At the beginning of the Dec. 12 matchup between Estancia High’s Lady Bears and the visiting East Mountain Lady Timberwolves, it looked as though the game was going to be a battle until the final buzzer.

East Mountain (1-4) struck first with a layup by Karleigh Gutierrez.

Estancia answered with a layup by Samantha Hernandez to tie the score at 2-2.

But Hernandez’ basket started a 12-0 run for Estancia (2-5) and the Lady Bears never trailed again as they rolled to a 37-23 victory.

“It was a real good win,” Estancia first-year head coach J.C. Batts said of Estancia’s second victory of the season. “The girls came out with a lot of energy.”

Early in the second quarter, Gutierrez hit a 3-pointer and followed it up with a layup and a jumper. She led East Mountain with 11 points.

Hernandez finished the second quarter with three consecutive baskets to put the Lady Bears up 24-13 at halftime. She led the Lady Bears with 15 points.

Both teams’ offenses went cold in the third quarter, scoring just one basket apiece.

Midway through the fourth, East Mountain’s Kaylee Baker hit a layup to trim Estancia’s lead to 29-21.

The Lady Bears responded by outscoring the Lady T’Wolves 8-2 in the final four minutes.

“It’s a hard loss, we weren’t getting rebounds, we just couldn’t make anything happen,” East Mountain head coach Robbie Dolce said, adding, “It’s very frustrating because we know what we need to do.”

Batts said he was pleased with how the Lady Bears “played as a team,” and that they “took a deep breath” and controlled the game down the stretch.

“They played smart, they finished smart and they finished strong—and they showed some good composure tonight, some real good growth,” Batts said.

The Lady Bears play at Peñasco Dec. 13 and return home Dec. 17 to host Pecos. East Mountain’s next game is Dec. 17 at Tucumcari.