The Portales Rams are behind the 8-ball in District 4-3A.
Coming off a 53-50 loss to New Mexico Military in their district opener on Tuesday at Roswell, the Rams (7-9) return home tonight to face Ruidoso (6-8, 0-0). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Tuesday’s loss was the first in district play for the Rams since the 2006-07 season.
Rams coach Mark Gallegos said the Warriors don’t rely on a dominant player, adding that they are a capable team shooting from the outside.
He said they can also penetrate to the basket.
“They’re real wide open and run what is called a 5-out-motion,” Gallegos said. “Basically what they are doing is spreading the floor so they can get some dribble penetration. They are a guard-oriented team.
“We’re going to go in there and play some man defense and try to pressure them a little bit and, hopefully, keep them out of the lane.”
Gallegos is concerned about defending Ruidoso senior guards Mark Varela and Andrew Gilliland.
“They like to kick the ball out and go and run,” Gallegos said.
The Rams hope to keep Ruidoso off-balance by mixing their defenses. What concerns Gallegos with the Warriors is defending senior guards Mark Varela and Andrew Gilliland.
“Varela is a big strong guard who makes the team go,” Gallegos said. “Those are two returning players who have experience. We can’t let those two guys get going.”
The Portales girls (8-6) step outside the district tonight for a game against winless Goddard (0-18) at Roswell. The Lady Rams trounced Goddard 51-10 at home last Saturday.
What: Ruidoso (6-5, 0-0 District 4-3A) at Portales (7-9, 0-1)
When: 7 p.m. today
Last time out: Ruidoso beat Hot Springs 65-55 on Tuesday, while the Rams lost at New Mexico Military 53-50 the same night.
Last meeting: 2009, Portales beat the Warriors 57-40.
What to watch for: Portales coach Mark Gallegos said the Warriors’ guards like to drive to the basket, often kicking the ball out to the perimeter for 3-point shots.
Warriors players to watch: Senior guards Mario Varela, an all-district selection last season, and Andrew Gilliland.
Of note: Portales is 9-2 against Ruidoso dating to the 2005-06 season, including the last seven wins in a row.
What: Portales (8-6) at Roswell Goddard (0-18)
When: 7 p.m. today
Last time out: Portales lost to Clovis on Tuesday 30-28, while the Lady Rockets were trounced by Lovington 61-22.
Last meeting: The Lady Rams overpowered Goddard 51-10 last Saturday at PHS.
What to watch for: Goddard likes to run screens with its post players against a man-to-man defense, Portales coach Clay Stout said.
“We’ll mix it up and play some man-to-man and put some pressure on their guards,” he said. “Trying to keep the guards from getting the ball to the post.”
Stout said the Lady Rams’ play dropped off last week after a big first quarter against Goddard.
“We’re just looking to get better with our offensive execution,” he said
Goddard players to watch: Senior Bethany Johnston and sophomore Baylee Rogers, who will be operating in the post position.
Of note: Ten of Goddard’s losses this season have been by 30 or more points, including seven of the last eight. … The 5-foot-9 Johnston, who scored seven of the Lady Rockets’ points at Portales, is the only senior on the roster. There are four juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen.
— Compiled by Clarence Plank