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Ruidoso girls can’t maintain momentum

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso's Lakeisha Rocha, left, looks to the bucket as Santa Fe Indian's Iris Emery defends, Dec. 28, during the first round of the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational at Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE – After one quarter of their game against Santa Fe Indian in the first round of the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational on Dec. 28, the Ruidoso girls had an 11-3 lead.

Photo by Todd Fuqua With several hands in her face, Ruidoso center Hailee Blake (22) puts up a shot against Santa Fe Indian in the first quarter of their game at the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational, Dec. 28, at Albuquerque.

While the Warriors were playing well to begin with, they couldn’t quite keep up the intensity needed to defeat the Braves.

“This wasn’t a game of runs. We had a big one in the beginning, and then they clawed back and that was it,” said Ruidoso coach Jason Kampsky. “We missed a lot of shots in the middle of the game.”

As a result, Ruidoso lost 54-31 and will face Thoreau in the repechage

brackets today at 11:30 a.m.

“They never really fell apart, Santa Fe Indian just did a really good job of clawing their way back,” Kampsky said. “Once they got ahead, they just kept consistent pressure on us.”

Ruidoso (2-8) got their big lead thanks to numerous steals, many of them by Devynee Palmer.

Those steals turned into layups at the other end, but those layups stopped falling as often as the game wore on.

Haley Evans put in 11 points to lead the Warriors, while Leanna Lewis had 14 points for Santa Fe Indian (8-3). Braves Hunter Garcia and Camilla Lewis each added 10.

“Having a lot of opportunities and missing shots, that’s been our story all season,” Kampsky said. “They made some adjustments after that first quarter and caused some turnovers at a pace we weren’t comfortable with.

“We absolutely could have won that game, but at this tournament we get to a different caliber of teams we never get to seek,” he added. “Thoreau will be a great team for us to face, and I’m happy with that kind of competition.”

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