Ruidoso’s boys may have lost to West Las Vegas, 82-50, in the first round of the Class 4A State tournament on March 4, but coach Billy Page said his team actually played very well against the fifth-seeded Dons.
“We had a good game plan, came out in the first quarter and played a very close game, quite honestly,” Page said. “But that’s just eight minutes of the game, and there’s 32 minutes to play.”
Ruidoso (15-15) had a plan to shut down West Las Vegas phenom D.J. Bustos, who is already the all-time leading scorer in the state.
The plan worked, as Bustos had only 12 points for the Dons (19-8), but Ruidoso wasn’t able to score much, either.
“We couldn’t get our shots to fall, that was the difference in the game,” Page said. “Also, in the third quarter, we turned the ball over three or four times in a row, which they converted into easy layups.
“Once we got down, we had to play catch-up the rest of the time, so that made it real difficult,” he added.
Ruidoso’s season wasn’t bad, but could have been so much better, with several losses that could very easily have been wins.
But, they did show resiliency, and Page is hoping this will be the start of better seasons in the future.
“I’m really proud of the boys, 15-15 is one of the best records Ruidoso basketball has had in a long time,” Page said.