Portales Rams coach Mark Gallegos isn’t fooled by the No. 11 seed Silver High School brings to town tonight — he said the Colts are a dangerous foe.
Gallegos said he wants his team to start quick while Silver is recovering from the long bus ride and make them start questioning themselves right away.
“I’ve watched lots of video on them and they’re a lot like Lovington,” Gallegos said. “They’re pretty good; they’ve beat some good teams.”
Silver split during the District 3-3A regular season with No. 5 seed Socorro before losing to the Warriors 47-39 in the tournament.
Even more telling might be the scare the Colts gave Class 4A Artesia before falling 71-70 on Jan. 14. The Rams lost to the Bulldogs 70-63 on Jan. 4 at the RAC.
According to Gallegos, Silver made seven 3-pointers during its game with Artesia. Silver’s 6-3 junior shooting guard, Alex Lopez, is a threat to put the ball up from any range.
“They want to push the basketball up the court and try to get as many easy baskets as they can,” Gallegos said. “They’ll shoot the (3-pointer) off the break. They have really good team speed. We’ve got a lot to prepare for and we’ve had a good week of practice.”
Defensively, the Colts are likely to play man-to-man in the halfcourt, but also have a couple of zones they employ. Gallegos said his team’s defense will be much the same.
“If we can play good, solid half-court man we’ll do all right,” Gallegos said.
In Gallegos’ 13 years at PHS, his teams have only missed the playoffs three times. Last year, Portales went in as a lower seed and lost in the first round by St. Michael’s.
The year before, the Rams made it to the state semifinals in Albuquerque, where they were again defeated by St. Michael’s. Several of this year’s seniors were on that team and got a taste of the big event.
“They’re hungry enough they’d like to get back to Albuquerque,” Gallegos said. “It’s do-or-die time now.”
No. 11 Silver (15-13) at No. 6 Portales (17-9)
What: First-round Class 3A boys tournament
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Ram Athletic Center
Radio: KSEL-FM 105.9