TEXICO — As usual, points were at a premium Thursday when the Texico girls hosted Portales.
The Cooper twins, Jaylyn and Jordyn, combined for three first-quarter 3-pointers to get the Lady Wolverines, the defending Class 2A state champions and ranked No. 1, a cushion they wouldn’t relinquish.
Jaylyn Cooper finished with 15 points and Texico, despite managing only one field goal in the second half, pulled away late for a 37-26 victory over the Lady Rams, ranked third in Class 3A.
Jordyn Cooper’s 3 put Texico (19-2) in front for good 5-2 and Jaylyn Cooper added two more later in the period to extend the margin to 13-3.
Texico led 23-13 at halftime and kept Portales (12-9) from making a strong run by sinking 12-of-15 free throws in the final two quarters.
“They’re a good team,” said Jaylyn Cooper, who went 7-for-10 from the foul line. “Both of us play such good defense, it’s going to be a low-scoring game.
“You’re not going to get wide-open shots against them. They’re a tough team.”
The Lady Rams were without junior starters Cynthia Armijo and Emily Roberts, both of whom went out of Tuesday’s loss at Lovington with concussions. PHS coach Clay Stout said he doesn’t expect either back for Saturday’s District 4-3A clash at Ruidoso.
“It was a five-point game (29-24) in the fourth quarter, and we had about three times down the floor where we didn’t execute,” Stout said. “You just can’t do that against good teams.”
Portales managed only senior Gabby Garcia’s basket in the final 4 1/2 minutes, and Texico pulled away by converting 8-of-9 from the free throw line en route to its eighth consecutive victory.
“I told the girls, ‘Sometimes it’s ugly, but when you can win ugly games you’re pretty good,’” Lady Wolverines coach Keith Durham said. “We play Portales this time of year because it shows us the things we need to get better at.”
Garcia finished with 14 points for the Lady Rams, but no one else had more than six.
Durham, whose team hosts District 4-2A rival Santa Rosa on Saturday, said his team still has work to do.
“The hay’s not in the barn yet,” he said. “We still have some things we have to get straightened out.”
Portales boys 48, Texico 44, OT — Scoreless to that point, senior guard Miguel Vega hit a corner 3-pointer with five seconds left to tie the score, then converted two field goals in overtime to stake the Rams to a 43-40 lead. Senior Andrew Villanueva added five more free throws, including two with five seconds left to secure the win.
“He had to shoot over us,” Texico coach Richard Luscombe said of Vasquez. “Give him credit; he hit a big shot.”
Jesse Blue finished with 11 points and Andrew Villanueva 10 for Portales (14-7), which was coming off a 39-38 District 4-3A win at Lovington on Tuesday.
“(Vasquez) stepped up real big,” PHS coach Mark Gallegos said. “We’ve had some kids step up for us these last two games.”
Junior Wayne Skabelund came off the bench to score 13 points and senior Lucas Walthers added 10 for Texico (13-9), which led by 10 points in the second quarter.