Erik Garcia and Jared Marquez scored 19 points apiece Saturday and Socorro edged Portales 61-58 in the final game of the Portales Shootout at the PHS gym.
The Warriors (5-7) scored the game’s first 12 points and held on down the stretch for the victory.
“That’s the difference in the game,” Rams coach Mark Gallegos said. “I told the team one step forward and then one step back. We’re trying to get ready for district and we have to do a better job. We had a much better defense the other night, but the little things hurt us tonight.”
Stephen Shields and Andrew Villanueva each scored 12 points for the Rams (4-7), who beat Santa Teresa on Friday night.
“Defensively we weren’t getting up the floor and matching up,” Gallegos said. “It is simple fundamental things like that, how many times did we let (Marquez) get open and get in the corner for three’s.”
Gallegos said the games this weekend against fellow Class 3A teams were important for seeding purposes in postseason play.
Despite 12 free throws in the second quarter, the Rams were still down 31-23 at halftime. They put together a second-half rally with the help of fullcourt pressure, causing turnovers for the Warriors. Still, Socorro made enough shots to keep the Rams at a comfortable distance.
Trailing by three points, Portales senior Shawn Carrasco got off a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds, but it bounced off the rim.
Socorro coach Lawrence Baca said Marquez did a good job of getting open against Portales.
“We just let Portales back into the ball game,” Baca said. “We panicked when the pressure got tough, but then we relaxed and just executed our offense.”
Santa Teresa’s Luis Rodriguez lead the team 19 points as the Desert Warriors beat Artesia 46-42 in the early game. Artesia’s Ryan Elkins scored 11 points, and Kevin Chandler added 10.
Portales is back in action on Monday night as they face-off against Tucumcari at 7 p.m. in Portales. Then Thursday the Rams travel to Hope Christian for the Hope Christian Invitational.