East Mountain High School’s girls basketball team picked up a much-needed 47-4 win over Santa Fe Prep Monday at home.
Lena Hoover led the Lady Timberwolves with 14 points in East Mountain’s biggest margin of victory this season.
The win came three days after East Mountain suffered its worst loss of the season—a 70-13 drubbing last Friday at the hands of the visiting Santa Fe Indian School Lady Braves.
For 32 minutes—it was actually 95 but only 32 in scoreboard time—the Lady T’Wolves ran up and down the court with the determination of salmon swimming upstream. But the team was plagued by turnovers, and when they did take care of the ball they had trouble getting it into the basket.
“It was rough,” East Mountain’s rookie head coach Bobbi Otero said, adding, with a hint of her unsinkable enthusiasm, “You learn from it and move on.”
The Lady T’Wolves (4-14, 0-1) grabbed the opening tipoff but immediately coughed up the ball and the Lady Braves capitalized with a 3-point bucket.
East Mountain committed 12 turnovers in the first quarter and 21 in the first half. By the end of the game the home team had turned the ball over 38 times. “If we could’ve held on to the ball we could’ve contended,” Otero said.
The Lady T’Wolves also didn’t shoot well, hitting just three field goals out of 15 attempts in the first half.
Hoover’s layup midway through the second quarter was East Mountain’s first field goal—while SFIS (15-4, 2-0) had already scored 30 points.
In the closing minutes of the second quarter, Hoover and Chen Portillos made back-to-back jump shots, scoring the Lady T’Wolves’ final field goals of the game and inching their points to 12.
The Lady Braves, who are among the top Class 4A teams in the state, built a 30-point advantage by halftime. East Mountain’s only points in the second half came on Hoover’s free throw late in the third quarter. She finished with 6 points.
Otero said her young team—a squad with only one senior—is still in the learning phase, still trying to figure out how to put all the pieces together.
“We have games where we do A and B, but we don’t get to C,” Otero said. “I can see it’s slowly coming together and eventually when we put A, B and C together we’ll be OK.”
Otero—who at 22 is not much older than her players—said her team will just have to keep working, keep pushing. “I’m a firm believer in trusting the process, and you reap what you sow,” she said. “We’ve just got to keep trusting the process.”
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East Mountain played at Bernalillo (3-17, 1-1) Jan. 23.