By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
PORTALES — While the Portales Lady Rams play their final pre-district tuneup tonight, their Clovis counterparts are glad to be back on the court.
Portales (8-7), riding a three-game winning streak, visits Rock Staubus Gym for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against the Lady Wildcats.
Meantime, Clovis (8-5) had a scheduled Saturday home game against Alamogordo postponed because the Lady Tigers were unable to negotiate the slick weekend road conditions.
“We’re anxious to play a game, and just thankful we get to play at home,” coach Miles Watters said.
Portales is coming off wins over Carlsbad, Roswell High and Goddard, all at home, but veteran Lady Rams coach Brenda Gomez said there’s still work to be done.
“We’ve got to cut our turnovers in half,” said Gomez, whose team lost to Clovis 51-34 at home on Dec. 1. “We need to get on the offensive boards a little more, we need to hold (Clovis) down to around 35 percent from the field and not put them at the free throw line.”
The Lady Wildcats are also struggling to find themselves, Watters said.
“We’re trying to get it all together,” he said. “We’re kind of searching for our identity, which is a little scary this late in the year.
“Hopefully, we’re a hard-nosed defensive team but we don’t show that every night, and I guess offensively we really haven’t been consistent. So that’s our No. 1 thing — we’re looking for consistency.”
Gomez views the game as a good matchup for her girls heading into District 4-3A play.
“It’s a great game to end before you go into district play because there’s not going to be many teams in our class that can even come close to Clovis,” Gomez said. “We’re not going to be content by any means about just being in the game, but if we play to our ability, that’s all you can do, that’s all you can control.”
Needless to say, Watters also has plenty of respect for the Lady Rams.
“Portales will bring a quality team in here,” Watters said. “They’re playing about as good of defense as anybody in the state right now. They’re really a physical team, so we’ll have our work cut out for us.”