By Kevin Wilson: PNT Staff Writer
They were the type of numbers that Roswell should have been happy with heading into the second half. The visiting Lady Coyotes had just four turnovers and held host Portales without a field goal for a 7:20 stretch.
The only numbers that mattered, however, belonged to Portales with a 20-17 lead. And 16 minutes later, the Lady Rams had a new number in their win column with a 50-34 triumph Friday night.
Briana Hernandez scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half for Portales (15-6), including a 3-pointer that keyed a 12-3 third-quarter run that gave the Lady Rams all the breathing room they’d need against the 4A Coyotes.
“They played us well in the first half,” said Portales forward Bethany Self, who added 10 points. “For us to come out and beat them (by 13) in the second half was a good thing for us.”
With Hernandez and Self, Portales had just two double-figure scorers. It was just one of many statistics that would have seemed to favor Roswell.
The Coyotes (10-11) turned the ball over just six times all night and held Portales without a field goal for a 7:20 gap bridging the first and second quarters. However, their poor shooting left them unable to take advantage, with 30 percent shooting from the floor (12-of-40) and 29 percent (6-of-21) from the free throw line.
“We missed a lot of shots. We’re really a team that struggles with our shot a lot,” Roswell coach Joe Carpenter said. “But Portales challenges every shot. It’s not just us.”
A 3-pointer from Desaray Barraza gave Roswell its biggest lead at 15-10, but Portales inched back in with 7-of-10 free-throw shooting in the first half and took the lead for good when Self hit one of two free throws to make the score 18-17.
“We started pretty slowly,” Self said. “I think we just took it to the hole more and made better decisions (after halftime).”
Samantha Matta, who led Roswell with 11 points, started the fourth quarter with a three-point play to cut the lead to eight at 36-28, but Megan Kabrick scored a layup off an inbound play and Hernandez hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back above double figures for good with 6:38 left.
Both teams have district play coming up. Roswell is off until Saturday, when they have a road game against Roswell Goddard.
“We need some rest and we need time in the weight room,” Carpenter said. “I’m glad we played Portales. It’s going to make us better.”
Gomez was happy to get the game too, as it is tough to get games in the middle of the District 4-3A season.
“It was good just to have other competition,” Gomez said. “The kids need a game so they aren’t always going at each other all the time.”
Portales stays home, hosting Lovington Tuesday night.
In the junior varsity game, Roswell defeated Portales 56-53 in overtime.