Floyd staves off Grady

Floyd’s Blair Jaramillo, left, loses the control of the ball to Grady’s Katarina Grau during Tuesday’s first-round game of the EPAC tournament at Texico High. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent

TEXICO — A steal with almost six minutes to play usually isn’t considered a game-sealer. But, in a matchup of young squads struggling to find consistent offense, that pretty much was the case when Floyd’s Alexis Benoit picked off a pass and went in for a layup to give her team a 31-25 advantage.

On opening night of the EPAC tournament, Floyd knocked off Grady 36-28 in a battle of lower seeds trying to find a rhythm.

For the winning Broncos, baskets such as Benoit’s were critically important.
That’s because the losing Bronchos were struggling mightily to put the ball in the hoop.

Grady (2-6) scored four field goals the entire game as 19 of its points came from the free-throw line.

Bronchos coach Alicia Smith said lack of scoring has been a season-long problem for her team.

“Nearly every game. We just have to keep plugging away, they’ll fall eventually. We just don’t take our time, we don’t focus on it enough,” Smith said. “I mean, they just throw it up there and hope it goes in. They’re not shooting it.”

Katrina Grau led Grady with 10 points.

Floyd (3-6) had only one senior on the floor in the opening-round game — Blair Jaramillo — who popped in a pair of 3-pointers for the victors.

“We’re not a very good outside shooting team, we usually try to penetrate and go inside,” said Jaramillo, who tallied three of her team’s six made shots from the floor. “I got a couple of outside shots and that always helps.”

Tori Tucker led Floyd with 10 points while Jaramillo and Benoit added eight apiece.

“We’re real young this year. We’ve got five freshmen, a couple seniors, a couple juniors,” said Floyd coach Cody May after the win over Grady. “Our defense has been pretty good all year keeping teams around 30 to 35 points, but we’ve been struggling offensively almost the entire year — and that’s what hurt us more than anything.”