Warriors cruise to big victory

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso senior Juan Aguilar, right, drives to the bucket while defended by Hatch Valley's Jesus Porras, Jan. 9, at RHS.

RUIDOSO – By halftime of their basketball game with Hatch, the Ruidoso Warrior boys knew they had a running clock.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso forward Sebastian Polendo had 20 points to lead Ruidoso in their win over Hatch, Jan. 9.

Their lead was 51-16 at the break, and it was just a matter of time before Ruidoso would finish with a 73-38 victory.

So how does a team remain focused when ahead by that much?

“Before we started, coach (Billy Page) laid out some things he wanted us to do, and the main thing he said was to push as hard as we can,” said Ruidoso senior Juan Aguilar. “District is coming up, and that’s what we have to do. Work for district.”

Ruidoso (11-5) began subbing before the first quarter was over, as Page decided it was a good time to get his bench players a lot of experience.

“Hopefully this will build confidence in our players. We shot the ball really well in the first half,” Page said “We got a lot of players on the floor and hopefully they’ll be prepared when the time comes.”

Aguilar had 19 points for the Warriors, while Sebastian Polendo led the way with 20 points and a pair of blocks.

Additionally, Josh Romero hauled in 11 rebounds.

Aguilar – who transferred to Ruidoso from El Paso – said it’s taken some getting used to, not being the main guy on a team that relies as much on freshmen as it does on upperclassmen.

“It’s great that we have a freshman (Brady Mendez) starting,” Aguilar said. “In El Paso, I was up top at a bigger school, but on or off the court, this is a great team to be a part of.”

Page’s strategy of using this game as preparation for District 4-4A play will be put to the test in their next game, a Jan. 16 contest at New Mexico Military Institute.

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