Lady Rams drop rematch, will face Peñasco again at Cowbell Tourney

Reina Arguello hits a short jumper. (Photo by Laura Gonzales)

PEÑASCO — The Peñasco Lady Panthers gained a measure of revenge on Saturday (Dec. 5) outlasting a foul-plagued Lady Ram squad 52-45 in the Panther Den at Peñasco High School.

“We just didn’t have a sense of urgency at the beginning of the game,” said Lady Ram coach Patricia LeDoux. “They moved up some talented players from the eighth-grade, so this wasn’t the same team we beat easily last week. The girls thought it would be another easy game.”

Peñasco outscored the late-starting Lady Rams 9-8 in the first quarter, then upped the margin with a 14-7 advantage in the second period to take a 23-15 lead at intermission.

In the third stanza, Cimarron came alive and out scored Penasco 19-12 to cut the Lady Panther lead to 35-34 at the three-quarter mark.

“We finally woke and started to play better, but we took a big toll with fouls in the first half,” said LeDoux. “Gentry (Haukebo) picked up four fouls early in the first half and everyone else picked up two to three fouls each. We had a great comeback, but the fouls kept mounting.”

Shaylee Rinde and Zoe Salazar trap a Lady Panther. (Photo by Laura Gonzales)

In the fourth period, the fouls proved to be fatal as Angel Gonzales and Reina Arguello, both primary ball handlers, where disqualified to the bench with 5 fouls each, while Gentry Haukebo, Shaylee Rinde and Mariah Vanderli were handcuffed with 4 fouls each.

With no experienced ball handlers, the Panther took advantage, running to a 17-9 advantage in the final period, to seal the game at 52-45.

“We played them tough, but we have to be ready from the get-go and we have to work on guarding without fouling,” noted LeDoux. “We’ll meet in the first round of the Cowbell Tournament that starts on Tuesday. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for the challenge.”

Offensively for the Lady Rams, Mariah Vanderli paced the Lady Rams with 19 points, while Reina Arguello scored 16 points, Angel Gonzales 5 points, Shaylee Rinde 2 points and Zoe Salazar contributed one point.

The Lady Rams definitely have to work on guarding without fouling and need to get back to sharing the ball better on offense. When the Lady Rams have a balanced attack, scoring becomes easier for the whole team and are hard to key on. In essence an assist is better than a score as the whole team benefits with better team play.

The Lady Rams fell to 3-1 overall, all three wins came when the Lady Rams shared the ball and had numerous scorers.

The Lady Rams will play Peñasco for the third time on Tuesday (Dec. 8) at 4 p.m. in the first round of the annual Cowbell Tournament. The first round will be played at Springer High School.