Vega escapes Lady Wolverines in overtime nailbiter

Texico’s Faith Martin (20) gets a hand on Vega’s Carly Johnson (3) as she drives the lane at the Farwell Invitational Tournament on Saturday. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Greg Price: CNJ Sports Writer

FARWEL — Vega defeated Texico 54-50 in an overtime thriller Saturday night in the Farwell Invitational girls championship game.

Why it happened: Vega senior guard Carly Johnson scored 32 points, including two 3-pointers, carrying the Lady Longhorns to victory with clutch drives and free throws down the stretch.

Texico sophomore forward Victoria Richards scored a team-high nine points for a Lady Wolverines team that struggled against Vega’s mixture of defenses.

Turning point: Johnson stole the ball at half court with under a minute remaining and turned it into a three-point play.

She hit five free throws and two layup in the closing minute of overtime to lift the Lady Longhorns past Texico.

He said it: Vega coach Justin Schultz, on Johnson: “She just kept firing and that’s how she is,” Schultz said. “She struggled at first, but I knew she would be there at the end of the game.”

Keep ’em guessing: Schultz said his defensive plan was structured around keeping the Lady Wolverines out of rhythm.

“We tried to switch back and forth,” he said. “We went from man-to-man to our 2-3 zone and once (Texico) got settled we went with the full court press.”

In other games Saturday:

* Friona bolted to a 23-3 lead after one quarter and cruised past Farwell 63-31 for third place. Seniors Shayli Reed (16) and Staci Murphree (12) led the Squaws, who converted nine 3-pointers in the contest, while junior Shelby Christian topped the Lady Blue (4-7) with seven points.

* Melrose improved to 5-1 by holding on for a 26-22 victory over Grady in the fifth-place matchup. Junior TaNeil Roberts took scoring honors with 10 points for the Lady Buffaloes, while senior Jennifer Franklin led the Lady Bronchos (1-4) with eight points.

* Sophomore Jadee Isler tossed in 12 points and sophomore Callie Bunce added 10 to lift the Clovis junior varsity (5-4) past Bovina 45-42 for seventh place. Junior Ruby Vela led the Fillies (6-5) with 17 points, while senior Jessica Bachicha chipped in 16.