RUIDOSO – Like in their game against Portales, the Ruidoso girls basketball team used a slowdown tactic to make Saturday’s District 4-4A contest against Hope Christian competitive.
Like that game against Portales, the Warriors were successful – in the first half.
Hope Christian ended up winning, 51-27, but at least Ruidoso (6-15, 0-2 district) didn’t falter as much in the final two frames.
“There was some improvement, we want to be really deliberate and cut down on our turnovers,” said Ruidoso coach Jason Kampsky. “The last two games, we have done that. Against teams like Portales and Hope Christian, our turnovers could be well into the 30s.”
The Huskies (11-10, 1-1) weren’t as intense on defense as Portales, but they sure loved to run the floor and score as quickly as possible once they got the ball.
That’s why Ruidoso – once they got the ball past half court – ran a deliberate offense. It’s also why Hope Christian had a one-point, 8-7 lead after the first quarter.
It may have been slow, but it was working.
“We’ve been working on getting the ball around and getting the shot we want,” Kampsky said. “A couple of times the girls got into a hurry, but we’re human. We’ll make mistakes.”
When the second half rolled around, Ruidoso was still playing slow, but they couldn’t score. Either the easy layups wouldn’t fall, or they’d give the ball away on turnovers.
The Warriors had 16 turnovers total.
“That’s where the impatience factored in,” Kampsky said. “They’d look at the score, and think they have to score fast to close the gap. Instead of sticking to the game plan, they’d get in a hurry and make a mistake.
“But that’s OK. The last few games, they’ve been very coachable and are buying in to what we’re doing,” he added. “It’s what kept us in the game for three quarters tonight.”
Andee Roach led the Warriors with just eight points, including a pair of crucial three-pointers in the third quarter that kept things fairly close, while Hayley Valencia had 15 points for Hope Christian.
Given how well Ruidoso did for three quarters, Kampsky said it’s possible they could surprise the Huskies on their home floor in two weeks.
“We’re really close to putting four quarters together, staying close and actually going out at beating teams,” he stated. “I feel like we can go to Albuquerque and sneak one out against them if we just take care of the little things.”