Portales’ Kaycee Quick tries to attack the basket against West Las Vegas’ Kristen Encinias during Friday’s game in the Portales Shootout. (Freedom Newspapers: Karl Terry)
By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers
PORTALES — The Portales Lady Rams overcame a tough man-to-man defense and a hot-shooting West Las Vegas point guard to defeat the Lady Dons 46-42 on Friday at the Portales Shootout.
While the Lady Rams led through much of the contest, Portales had trouble containing the offense supplied by Lady Dons senior Vera Jo Bustos, who poured in a game-high 19 points.
“We’re not where we need to be at this point of the season in one area — turnovers,” Portales coach Brenda Gomez said. “We made some bad decisions and we shouldn’t be at that stage right now.”
Senior guard Briana Hernandez led Portales with 13 points, followed by sophomore guard Tara Johnson with 12.
“I knew we would have to play well to compete with them,” Lady Dons coach Jose Medina said. “It was a pleasure.”
Medina said he was pleased with his team’s defense, but bemoaned the Lady Dons’ rebounding in its first appearance at the tournament.
“We tried to get a little zone there (in the first quarter) and got burned,” Medina said.
The Portales girls began the contest with two 3-pointers from Hernandez to take a one-point lead into the second quarter.
“I thought they were an aggressive defense and they were pushing the ball well,” Gomez said of West Las Vegas.
Valerie Trujillo added 11 points for Lady Dons.
Gomez said it was obvious that her team is still lacking the intensity she wants to see before district.
“They’re (Lady Rams) not passive, but they don’t outwardly show an aggressive want,” Gomez said. “They just don’t show the dominance they should have.”
The Lady Rams (5-6) host Lubbock’s Trinity Christian at 8 p.m tonight in the finale of the Ram basketball shootout.
According to Gome, the Lady Rams will have their work cut out for them as Trinity won their Independent league last year in Texas.
Editor’s note: Freedom Newspapers’ Mickey Winfield contributed to this report.