Lady Rams gain district tourney finals

By Dave Wagner

CMI sports writer

dwagner@cnjonline.com

Getting ready to face rival Lovington again, the Portales Lady Rams have to feel better about themselves than they did after Friday’s relatively close win at Ruidoso.

Joshua Lucero: PNT corespondent Portales senior Kacie Terry works her way around Shalom Keller of Ruidoso during the second half of Tuesday’s District 4-3A girls tournament game at the Ram Athletic Center. PHS advanced to Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game at Lovington with a 65-28 win.

Joshua Lucero: PNT corespondent
Portales senior Kacie Terry works her way around Shalom Keller of Ruidoso during the second half of Tuesday’s District 4-3A girls tournament game at the Ram Athletic Center. PHS advanced to Saturday’s 5:30 p.m. championship game at Lovington with a 65-28 win.

This time, PHS overwhelmed the Lady Warriors with aggressive fullcourt defense, built a 35-9 lead late in the first half and cruised to a 65-28 win in the District 4-3A tournament semifinal game at the Ram Athletic Center.

Portales (21-4), ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by Maxpreps.com, advances to the tourney final, which has been moved from Friday night to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at top-ranked Lovington (21-4). It will be the teams’ fourth meeting, with the Lady Rams winning an early-season tournament matchup and the Lady Wildcats taking both games in district play.

Ostensibly, a top seed in the 3A state tournament could be on the line.

“We’re just going to go play and see what happens,” Lady Rams coach Wade Fraze said. “They’re the No. 1 team in the state, and we just want to play four good quarters.”

Lovington will host the boys final, at 7 p.m., against the winner of Thursday’s Portales-at-Ruidoso matchup.

PHS forced a whopping 45 turnovers against the young (six freshmen) Lady Warriors (3-21), who had given a good account of themselves in Friday’s matchup at Ruidoso, trailing by just two points at halftime before PHS pulled away to win 52-31.

“We didn’t play well the first half (at Ruidoso),” Fraze said. “Hopefully, we’ve got that out of our system.”

Sophomores Kambrey Blakey and Sheraya Cox each scored 12 points as 11 of the 13 Lady Rams in uniform hit the scoring column.

Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent Lady Rams sophomore Sheraya Cox gets a shot off over Ruidoso’s Ariel Aguilar during the third quarter of Tuesday’s District 4-3A tournament semifinal at the RAC. Cox scored 12 points in Portales’ 65-28 win.

Joshua Lucero: PNT correspondent
Lady Rams sophomore Sheraya Cox gets a shot off over Ruidoso’s Ariel Aguilar during the third quarter of Tuesday’s District 4-3A tournament semifinal at the RAC. Cox scored 12 points in Portales’ 65-28 win.

Sophomore forward Bailey Rowley, who had nine points and a team-high seven rebounds, said it was a change in attitude from Friday’s game.

“We came in and just wanted to have fun,” she said. “We just really stepped on their throat early and we finished the game strong.”

The Lady Rams forced seven turnovers in the first three minutes and led 15-0 midway through the opening quarter. It was never a game after that.

Senior Darian Magooshboy led the Lady Warriors with seven points.

Rowley said she’s anxious for Saturday’s game.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I know we haven’t given (Lovington) four (good) quarters yet. We want to come out with a win.”

SUMMARY
District 4-3A tournament
Portales 65, Ruidoso 28
Ruidoso (3-21) — Dennise Martinez 1 1-2 3, Haven Whipple 0 0-0 0, Jules Muniz 1 0-0 2, Ariel Aguilar 1 1-2 3, Alexa Davis 0 0-0 0, Janessa Melendez 0 0-0 0, Shalom Keller 2 1-2 5, Sierra Davis 1 0-2 2, Lia Mosher 3 0-0 6, Darian Magooshboy 2 2-2 7, Korey King 0 0-0 0 . Totals 11 5-10 28.
Portales (21-4) — Bailey Schillings 1 0-0 2, Francis Armijo 2 0-0 4, Bailey Rowley 2 5-9 9, Sheraya Cox 5 2-2 12, Amanda Schmidt 0 1-2 1, Brittany Gonzales 0 0-0 0, Brooke Lopez 0 0-0 0, Kambrey Blakey 1 10-10 12, Kacie Terry 1 0-0 2, Kaycee Leary 2 0-0 5, Simone Laurenz 2 0-0 4, Savannah Vincent 4 0-0 8, McKenzie Bucksath 3 0-0 6. Totals 23 18-23 65.
Ruidoso    4    9    11    4    —    28
Portales    21    14    17    13    —    65
3-pointers — Ruidoso, Magooshboy. Portales, Leary. Rebounds — Ruidoso 29, Portales 28 (Rowley 7). Assists — Ruidoso n/a, Portales 11 (Blakey 3). Total fouls — Ruidoso 16, Portales 13. Fouled out — Mosher. Technicals — Mosher.

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