DENVER CITY — The girls from Portales High won 3-1 in their season opener at the DC Shootout hosted by Denver City HS
The event featured 12 teams divided into four pools of three teams. The Lady Rams dropped both contests in Pool D, then returned, beating Kermit 58-24 on Friday night before losing to Lubbock Estacado 52-25 on Saturday morning.
Portales returns in a tournament starting Thursday in Stanton, Texas, where the Lady Rams will play five games in three days.
PHS dominated Kermit, opening a 36-16 lead at halftime and winning behind a personal best 20 points from second guard Myleigh Banda, who also had eight rebounds for a team best. Sophomore Evannie Fulfer also had her high game with 13 points and finished with seven rebounds, while junior Audrey Paden had seven assists and six steals.
For the Lady Jackets, Ebbin Mallory collected nine points as a sophomore.
In the finals, PHS faced an athletic Estacado team who held them to seven field goals. Sophomore Tya Rippee led the Lady Rams and posted a personal best 10 points.
Senior forward/guard Zane McMuray-Sanders had four of the Lady Matadors’ seven 3-pointers to finish the game with 18 points, while freshman Kayden Sherman added 10 points.
Banda led Portales with six rebounds while Fulfer had five steals.
“It was a good game for us,” said Lady Rams coach Wade Fraze. We won’t see a more athletic team in our class in New Mexico. They have size, speed and length.
“They are very young, but they are a good team.”
Pool Game – The Lady Rams absorbed losses against Levelland 38-26 on Thursday afternoon and against Sundown 46-41 on Friday morning.
The Loboettes improved to 5-0 on Thursday, holding PHS to three points in the second quarter to take a 17-10 lead at halftime.
“The big difference was that we had 21 turnovers, 14 of them in the first half,” said Fraze. “It was a good game for us (after) we calmed down in the second half. We played much more stable.”
Older forward Laci White scored 14 points for Levelland, who later suffered their first loss to the Class 1A Lady Roughnecks. Banda led PHS with 12 points while Paden had 11 rebounds, senior Alivia Gonzales had four assists and senior Cyria Aguirre had six steals.
On Friday, Sundown (8-1) extended an 11-point lead at half-time, fending off a late comeback bid from Portales. The Lady Roughnecks converted seven 3-pointers in the duel, including three from senior guard Kaydence Loftin, to none for the Lady Rams.
Sophomore forward Allie McCormick had 12 points for Sundown, including a pair of 3s, while loftin and senior guard/forward Natalie Urias had nine points each. Sophomore Angel Ornelas had 11 points for PHS and Rippee scored eight.
“They’re really good,” Fraze said of the Lady Roughnecks. “They have good marksmen and a good size. I think the Urias girl could play at the Division II level (in college); She plays like a boy.”