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

Portales girls reach Littlefield title game


December 29, 2019

LITTLEFIELD — The Portales Lady Rams advanced to the finals of Littlefield’s Wildcat Classic with a pair of wins on Friday, defeating Crosbyton 61-36 in a quarterfinal matchup and slipping past Denver City 38-36 in the semifinals.

The Lady Rams (7-2) were slated to face either Muleshoe or host Littlefield in Saturday night’s championship game.

Against Crosbyton (9-6), PHS opened a 31-18 halftime lead and was never in danger. Sophomore guard Taris Rippee led three Lady Rams in double figures with 12 points, while sophomore forward Kylyie Paden added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds and junior guard Mattison Blakey chipped in 10 points and seven boards.

“We didn’t play a very good first half at all, despite the score,” Lady Rams coach Wade Fraze said. “Our second half was much better, especially the third quarter.”

Sophomore guard Riley Shillings had nine assists and six rebounds for Portales. Junior guard Thalia Guerrero scored 11 points for the Lady Chiefs.

In the semifinals, Denver City whittled away at the Lady Rams’ eight-point halftime lead, eventually pulling even in the final quarter. Two free throws pulled the Lady Mustangs (13-6) to within two points with about a minute left, but Portales was able to hang on.

“The difference in the game was the free throw line,” Fraze said, noting the Lady Rams went 17-of-24 to Denver City’s 13-for-20. “They’re a good team. I don’t think we ever trailed, but it was tied several times late.”

Blakey posted her third consecutive double-figure outing for PHS with a team-high 10 points, followed by Rippee and sophomore guard Teagan Faust with nine apiece. Senior guard Anahi Perez finished with 11 points for the Lady Mustangs.

Portales 53, Monahans (Texas) 23 (Thursday, first round) — The Lady Rams jumped on Monahans early, bolting to a 17-4 lead after one quarter and never looking back.

Fraze noted that the Lady Loboes left home at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday to get to the tourney, and he thought his squad could perhaps take advantage of some travel fatigue in an 11 a.m. (CST) start.

“We got on them quick,” he said. “We wanted to make sure it would carry through, and it did.”

Rippee finished with 15 points for Portales, while Blakey scored a personal-best 11 points. Meantime, Paden filled up her stat line with eight points, a team-high 12 rebounds and six steals.

“It was probably her best game of the year,” Fraze said.

The Lady Rams had more steals (24) than they allowed points, with Faust posting a team-leading eight thefts. Rippee and Shillings shared the team assist lead in the game with three apiece.

Portales finished with a season-low seven turnovers and held Monahans to just six field goals, including no 3-pointers. Sophomore post Adriana Hernandez led the Lady Loboes (6-13) with eight points.


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