The Portales Lady Rams got their first win of the young season, 42-27 at Carlsbad Thursday night, behind stout defense and an offensive flair from senior Tara Johnson.
Johnson, who suffered her second major knee injury in three years last March, led the Portales girls with 14 points.
Second-year Portales head coach Clay Stout doesn’t believe Johnson’s knee is an issue.
“She’s doing fine,” Stout said. “She’s doing really well.”
Junior Jenna Wagner scored 10 points and freshman Macy Mitchell added seven. Gabby Garcia contributed six points.
After taking a halftime 16-12 lead, the Lady Rams dominated the third quarter, outscoring the home Cavegirls 14-3 to take a commanding 30-15 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
“The kids came out with a lot of intensity in the third quarter,” Stout said. “We talked about them coming out and taking control in the third quarter and they did.”
Portales (1-1) fell in its season opener Nov. 25, 40-32 at home against Clovis.
“The biggest thing was our kids walked out there and out-rebounded them all night long,” Stout said. “(Carlsbad) has a huge lineup. I told the girls that if it wasn’t for blocking out and fighting for rebounds, we would have really struggled.”
The Lady Rams will host Hobbs on Tuesday, before traveling to the Mel Otero Tournament in Rio Rancho Dec. 11.