Down seven point at the half, 11:31 without a basket and a four-point third quarter? Good recipe for a Roswell loss.
But Portales had its own offensive troubles — 11:08 without a basket and a scoreless third quarter — and the Coyotes snuck out of town with a 35-34 win Tuesday night.
Marika Trujillo scored a game-high 11 points, and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Roswell a 29-27 lead with 3:38 left in the game — a lead they never relinquished in a matchup of last season’s Class 4A and 3A runnersup.
Roswell coach Andy Carpenter was surprised the Coyotes took a win with their offensive problems, particularly a 1-of-4 second quarter where Portales built a 22-14 lead.
“It took a lot out of us,” Carpenter said. “We dug ourselves a hole, and we did not match Portales’ intensity in the first half. We got outrebounded, outhustled, out-everything.”
But Roswell (12-7) inched its way back against a Portales team that’s allowed 40 points or more three times all season but has struggled offensively.
In its seven losses, the Rams (11-7) have averaged 27 points.
“The third quarter just killed us,” Portales coach Clay Stout said. “We didn’t have very good floor balance and we didn’t get good ball reversal.
“We didn’t make good decisions.”
Natalie Mendoza, scoreless for the first 31:40, hit a pair of free throws to give the Coyotes a 35-32 lead with 20 seconds to play. Shanice Steenholdt, playing her fourth game since returning from a torn ACL, scored 10 points and had a block on Jenna Wagner’s game-tying 3-point attempt with 10 seconds to play.
“She can shoot it from the outside, she’s big inside,” Stout said of Steenholdt, whose team is 4-0 since she rejoined the lineup. “She’s a tough matchup.”
Macy Mitchell, who tied Wagner with 10 points for the team lead, was off on a late 3-point attempt. Gabby Garcia put back the rebound with three seconds left, but a Portales squad without a timeout could do nothing as Roswell held the ball out of bounds for the final ticks.
Portales hosts Lovington in a matchup of District 4-3A’s lone unbeatens.