Portales sophomore Shandi Walker battles Alamogordo junior Brandi Tanner Thursday during the first half of their game during the Plateau Holiday Classic at Clovis High School.
The Portales Lady Rams didn’t lack for effort Thursday, just a little in execution.
Portales fell behind by eight points after one quarter, rallied to make a game of it by halftime, and then struggled mightily to score the rest of the way in losing to Alamogordo 40-32 in a quarterfinal game of the Plateau Holiday Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.
The Lady Rams (3-5) face Texico (8-1), a 48-24 loser to Cibola, in a 10 a.m. consolation semifinal game today.
In reality, both teams struggled through long dry spells, but the Lady Tigers (10-1) used their fullcourt pressure to create some scores and pull away to victory. Alamo meets Cibola (7-2) in a 2:45 p.m. championship semifinal today.
“Portales gave us all we wanted tonight,” Lady Tigers coach Gary Chapman said. “They’re a very disciplined team, and we had trouble scoring there for a while.”
The Lady Rams closed to 21-19 at halftime, but Alamo ran off a 9-2 spurt to open a nine-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter. However, the Lady Tigers went cold, scoring two points in the next eight minutes. Portales managed to cut only two points off its deficit.
“We missed too many easy little shots today,” first-year Lady Rams coach Clay Stout said. “You’ve just got to make those shots.
“The girls played hard; those guys (Lady Tigers) have a good press. They’re going to press you the whole game, but I thought we handled it pretty well.”
Alamo got eight points each from juniors Brandi Tanner and Ashley Godfrey and senior Ashley Johnson, while the Lady Rams were paced by eight points from sophomore forward Jenna Wagner and seven from 6-foot senior post Bethany Self.
“We played some pretty good defense, especially in the second half,” Chapman said. “It’s kind of tough coming off Christmas break. We were a little rusty, but it was a good opening game.”
Portales’ loss sets up a matchup of coaches who were on the same staff last year. Stout was Texico coach Keith Durham’s assistant in 2006-07 and helped the Lady Wolverines win a Class 2A state championship.