ROSWELL — The Portales Lady Rams defeated Lovington in a one-game tiebreaker 37-24 at Roswell’s New Mexico Military Institute to decide the top seed in the district tournament.
In doing so, the Lady Rams made sure the District 4-3A championship game will once again be played in Portales, along with securing a first-round state playoff home game early next month.
“The energy level and the toughness — we defended really well,” Portales head coach Clay Stout said. “Our rebounding and our toughness was the difference in the game. We played the way we were capable of playing tonight.”
Stout said the Portales girls won the rebounding contest — especially on the offensive boards and committed few turnovers.
“These girls were a terror on the boards,” Stout said.
The Lady Rams jumped on top 11-6 after the first quarter. The Portales girls went into halftime with a 19-12 advantage, before extending their lead in the second half.
Freshman Macy Mitchell led Portales with 14 points, followed by junior Jenna Wagner’s 11 points. Gabby Garcia added 8 points.
Lovington senior forward Stephanie Hernandez led the Lady Wildcats with 8 points.
“We really feel like we have a lot of momentum moving forward,” Stout said.
The Portales and Lovington girls collected an identical district record (5-1) and split their games during the district season. Lovington beat Portales in Lovington earlier this month 27-25. A week later, Portales returned the favor, beating Lovington 33-30 in Portales.
“I just want to give God the glory,” Stout said. “These girls understand that God is the one that provides.”
The Lady Rams will host the District 4-3A championship game Saturday night. Stout explained his priorities this week in preparing for the district championship game.
“We’ll continue to work on the little things,” Stout said. We’re just going to run our offensive and defensive drills. At this stage in the game, it’s the little things that we’ll work on.”