LAS VEGAS, N.M. — The Portales Rams were looking for an easy win against Class 4A newcomer Atrisco Heritage Academy on Wednesday at the Stu Clark Tournament.
Atrisco gave the Rams more than they bargained for before emerging with a 57-51 double-overtime win in the consolation semifinals.
“We had a sluggish third quarter,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “We were up by 14 at the half, and we had a few defensive breakdowns in the third quarter with a couple of big scores.”
Atrisco outrscored Portales 30-16 in the second half to force overtime.
“In the first half, we did really well running a lot of half court pressure against Atrisco,” Gallegos said. “In the second half, I have to give Atrisco credit because they ran different defensive sets against our man defense and were able to find open shots.”
Portales junior Phoenix Russell lead a balanced Rams attack with 10 points.
Junior Jason Lloyd scored 12 points for Atrisco.
Gallegos said the Rams didn’t panic when they were down in the first overtime.
“We came back to tie it up and then in the second overtime we took the lead for good,” Gallegos said. “The key for us was getting to the free-throw line, and when we get there it means we’re being aggressive offensively. Last night, we only shot nine free throws against Robertson.”
Gallegos said the Rams shot 70 percent from the free throw line in Wednesday’s win.
Portales plays St. Pius in the consolation final at 3 p.m. today.