RUIDOSO – Ruidoso’s girls basketball team was playing a decent game against a Portales team that had always been their nemesis, going into halftime down by just eight points, Jan. 23.
But the Warriors were only able to score two points in the entire second half as Portales rolled to a 68-23 victory.
“I don’t think they (Portales) expected us to come out the way we did to start this game,” said Ruidoso coach Jason Kampsky. “We did a good job in that first half, and I knew they would come out and put a lot more pressure on us in the third quarter.”
Ruidoso (6-14, 0-1 District 4-4A) stayed close throughout the first half with a deliberate offense that served to slow down the Rams’ transitions.
It was a struggle to get past half court, but once they did, the Warriors were able to pass, pass, pass before putting together a score.
Every time Portales (19-2, 2-0) seemed to start pulling away, the Warriors would come up with a big bucket to stay within striking distance, including a buzzer beater by Deynee Palmer at the break.
It wasn’t necessarily a thrilling half, but it was one Ruidoso could be proud of.
“We executed pretty dang well in the first half,” Kampsky said. “The girls know that, and they were behind the game plan. Now we just have to clean up some errors and make sure we don’t make mental errors when we get pressured.”
Unfortunately, things took a severe turn for the worse in the second half, as the Rams outrebounded and outscored Ruidoso at a blistering pace.
The patient offense the Warriors displayed in the first half was gone, and they were throwing the ball away and making mistakes, playing right into the Rams’ hands.
Ruidoso didn’t have another bucket until Hailee Blake got a layup with 33 seconds left in the third quarter, and that was it for the rest of the game.
Blake finished with eight points to lead her team, while Zamorye Cox had 20 points and Taylee Rippee 16 points for the Rams.
“Our lack of endurance meant we were a little weaker in that second half,” Kampsky said. “We started making the cuts weaker and rounding off our spots when the pass is made. It was a combination of a couple of things.”