounds — Farmington 25, Portales 32 (Hill 8). Assists — Farmington n/a, Portales 5 (Gonzales, Johnson 2). Total fouls — Farmington 17, Portales 9. Fouled out — Grimes.

Plateau Holiday Classic
At Clovis
Monday’s quarterfinals
Portales 42, Farmington 36
Rio Rancho 73, Carlsbad 28
La Cueva 48, Gadsden 31
Clovis 64, Abilene (Texas) Cooper 40
Tuesday’s semifinals
Consolation bracket
Gadsden vs. Cooper, 9 a.m.
Carlsbad vs. Farmington, 1 p.m.
Championship bracket
Rio Rancho vs. Portales, 2:45 p.m.
La Cueva vs. Clovis, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s finals
7th place, 10:45 a.m.
5th place, 9 a.m.
3rd place, 1 p.m.
Championship, 6:30 p.m.