Sudan takes victory over Lady Rams

By Dave Wagner

SUDAN, Texas — Already playing without injured junior forward Megan Kabrick, the Portales High Lady Rams couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start Friday night.
They turned the ball over on their first four possessions, and on seven of 10 overall in the first quarter. In the meantime, PHS missed all four of its shots and fell behind Sudan 12-0.
When they finally got going, 6-foot-1 junior Morgan Hill spent much of her time on the bench with fouls against the much shorter Hornettes. Despite that, Portales made a game of it before Sudan pulled away late for a 39-29 win.
Junior post Britney Bryant and senior post Sarah Ferguson combined for 30 points for Sudan (18-7), including 16 for Bryant. They also teamed up to get Hill in foul trouble.
“I thought we were ready to play, but I guess we were amazed at some of their quickness,” PHS girls coach Brenda Gomez said. “We didn’t play like we’d practiced all week.”
Hill, who finished with seven points and a team-high six rebounds, picked up her third personal with 4:34 left in the half and sat out most of the rest of the period. She then got her fourth foul with 2:01 left in the third stanza, came back with 3:13 left in the game and was called for her fifth foul just 10 seconds later.
“That was a big thing,” Sudan coach Clay Stout acknowledged. “She’s so strong defensively and offensively, and that hurt them.
“We kept trying to go at her, but all of their kids play such great defense. We were fortunate (at the end) to be in a situation where we could pull one out.”
Hill broke the ice for the Lady Rams (7-9) with a basket on the first possession of the second quarter. Portales closed to 21-18 early in the third period, and finally pulled to 31-29 with 3:45 left on a 3-pointer by junior Ashleah Richards, who finished with a team-high nine points.
But Portales was unable to score the rest of the way. Bryant added two baskets before Ferguson converted four free throws in the final 40 seconds to push the margin back into double figures for the first time since late in the half.
“I knew we were in for a war,” Stout said. “We were able to keep a small cushion, and finally in the fourth quarter that played into our hands.”
With Sudan running off long, deliberate possessions, the teams combined for just 54 shots from the field. The Hornettes hit 14 of their 26 shots for 54 percent, while PHS went 10-for-28 (36 percent).
Gomez was pleased with her team’s comeback.
“I thought we made a good run at it,” she said. “We did some good things to be able to get back in it.”
In the end, the slow start — plus the absence of Kabrick and, for much of the game, Hill — were too much to overcome.
“We were kind of short in the post spot with Megan out and Morgan in foul trouble,” Gomez said.

Sudan (Texas) 39, Portales 29
Portales (7-9) —
Tara Johnson 1-5 0-0 2, Rebekah Gonzales 0-2 0-0 0, Briana Hernandez 2-3 0-0 6, Caroline Knudson 0-0 0-0 0, Stefanie Sharrock 1-1 0-0 2, Patty Terry 1-3 0-0 3, Bethany Self 0-2 0-0 0, Amanda Terry 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan Hill 3-4 1-2 7, Ashleah Richards 2-8 4-6 9. Totals 10-28 5-8 29.
Sudan (18-7) — Kady Gaston 0 0-0 0, Jacey Davison 1 0-0 2, Taniqua Hollis 3 1-1 7, Britney Bryant 6 3-6 16, Lauren Debnam 0 0-0 0, Sarah Ferguson 4 5-6 14, Lauren Layton 0 0-0 0. Totals 14-26 9-13 39.
Portales 0 14 5 10 — 29
Sudan 12 9 4 14 — 39
3-pointers —
Portales 4-11 (Hernandez 2-3, Richards 1-1, P. Terry 1-2, Gonzales 0-1, Self 0-1, Johnson 0-3), Sudan 2-4 (Bryant, Ferguson). Rebounds — Portales 17 (Hill 6), Sudan 12. Assists — Portales 7 (Gonzales 3), Sudan 9. Total fouls — Portales 15, Sudan 11. Fouled out — Hill. Technicals — Portales bench. JV score — Sudan 24, Portales 23.