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Paityn Houghtaling tries one from the outside in the second quarter Friday against the Lady Rockets. (Brienne Green - Daily Press)

Paityn Houghtaling tries one from the outside in the second quarter Friday against the Lady Rockets. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

Over the course of the second half of the season, the wrench in the machinery that is the Lady Bulldog basketball team has been shooting.

It’s not for a lack of effort. The Artesia girls are creating the necessary opportunities on offense and keeping pace with their opponents in terms of shots taken. But the ball just won’t fall.

The Lady ‘Dogs managed just a single field goal in the first quarter Friday at Goddard in their final game of Round One of District 4-AAAAA play, and as was the case Tuesday at Roswell High, the low output allowed the Lady Rockets to build a lead that would be tough for any team to overcome.

A pair of free throws by Paityn Houghtaling comprised Artesia’s scoring until the final 30 seconds of the opening period, when Houghtaling got one to fall of the glass to make it 20-4 going into the second.

The Lady Bulldogs were hindered also by eight turnovers in the quarter, which helped Goddard settle into a quick rhythm on its home court, with Katherine Kolker and Jenna Hernandez both hitting three-pointers to help the Rockets surge away.

Artesia fared better in the first half of the second, with Stacia Martinez putting back an offensive board and Alexa Riggs hitting a jumper, but following a Laci Taylor trey at the 3:13 mark, the drought would set back in, and the Lady ‘Dogs trailed by 21 at the break, 32-11.

The third period was a low-scoring one for both squads, but again Artesia managed just a trio of buckets on shots in the paint by Tori Collins, Shyann Spence and Mia Oliver. And that trend would continue in the fourth, with Houghtaling hitting two and Collins one.

A pair from the free-throw line by Martinez and one each from Riggs and Houghtaling rounded out the scoring and the 56-27 final.

The Lady Bulldogs (5-17, 0-3) finished 20 percent from the field and 40 from the stripe in the game to Goddard’s 46 and 69.

Houghtaling led Artesia with nine points, while Kolker finished with 12 for Goddard.

The Artesia girls will now have four days to regroup in preparation for the second round of regular season district play, which kicks off Friday in Lovington.