The season became a bit more interesting for the Rio Rancho High School girls basketball team Thursday evening, after their victory at Volcano Vista High School.
The win guaranteed the sixth-ranked Rams (19-5, 5-1) no less than a runner-up finish in District 1-6A, with a chance to finish first, with perennial power Cibola visiting the RAC — where the Rams are 10-0 — for a key showdown Thursday evening at 7.
The Rams lost their first meeting in the Cougars’ lair on Jan. 26, 56-44, but beat the Cougars 54-44 in a district meeting in the RAC on Jan. 27, 2017.
A Rams’ win over the Coogs, followed by a victory Friday at Piedra Vista, would mean a tie-breaker Feb. 20 on a neutral court to determine who would have the right to host the district tournament championship game on Feb. 24.
Rams 56, Volcano Vista 42: The visiting Rams scored the first seven points and never looked back, as Kamirah Decker scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in the first half.
“We played very unselfish team basketball,” noted coach Scott Peterson. “I’m very proud of this team.”
Laura Gutierrez, with 18, and Camryn Hawkins, with 11, joined Decker in double figures.
“As a team, we had 16 assists; Lexi (Peterson) had eight of them,” he added.
Rams 51, Española Valley 20: Anyone for a 29-0 run?
That’s what host Rio Rancho did on Senior Night last Tuesday, once trailing the Sundevils, 3-2, and then later leading, 31-2, with 5:12 left in the third period.
The Rams, who know what it’s like to endure a scoreless quarter, outscored the Sundevils 15-0 in the second period as they left no doubt who would win this non-district affair. The Rams had also beaten Española Valley, 48-37, in the first-round game of the Rio Rancho girls tournament on Dec. 7.
The third period ended with the Rams ahead, 36-9; EVHS didn’t have double figures on the scoreboard until midway in the fourth quarter.
The lopsided scorebook showed only two Sundevils starters scored, with guard Kaylin Martinez scoring all 6 of her points in the second half. EVHS never got to the foul line in the contest.
The Rams were led by Decker, with 13 points, while Peterson joined her in double figures with 10.
The Sundevils (11-11) and Jaguars were tied for the top spot in that district with 4-1 records.
The win over the Sundevils was the 50th for the Rams since Peterson got the job in 2015. “I’m gonna say this, and you know this better than I do: This program had six losing seasons and we’ve now had three (winning seasons) in a row and we’re getting close to 20 wins in a season. But, honestly, I just want to make sure we’re playing our best basketball as we get closer to the state tournament.”
The regular season ends Friday, when the Rams head to Farmington to face Piedra Vista. RRHS won the first meeting, 57-42, in the RAC on Feb. 3. The Rams swept the Panthers last season.