The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales keeping focus as top seed

Rams host No. 16 Bosque 5:30 p.m. Friday


March 1, 2018

PORTALES — Look only at the record and you'll see a No. 16 seed.

Bosque High's girls basketball team is 14-14 overall, went 6-4 in its regular-season district play. Seems like a 16th seed in a tough 4A class, right?

Look closer, though, and you might see a trap door for any opponent that takes such a team for granted. Seedings just determine where teams play in the first round. Not looking closer and instead looking ahead can be dangerous for any team, even No. 1 seed Portales.

"I think their record is a little deceiving," Portales head coach Wade Fraze said of the Bosque team his Lady Rams will host in Friday night's first-round game, beginning at 5:30 p.m. "They have size. I haven't seen a lot of film on them, but they look well-rounded. They've got a 6-foot senior (Haley Chavez), a 5-10 sophomore (Ashley Green), and there are several kids who are 5-9. So they've got some size. That's size that you've got to contend with."

Portales (24-2) heads into Friday's game with some size of its own. Forwards Lindsay Blakey and Taylee Rippee have been giving the Lady Rams solid frontcourt play all season, so they may match up well with Bosque.

"I hope so," Fraze said. "We do have some size at two positions, but after those two, we drop off. We're not big across the board. Aside from those two, we're fairly small."

Those smaller players, though, keep Portales well-rounded. Zamorye Cox, Kelly Fraze, Alexis Garcia, Sarah Lovato and Lillie Saiz are among the players who have produced for the Rams this winter.

Regardless of whether Portales gets scoring in the paint or from the perimeter, Fraze likes to work on some of the game's general aspects.

"I think for us just to focus on little things," he said, "I mean things that don't make the paper, they're not on SportsCenter, things people don't usually notice, you don't see them on highlight reels."

Those little things to which Fraze refers are boxing out, defensive rotation, and communication on offense and defense. "Things that we can do consistently every time," he said, "and that's whether we're playing (Bosque) or someone else."

Those things, the nuts and bolts of basketball, are within the Lady Rams' control, unlike most of what happens on the floor.

"Sometimes every shot falls, sometimes nothing falls," Fraze said, "but those (little things) should be constants. You can control those every night. We practice those consistently throughout the season. As basic as some of those things are, we drill those every day for that reason."

The hope is that it all clicks, game by game, building up to big games like Friday's.

"Our goal is to be better at every position," Fraze said. "I want to do more than neutralize them inside. Even if we are better than them, even if the size is the same, I would like to be better at those little things than the other team."


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