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Elkettes prove too much for Portales girls

 

January 12, 2020



PORTALES — Pojoaque girls coach Seledon Martinez knew his team would face some stiff competition in the Portales Shootout.

It’s nothing that won’t help the Elkettes down the line, though, and if they can win a game or two, all the better.

“This is almost like a mini-state tournament,” Martinez said after the Elkettes subdued Portales High 52-37 on Friday night at the Ram Athletic Center. “Anybody here can win it.”

Senior Michaela Martinez led three players in double figures for Pojoaque (10-4) with 18 points. The Elkettes, who lost 41-33 to Class 5A Carlsbad on Thursday, were slated to face another solid 4A program, Gallup, as the four-team, round-robin event wrapped up on Saturday.

Meantime, the Lady Rams (8-5) absorbed a second consecutive tough loss.

“(Thursday) night was the best we’ve moved the ball all year,” PHS girls coach Wade Fraze said of his team’s 63-59 setback against Gallup. “We mentally didn’t come ready to play today.”

Pojoaque scored the game’s first seven points and never relinquished the lead. PHS got within a point twice, but a 9-1 surge during the middle of the third quarter gave the Elkettes control for good.

Pojoaque went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the final stanza. The Lady Rams, who got a game-high 18 points from sophomore guard Taris Rippee, converted just 4-of-14 second-half charities and were outscored 8-1 over the final four minutes.

“They had a tough game yesterday, but so did we,” coach Martinez said. “(Fraze has) got a beautiful team. We were just a little bit luckier tonight.”

Junior guard Hennessei Calabaza added 12 points for Pojoaque, while sophomore post Tonni Aquino scored all 10 of her points after halftime. Meantime, no one besides Rippee had more than six points for PHS.

The Lady Rams have been playing without sophomore guard Mattison Blakey since losing in the finals of Littlefield’s to the host Lady Wildcats on Dec. 28. Fraze said Blakey sustained a season-ending injury early in that contest, tearing her ACL, MCL and meniscus.

“That leaves us with just three experienced guards,” he said.

Meantime, the Elkettes were looking at a quick turnaround on Saturday, facing Gallup in the day’s first contest at 1 p.m. The Lady Bengals lost to Carlsbad 58-53 in overtime on Friday.

“We’ve got to eat and get to bed tonight,” coach Martinez said. “We know Gallup’s a good team.”

Gallup 63, PHS 59 (Thursday) — The Lady Bengals built an 18-10 lead at the quarter and held off Portales down the stretch behind 15 points from sophomore Jordan Joe and four 3-pointers and 14 points from senior Jordan Hanley. Sophomore Hailey Long added 10 points for Gallup (8-5), which is coached by Todd McBroom, son of PHS boys coach Rickie McBroom.

Sophomore Teagan Faust tallied 18 points and grabbed a team-best six rebounds for the Lady Rams, while Rippee finished the contest with 15 points.

On Friday, Gallup dropped a 58-53 overtime decision to Carlsbad.

“Last night we looked really good,” Fraze said. “Gallup’s one of the best teams in our class, and Carlsbad is one of the best teams in 5A.”

 
 

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