By Clarence Plank
PNT staff writer
LITTLEFIELD, Texas — The Portales Lady Rams cruised to the Wildcat Classic championship Thursday night with a 44-18 rout of Whitharral in the championship game.
The Lady Rams (8-4) effectively controlled the team and pressured their opponents during all three tournament games.
“It takes time for time for everybody to be on the same page defensively,” Portales coach Clay Stout said. “The girls haven’t been giving up second shots, and they’re doing a good job of blocking out. We didn’t give up many offensive rebounds during the tournament and that was huge.”
Whitharral (14-5) forced the Lady Rams into eight turnovers in a game where Portales was able to get their offense back on track out scoring Whitharral in the second quarter by 16 points. Portales (8-4) senior Gabby Garcia lead the team with 12 and junior Macy Mitchell had 14 points. Whitharral Kimberly Albus was the Lady Panthers leading scorer with 8 points.
“We did pressure some kids and mix it sometimes,” Stout said. “Our offense was playing well. If your turning the ball over your playing a lot better offense.”
The Lady Rams are idle until the Portales Shootout Jan. 7-8.
Rams fall to Sartans — At Las Vegas, N.M., the Portales boys fell to St. Pius 54-49 in the fifth-place game of the Stu Clark Invitational.
Portales most of the way before pulling even 35-35 in the third quarter.
“I was pleased with our effort during tonight’s game, because we pressed them a lot, and it gave them a lot of problems,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “The are one of the better teams we have faced so far this season, and if would have played with this much intensity against Robertson, it would have been a different game.”
The Rams (5-3) had been pressuring the St. Pius, but late in the fourth both sides exchanged points until Portales started fouling the Sartans sending them to the line. St. Pius (3-8) was 15-of-22 from the free throw line, hitting 13 in a row in the fourth quarter put the game away.
Senior Stephen Shields had 16 points and senior Jessa Blue finished with 11 for the Rams. Junior Nick Standford lead St. Pius with 13 points.
Portales hosts Artesia at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.