RUIDOSO – When the Dec. 12 game between Ruidoso and Tularosa’s girls basketball teams started in a technical foul on the Wildcats due to a late addition to the roster, it originally seemed Erika Jarvis’ made free throw would mean much in the end.
But for one half, at least, it meant all the difference in the world.
Ruidoso had a 20-19 lead at the half before falling 45-38, and the competitiveness of the game proved what Warrior coach Jason Kampsky had been saying about his team after their appearance at the Artesia tournament over the weekend.
“It was a really good game, and I was proud of the girls for coming out the way they did,” Kampsky said. “Historically, we’ve ran away from them, and they didn’t do that tonight.”
Ruidoso (0-7) was even with Tularosa in almost every category in the loss, including rebounds (Tularosa 37, Ruidoso 38) and steals (eight each).
In fact, it was those steals that kept the Warriors in the contest. The only thing that the teams couldn’t seem to do was make easy shots or free throws.
“We counted our turnovers, and we were way in double digits (20 for Tularosa, 21 for Ruidoso),” said Tularosa coach Pat Garcia. “That’s something we’ve been struggling with in tight ball games. We’ve got to learn to take care of the ball better.”
Tularosa (6-2) eventually pulled away in the second half, but they could have won by a lot more had they done better than 9-for-27 from the foul line. Conversely, Ruidoso could have won this by a wide margin as well, for pretty much the same reason.
“There were a few rebounds we missed, shots we missed, turnovers,” Kampsky said. “Those tiny little things were the difference in the game. We have to clean some things up, but it was a big improvement over how we did in the tournament.”
The low totals of the high scorers reflect that. Shacie Marr had 11 points to lead Tularosa before fouling out, while Ember Cervantes added 10. Roach had 11 for Ruidoso.
Two games against Hot Springs are coming up for the Warriors – this Friday, Dec. 15, at Hot Springs, and Dec. 19 when the Tigers come to Ruidoso.