TULAROSA – Ruidoso’s girls may have lost to a solid Class 2A team in the semifinals of the TBTC Classic, Jan. 12, but there were just a few things keeping the Warriors from pulling a possible upset.
Turnovers and mental mistakes are what to Ruidoso’s 64-57 defeat, putting them in the third-place game against Dexter on Saturday evening.
“Take away those mistakes, this is a much closer game,” said Ruidoso coach Jason Kampsky. “We even would have put ourselves in a position to win the game.”
Ruidoso (5-10) never led, but did stay close in the first quarter, at least until the Warriors started making ill-advised passes.
It was then that Lordsburg (11-4) went on an 8-0 run to pull ahead.
After Kampsky called a time out, the Warriors were able to settle down and get back within four points, only to see another mini-run by the Maverick on turnovers and transition buckets.
If it hadn’t been for Ruidoso’s 15 turnovers and easy buckets at the other end, this would have been a one- or two-point game.
“Those runs were from our mistakes,” Kampsky said. “There was a point where we got it within nine or ten points, and then we had two turnovers in a row.”
Even with all the mistakes, the Warriors still found a way to get within nine points in the fourth quarter thanks to some tenacious defense and steals of their own.
“We had to play man in the second half and we’re not used to doing that. That’s why the girls got so tired,” Kampsky said. “I had to use some of the younger girls, and that’s why Annani Rojas got so much playing time. She’s so tenacious on defense.”
Erika Jarvis came through in a big way with 16 points for Ruidoso, but it wasn’t enough to offset the stellar nights Gabby Artiaga and Madison Miller had for the Mavericks. She scored 23 points, including a trio of three-pointers while Miller led her team in rebounds (11) and blocked shots (3).
Now with Dexter in the third place contest, Kampksy is hoping his team is ready to win and roll into District 4-4A play on a positive note.
“I knew they (Lordsburg) knew they were going to be tough, and the girls knew they were going to be tough. I think for the most part we responded from yesterday. We still made mistakes, but I was happy with the effort in the second half.”
Notes: While Ruidoso turned the ball over plenty of times, the Mavericks had particularly good ball control – they didn’t give the ball away at all until the start of the second half…Rebounds certainly weren’t a problem for Ruidoso. They got 12 more boards than the Mavericks and in one sequence, they came down with five straight offensive rebounds before getting a score.