Short-handed Warriors lose season opener

By Todd Fuqua

Like many coaches in the area – but unlike many coaches at schools the same size – Ruidoso basketball coach Billy Page is waiting until football season ends before he can get a full team on the court.

That’s why the Warriors struggled in their season opener against Dexter, Nov. 28, a 74-67 loss.

Even with the struggles, though, Page said things went pretty well.

“Other than the loss, it wasn’t bad,” Page said. “We had a chance toward the end to win it, but we were really short-handed. We tried to reschedule the game, but had to go with it.”

Page got a chance to see how a lot of different athletes perform at the varsity level, and to see how current varsity can grow even more.

“Josh (Romero) had 40 points, and he had to carry a bunch of the load,” Page said. “He also had some leadership abilities come through. He worked hard to bring the other guys along and give them a chance to win at the end.”

Caden Clevenger had to run the point guard position, while Aldo Cardenas used his speed.

In fact, Cardenas was almost too fast for the basketball court, as compared to the soccer field, where he’s a bit more comfortable.

Ruidoso was actually tied with three minutes left before the Demons spread the floor and forced the Warriors to foul to stop the clock. A few made free throws and Dexter won the game.

The Warriors had at least one more game before the football players can hit the court – a contest against Hot Springs at home on Dec. 2.

That’s the same day the Ruidoso football team takes on Robertson in the Class 4A State title game, so Page was able to get the Hot Springs game rescheduled. No word yet on when that game will be played.

Page is hoping to further develop his younger talent and prepare for the District 4-4A season down the road.

“I hope this shows what a good season we can have once everyone is out,” Page said.

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