By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Portales Lady Ram head coach Brenda Gomez said if her girls could combine their first half against La Cueva with their first half against Gallup, they would have won this weekend’s Plateau Holiday Classic. As it stands, they won the consolation championship with a 45-24 win Friday morning against Gadsden at Clovis’ Rock Staubus Gymnasium.
Senior Briana Hernandez led all scorers with 12 points and Portales post Kaycee Quick added 8 as the Lady Rams secured the 21-point win with a 14-3 run in the fourth period.
But Gomez said consistency still remains an issue.
“We’ve got to find the consistency and it’s not there yet, but we have to get it,” Gomez said. “It’s got to be not just from one or two kids, but from the whole team.”
The Portales girls took a commanding 14-3 first period lead as Tara Johnson and Bethany Self both contributed four points in the opening quarter, but the Lady Panthers outscored Portales in the second period 9-4, cutting the Portales lead to 9 points at the half, 22-13.
Hernandez added 6 points in the third period as the Lady Rams took a 10-point lead heading into the fourth period, where Portales dominated.
“We can be consistent on defense, we’re not there yet, but we need to be,” Gomez said. “We just need to play an entire game with the intensity and consistency that we need. Today was OK, good enough to win, and at times I thought it was really good. But it wasn’t all put together.”
Tara Johnson, in her third game back from a severe knee injury suffered last season, scored 4 points.
“We all played good as a team, I thought. We were talking a lot on defense,” Johnson said. “My shots weren’t falling. I’m out of shape, but my knee felt fine.”
On Thursday Portales squandered a 10-point, second half lead to La Cueva in the opening round and lost 34-28, before beating Gallup 31-29 in the consolation semifinals Friday.
The Lady Rams (5-6) host the Portales shoot-out starting Friday.