By Leroy Chavez<br />Sports writer
The Cimarron High School Lady Rams basketball team traveled to Santa Fe and came away with a big win in the season opener against Desert Academy on Saturday (Nov. 17).
“The kids played real well, and more important, they played as a team,” Lady Ram coach Patricia LeDoux said. “We’re real optimistic and very enthusiastic about the season. We know it’s early, but I can see a big improvement and it‘s always big when the kids jell and play together.”
Against Desert Academy, the Lady Rams jumped out to a 7-1 lead, then used that momentum to out-score the Roadrunners 23-9 to take a 30-10 lead at intermission.
In the third period of play, both squads deadlocked at 9-9, before Cimarron put together a 16-9 run to win the game 56-31.
Selina Rael and Jessica Pittman provided a big 1-2 punch offensively scoring 17 points and 16 points respectively. Amy Gonzales and Santana Cordova each added six points, while Holly Araiza tossed in four points and Gentry Haukebo and Tyler Davis each chipped in one point.
“All the off-season work is paying off, skill-wise,” LeDoux said. “The biggest factor is teamwork, and the kids are all in. The newcomers are also a big factor. We will have a good bench this year.”
<span style=”text-decoration: underline”><strong>Team outlook</strong></span>
LeDoux is looking to have a good year as she returns veteran players in every position and adds a couple of newcomers that will add depth to a very young squad. LeDoux will once again be assisted by Ashley Garcia.
The Lady Rams will have only one senior, Jamie Knox, on the squad and will rely heavily on her leadership skills once the season begins. Knox will play any position on the court and will play anywhere the team needs her.
Holly Araiza and Tyler Davis are the two juniors on the squad and will bring different skills to the team. Araiza is experienced and is another all-around ball player and will play any position. She is a solid rebounder and will carry some of the scoring load. Davis, the tallest member of the squad, is new to the team and will add some depth to a very thin squad.
The sophomores are three in number and are a very talented group which consists of Amy Gonzales, Jessica Pittman and Selina Rael.
Gonzales can play every position and has a high motor, while Pittman and Rael are the main offensive cogs for the team. All three are quick, with Gonzales and Rael able to run all night. Gonzales and Rael recently received all-state honors in cross-country. Pittman will also be a big force on the boards.
Jaylyn DeHerrera, Gentry Haukebo and Mariah Martinez are freshmen team members and somewhat rookies to basketball, but they are athletic and are expected to make a big impact on the squad as the season progresses. Haukebo is a Moreno Valley athlete playing her first year of high school ball.
Eighth-grader Santana Cordova rounds out the team. Cordova is athletic and has a solid all-around game.
The Lady Rams are off for Thanksgiving and will next be competing in the Evangel Christian basketball tournament to be held in Albuquerque Nov. 30.