Roswell holds off Portales
Last updated 1/11/2017 at 3:38pm
PORTALES — Behind a 29-point performance from last season's 5A State Player of the Year, Jaedyn De La Cerda, the Roswell girls basketball team handed Portales its third straight loss, toppling the Rams 65-56 Tuesday night.
Rams coach Wade Fraze said of the Coyotes standout, "She was the player of the year last year on the state championship team and signed with UNM (University of New Mexico); that says enough right there. I feel like the caliber of player she is, I thought we did a good job. I know she had to work for what she got and wasn't able to do some things she likes."
Despite a double-double performance from the Rams' (9-5) Taylee Rippee with 24 points and 12 rebounds, a big third quarter from the Coyotes (13-4) would put the team from Roswell up by 11 — a deficit Portales could never overcome. While the Rams closed the gap at times, a hectic fourth quarter turned into a free-throw contest for Roswell, who shot 24 freebies during the period.
With just over five minutes left to play, Portales' Fraze was assessed his second technical foul on the night and ejected from the game. From that point forward, both teams would be sent to the charity stripe repeatedly until the final buzzer.
Despite the difficulties, Portales continued its full court press, which at times would generate turnovers, but rarely resulted in much scoring to close in on the Coyotes' lead. With under two minutes to play the Rams made a small run to bring the score within seven, but despite two Roswell turnovers, Portales couldn't get any shots to fall.
"That's one thing our girls pride themselves on, they will never ever quit," said Fraze. "Against a team of that caliber . . . my kids could have quit but they didn't and never will and I am very proud of them."
The Rams will travel to Lovington on Friday to take on the Wildcats at 7 p.m. Fraze will not be available for the Rams, as he will be required to sit out a game following his ejection under New Mexico Activities Association rules.