RIO RANCHO — Portales junior Macy Mitchell scored 14 points — all in the first half — to lead the Portales Lady Rams to a 40-26 win over host Rio Rancho High on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Mel Otero Invite.
The Lady Rams (4-1) face their rival to the north, Clovis, in a 7 p.m. championship semifinal today. Rio Rancho (2-3) plays Las Cruces High, which lost Thursday to Clovis 70-45, in a 1 p.m. consolation semifinal.
Mitchell’s strong first half paced the Lady Rams to a 25-11 halftime lead. In the second half, sophomore guard Hannah Cissell took over with all 10 of her points.
“We were passing from post to post,” Portales coach Clay Stout said. “We were going high and low at times, keeping Rio Rancho’s defense off balance. They had a hard time handling Macy in the first half.”
Portales, which never trailed, was able to get the ball to other shooters when Rio Rancho started double-teaming Mitchell in the second half.
“We were not able contain their inside game really well,” Rio Rancho coach Patrick Puentes said. “That was the difference in the game. They just scored at will on the inside.”
The Portales defense controlled the tempo of game allowing single-digit points from Rio Rancho in the first, second and fourth quarters.
Senior forward Gabby Garcia had five points for the Lady Rams, while sophomore forward Jenna Sievers and junior Makayla Poyner finished with four points apiece.