Make no mistake, Ruidoso’s 60-49 victory at New Mexico Military Institute’s Cahoon Armory in Roswell wasn’t easy, no matter what the final score shows.
With 3:09 left in the game, NMMI got to within three on a free throw by Jesus Luy before the Warriors (11-11, 2-3 District 4-4A) were able to pull away for good.
“My hat’s off to NMMI. They have really improved since the first of the year,” said Ruidoso coach Billy Page. “I was really pleased that we were able to come out of that gymnasium with a win.”
Ruidoso played a deliberately-paced game, maybe a bit too deliberately paced in the first quarter. After scoring the game’s first nine points, the Warriors saw NMMI (2-17, 0-6) able to tie things up a 14-all by the end of the frame.
But the Warriors opened up the second quarter on a 12-2 run to take a comfortable lead they were able to maintain until it got close near the end.
“The boys played well, and we had a solid game throughout, start to finish,” Page said. “We were also able to close it out, something we’d been looking for all year.”
Josh Romero came through for Ruidoso with 16 points, while Randall Poorthunder and Loren Mendez had 13 each.
Not to be outdone, Luy led the game with 17 points for the Colts, followed by Fausto Baranzini with 13 points and Dillon Reynolds with 12.
Next up is Portales on Friday and a non-district tilt on the road at Capitan.
After that, it’s Hope Christian and Moriarty on the road to close out the regular season.
“We’re preparing for Portales right now, but we’re not overlooking Capitan by any means. They’ve played their last couple of games very well,” Page said. “They’ve improved from the first of the year. We can’t overlook anybody right now.
“Everything now comes down to seeding and how well people are playing at the end of the regular season,” he added. “Every game now will be tough, and we’re prepared for such.”