Home Sports Local Sports Artesia Lady Dogs ready for Lovington

Artesia Lady Dogs ready for Lovington

Artesia Lady Dogs Head Coach Jeff Houghtaling goes over the game plan during a recent home game. Friday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. league play starts in Artesia against Lovington. (Mike Smith Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

ARTESIA — With non-district action in the rearview mirror, the Artesia Lady Dogs can now focus on district play, which starts Friday at the Bulldog Pit in Artesia.

Tuesday night Artesia traveled to Anthony, which is located between Las Cruces and El Paso, for a game against the Gadsden Panthers.

Artesia (11-9) defeated the Panthers (1-17), 54-47.

Artesia Head Coach Jeff Houghtaling said Gadsden’s record is misleading.

“They really battled. They did a fantastic job of protecting their home court, they shot the ball really well in the first half. Real gritty,” he said.

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Houghtaling said his team was able to keep the Panthers at bay, despite their cat-like play.

“It was a good challenge for us (and) one more good opportunity to prepare for district,” he said.

Artesia now turns their attention to district play which will be taking place for the next month or so. Friday at 5:30 p.m. Lovington heads west to Artesia for a double dip.

Lovington (8-12) lost to Alamogordo Tuesday night 51-32.

“Lovington is going to be solid,” Houghtaling said. “Coach (Casey) Pack does a fine job with his girls.”

Houghtaling added that the opposition is disciplined and a hard-working crew.

“They’re very intense when district time rolls around and they’re always a great opponent. I know they have an interesting mix of guard play and post play,” he said.

“I think they’ve got a few players that really stand out. Coach Pack always does a good job of preparing his kids and I’m sure he’ll have a good game plan for us,” Houghtaling added.

Now that the games count for postseason action, Houghtaling said Artesia is not going to be looking ahead for the next few games.

“We want to do well in district, everything up until this point has been important. But, these are the games that will really be reflected in the state tournament situation and whether or not we get to go or where we get seeded if we do go,” he said.

Houghtaling added that the district is really strong.

“Goddard is the favorite,” he said. Based on their record and the fact they’ve already played a couple of teams in our district. Roswell High is Roswell High, they’ll be well prepared and of course, Lovington is a strong team also.”

Houghtaling said the district is also highly competitive and he has a message for his team.

“We gotta stay on track and we gotta keep working hard and keep working at the things we do well and try to focus in on the things that we think will help us be successful in district. We’re gonna take every practice day one day at a time,” he said.

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