There’s no doubt Ruidoso’s challenge at Portales, Jan. 24, was going to be a tall one.
Both the Rams and Lady Rams came into Tuesday’s games ranked among the best in Class 4A. The boys at least had a fairly respectable record and both were hoping to surprise some people.
Instead, both Ruidoso teams went home with losses, the girls falling 65-37, the boys 81-40.
While the Lady Warriors (4-14, 0-1 District 4-4A) seem to have lost by a convincing score, the second half was actually much better than the first, according to coach Jason Kampsky.
“I’m pretty proud of my girls,” Kampsky said. “What really got us was the second quarter. We came out in the third and fourth and only ended up losing the second half by two points.”
While Portales (12-6, 2-0) may have put a number of their bench players on the floor in the second half, Kampsky said that didn’t really make that much of a difference.
“They’re deep, and I know he didn’t play all his girls. I did,” Kampsky said. “We talked to our girls at halftime and challenged them. They came out ready to play in the third quarter. Hopefully we can do that against Hope Christian on Saturday.”
Before then, the Lady Warriors travel to Alamogordo for a game on Friday, so things just don’t get easier for them.
“Hope Christian is a Top 3 team, they’ve lost to Robertson, but that’s another Top 3 team,” Kampsky said. “It’ll be a battle between them and Portales, and we’ll do everything we can to compete with them and hopefully squeak out a win. That’d be real nice.”
Boys not themselves
While the Portales boys (16-2, 2-0) are certainly very good, Ruidoso coach Billy Page didn’t think his team played to its full potential.
“I either underestimated Portales or underestimated us,” Page said. “This was one of our worst outputs of the season.”
Ruidoso (10-9, 1-1) was without shooting guard Randall Poorthunder, but there are several other talented Warriors that just didn’t step up.
Josh Romero was only able to contribute six points, while Loren Mendez came closest of any Warrior to double figures with nine points on a trio of threes.
“I don’t think Josh has scored just six points in his entire career,” Page said. “They (Portales) didn’t do anything special, they were just real physical with him. That might have played a part in the sophomore’s head.”
Ruidoso also takes on Hope Christian this Saturday, a home game.
“It doesn’t get any easier for us,” Page said. “Hope Christian comes up on Saturday. We can’t have a lackadaisical game at all if we want to be competitive in this district.”