MORIARTY — For the second year in a row, the Portales Lady Rams came up short to a Class 5A Las Cruces school in the finals of the Moriarty Invitational.
This time, it was Mayfield, which got a late 3-pointer from senior guard Melissa Lucero to take a two-point lead into halftime and then pulled away to a 59-46 victory. Last year, PHS dropped a one-point decision to Las Cruces High in the final round.
Lucero had four 3-pointers en route to 16 points for the game for the Trojans (4-2), while junior forward Danae Rosales added 10 points. Mayfield won despite being without 6-foot senior post Daeshianna McCants, who sat out the finale with an injury but was still named tournament MVP.
Sophomore forward Kambrey Blakey scored 20 points for the Lady Rams (5-1), while sophomore guard Sheraya Cox added 16. Blakey and Cox were named to the all-tournament team, along with senior guard Francis Armijo.
Portales survived an eight-minute scoreless drought in the first half, then scored eight points in a minute to take a 20-19 lead before Lucero’s 3-pointer with about 15 seconds left in the half gave Mayfield, the defending Class 5A state runnerup, the lead for good.
“The girls just played outstanding defense in the second quarter,” PHS coach Wade Fraza said. “They are by fart the most physical team we’ve played this year. They’re very aggressive and they can all shoot.
“I think this game did us more good than the first two rounds” in which Portales ran away to easy wins.
The Lady Rams play their first two home games of the season next weekend, hosting Las Vegas Robertson on Friday night and West Las Vegas on Saturday at the RAC.