ALBUQUERQUE -- The No. 9 seed didn't matter for the St. Michael's girls. The No. 1 seed didn't help Portales.
Held to 15 points in the first three quarters, St. Michael's exploded for 17 in the fourth for its second-straight upset, 32-28 over Portales in Tuesday's Class 3A quarterfinal at The Pit.
Jaime Velasquez scored 10 for St. Michael's.
"Give credit to St. Mike's," Portales coach Clay Stout said. "They outplayed us today. You get to that point, you're going to play sharp."
Portales' season ends at 18-9.
Tamara Quintana added nine for St. Michael's (16-14), which rallied from a 15-6 deficit early in the third quarter to topple a Portales squad that had not allowed 25 points to a Class 3A team this season.
"There wasn't a doubt in my mind we would be able to compete," said Quintana, whose 3-pointer with 5:21 left flipped the lead for good. "We found it in us, we fought and we pulled off the upset."
The Lady Horsemen were held to six points in the first half, a time when Portales coach Clay Stout lamented what had been the team's Achille's heel all season -- poor shooting. The Lady Rams shot 32 percent on the morning, and hit just 3-of-15 shots when a 50 percent performance could have set the stage for a blowout.
"We missed some opportunities to score early," Stout said. "That maybe made us get a little tight."
Portales opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run, but it took St. Michael's just 55 seconds to cut the deficit in half with a three-point play from post Vanessa Ulibarri and a trey from Quintana.
"A lot of it is just believing," said St. Michael's coach Martin Romero, who stressed an effort to get the ball to the wings. "I could see it in my players eyes."
From there, the Lady Horsemen chipped away, and Portales was dealt a blow early in the fourth quarter when senior guard Alexis Orcutt went down with an injury.
"She's our defensive guard, and we started to have matchup problems," Stout said. "They took advantage of that."
Quintana hit a trey for a 24-22 St. Mike's advantage, and Velasquez' three-point play with three minutes left capped off the back-breaking 11-0 run.
"I think that basketball is a game of momentum, and it can turn on a dime," said Velasquez. "We pounced on it when it happened."
Sophomore Macy Mitchell led Portales with 13 points, while senior Jenna Wagner added eight.
Coupled with a 58-38 win at Socorro on Friday, St. Michael's has pulled a pair of upsets as the ninth seed. But that ranking was largely based on a .500 record set by a Lady Horsemen squad without Alexa Chavez (five points, five rebounds) injured and Quintana playing out of position.
"People didn't know us as our whole team," said Quintana. "They only knew what they saw of us, with Alexa out and some of our players injured. We have our full team now, and we're a force."
St. Michael's (16-14)
Jaime Velasquez 2-3 6-6 10, Tamara Quintana 2-6 1-1 9, Alexa Chavez 2-5 1-1 5, Vanessa Ulibarri 2-5 0-2 4, Monique Romero 1-1 0-0 3, Brittny Quintana 0-2 1-4 1, Lauren Blea 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 9-23 11-17 32.
Macy Mitchell 4-9 5-6 13, Jenna Wagner 2-5 4-5 8, Gabby Garcia 2-6 0-0 4, Ashley Hernandez 1-6 0-0 3, Danae Garza 0-1 0-0 0, Alexis Orcutt 0-1 0-0 0, Jenna Sievers 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 9-28 9-11 28.
St. Michael's 2 4 9 17 -- 32
Portales 5 3 10 10 -- 28
3-pointers -- St. Michaels 3-6 (Quintana 2-5, Romero 1-1), Portales 1-7 (Hernandez 1-6, Orcutt 0-1). Rebounds -- St. Michael's 18 (Chavez 5), Portales 23 (Garcia 7). Assists -- St. Michael's 7 (Ulibarri 3), Portales 7 (Garcia 3). Total fouls -- St. Michael's 13, Portales 15. Fouled out -- None.