ARTESIA — Last week the Artesia Lady Dogs (9-7) went 3-0 and this week they will be looking to continue that winning streak.
Last Tuesday, Artesia hit the road to Chaparral and promptly took care of the Lobos 65-21.
“I thought we did a good job executing our game plan,” Jeff Houghtaling Artesia’s head coach said. “We were able to get our offensive momentum going early because of our defense.”
Last Friday, Artesia traveled to Santa Teresa and they took the fight out of the Desert Warriors 65-20.
“The girls played hard and intense and hit some shots,” Houghtaling said.
Then last Saturday, the Lady Dogs stayed home and took on Albuquerque Academy and won that game by 20 points. Houghtaling said his team was able to rebound from a slow start.
“Once we got our legs back under us and hit a couple of buckets, we were able to get it going,” he said.
“I thought Saturday if anything stood out in my mind it was our defensive play,” he added. “Our defensive effort was good and I think our defense generated our offense on Saturday.”
This week the Lady Dogs will be home for three games and it starts this afternoon at 5:30 p.m. as the Carlsbad Cavegirls (15-2) come to the Bulldog Pit for the second round of the Eddy County Basketball War. The Bulldogs and Cavemen are slated to tip off at 7 p.m. as part of the basketball doubleheader.
The Cavegirls took part one last month in the Cave City 73-40.
Houghtaling said his team will be facing one of the top squads in 6-A in New Mexico.
“They have a great combination of fantastic guard play and some pretty good post play,” he said.
Houghtaling and his squad will be focusing on junior Carsyn Boswell and senior Mariel Gomez.
Boswell scored 25 against Artesia in the opening game of the series.
“Fundamentally, they’re solid, they’re good shooters. They’re smart, long and athletic. They really do a good job,” Houghtaling said.
“We’re really gonna have to give them a lot of attention on the defensive end,” Houghtaling said. “(Gomez) makes the offense go and Boswell is really their scorer, we’re really gonna have to do a fine job of playing defense.”
He added, “we’ve got our work cut out for us, it’s going to be a real challenge.”
Friday night, Alamogordo comes to the Bulldog Pit for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
“Alamo is a 5-A team we need to be prepared for,” Houghtaling said.
Houghtaling admits he hasn’t really prepared for the Tigers since the team has been playing several games a week for sometime.
“I have seen them play,” he said. “I know they’re a man-to-man team, they’re going to be a good opponent, they’re going to play well. Going by what I know from last year, they like to execute a lot of sets in the half-court on offense.”
Size wise, Houghtaling said both squads are even, “but, we’ll be challenged by their man-to-man defense.”
Then Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., Ruidoso makes a trip down the mountains to the Bulldog Pit. The Lady Warriors participated in the City of Champions Classic last month in Artesia.
“Ruidoso is more of a zone team,” Houghtaling said. “They don’t match up well with many teams, they’re coach does a fine job of putting his kids to have success.”
Houghtaling said Ruidoso does well with perimeter shots. “We played them early in December and that was their strength.”
Houghtaling added that Artesia will have to contest with Ruidoso’s shooters. “I’m glad we get to play them here,” he said. “They play really well at their place and they give us fits everytime we play them there.”
With district play looming around the corner( Jan. 26 at home against Lovington), Houghtaling said these games this week will give his team three more chances to get better.
“We’re going to work on the things that we think are going to give us success in district,” he said.