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Lady Colts hang on to win over Lady Bobcats

NMMI’s Rilan Maloney helped lift the Lady Colts to a 43-40 overtime win over Hagerman on Tuesday night at the Godfrey Athletic Center by sinking a pair of clutch free throws near the end of the final period. (Laura Brown Photo)

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During life’s toughest moments, it’s about the heart and desire in an individual that’s required to overcome any obstacle.

The New Mexico Military Institute Lady Colts basketball team hit some rough patches that included some costly turnovers during a game against rival Hagerman.

Despite the miscues, the Lady Colts managed to persevere with a 43-40 overtime victory over the Lady Bobcats on Tuesday evening at the Godfrey Athletic Center.

Deadlocked at 40 in the first overtime period, sophomore Rilan Maloney gave the Lady Colts (4-5) the lead after successfully floating in a jump shot while getting fouled and she made the free throw with 1:26 left in the contest.

Maloney finished the game with nine points after fouling out with 58 seconds left in overtime.

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“It felt good to help my team as best as I could, having four fouls,” Maloney said. “I tried to just get a shot up. I wasn’t really sure if it was going in but then it went and it just worked.”
NMMI led by eight at the half but the lead later dwindled as Hagerman outscored the Lady Colts, 14-6, in the third quarter to tie the game at 29.

The game turned into a track meet as each squad ran up and down the court, trying to get easy baskets but the scoring was low as Hagerman matched the Lady Colts in the scoring column with seven points.

Hagerman (4-13) didn’t have enough gas left in the tank as it was held to four points in the overtime period.

Freshman Chinami Davis led the Lady Colts with 10 points while junior Christen Ellenberg chipped in with eight points, three rebounds and three blocks.

Sophomore Tianna Tsosie added seven points, three boards and six steals.

The Lady Colts shot 8 for 11 from the charity stripe.

Hagerman senior Esther Delacruz led all scorers with 13 points.

When asked what the difference was between a two-point loss on the road to Hagerman earlier in the season and Wednesday’s overtime win at home, head NMMI coach Marisha Olesinski chalked it up to “experience and will to win. I think we sometimes play better than the score shows.

“I’m very proud of my girls because they don’t give up,” Olesinski said. “They just never quit, and do the best they can, no matter how the game is going.”

It has been a busy week for NMMI as they have three games coming up. The Lady Colts host another county rival, Dexter, at 5 p.m. today.

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