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

Portales girls find rhythm, top Lovington

 

February 19, 2020



PORTALES — After fighting for their lives at times down the stretch in Friday’s 64-57 win over Roswell Goddard, Portales High’s girls found things a little calmer on Saturday.

Not that it was easy, but the stress level was ratcheted down a notch in the Lady Rams’ 45-36 District 4-4A win over rival Lovington at the Ram Athletic Center, a makeup of a recent snowout.

In Friday’s game, Goddard harassed PHS into probably a faster pace than it likes, and it took a lot of energy to stave off the Lady Rockets after they cut a 20-point, third-quarter deficit to five in the late going.

This time, the Lady Rams used a 13-0 run bridging halftime to take control, and never let their lead get under double figures again until the final minute.

“We just needed to stay calm and make sure we played our game,” said sophomore guard Riley Shillings, who scored nine points after hitting four 3-pointers and tying a personal best with 16 points in Friday’s win. “I think we’re getting into more of a rhythm.”

Sophomore guards Taris Rippee and Teagan Faust scored 14 and 11 points, respectively, as the Lady Rams (18-6, 4-0 district) wrested control of the district race over the Lady Wildcats (12-10, 3-1).

“It was pretty steady tonight,” PHS girls coach Wade Fraze said. “We came out in the third quarter and made a couple of baskets, and that helped us get going.

“They’re a good team; they start four seniors. It was a good challenge for us, and I thought our kids responded well.”

The Lady Rams played most of the game without junior forward Kinzie Davis, whom Fraze said suffered a knot on her head after trying to take a charge just 2 1/2 minutes into the contest.

Portales held Lovington to just 12 field goals in the contest, including no 3-pointers. Senior Rylee Mapes led the Lady Wildcats with 13 points, but no one else scored more than six.

The teams match up again on Friday night in the regular-season finale at Lovington.

“I thought their kids played extremely well,” Lovington coach Wade Scott said. “They hit shots when they needed to, and they made plays when they needed to. They had answers for everything we tried.”

Sophomore Kylyie Paden grabbed seven rebounds as Portales outrebounded the Lady Wildcats 25-19, while Faust finished with four assists.

With a roster featuring nine sophomores, Shillings said the fact most of them have a lot of experience together is a key to their success.

“Most of us have played together since we were tiny,” she said. “I think we all have our (good) nights, but we’re pretty consistent as a team.”

The Lady Rams travel to Artesia on Tuesday night before closing the regular season with their game at Lovington three nights later.

 
 

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