MULESHOE — The Portales Rams got their first win of the season a week later through a forfeit. They got their second Friday with a mix of Shawn Carrasco’s offense and an opportunistic defense.
Carrasco scored a game-high 21 points, and the visiting Rams never trailed in notching a 42-35 victory over Muleshoe.
Portales (2-2) had suffered its losses by a combined 64 points, not factoring in a 72-28 loss to Clovis that later became a win via forfeit. But the Rams scored the game’s first eight points on Friday, and controlled matters from there.
“I know if we could come out and build a good lead, we could build the confidence,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “The kids needed something good to happen.”
The Rams actually had one more turnover than the Mules (6-6) — 21-20 — but Portales got 10 points off turnovers, most coming from swipes by Carrasco near midcourt.
“We were really able to take advantage of turnovers, especially early. We got going in transition and we hit some big shots.”
Muleshoe coach Matt Mason said early trouble on offense, and the Rams’ ability to hold a lead, made for a tough night.
“I thought turnovers really hurt us tonight,” Mason said. “We weren’t running our offense very well. We dug ourselves into a pretty big hole and when we needed to make shots, we didn’t hit them.”
Garrett Hancock scored eight points for Portales, and Gallegos credited him for his defensive effort on Muleshoe forward Cooper Washington, who finished with five points .
Tyson Turnbow led the Mules with 14 points on a variety of layups and long-range shots.
“I think Garrett Hancock did a great job on the big kid inside,” Gallegos said. “We also had Jesse Blue (and) Clay Bonner helping out. And Zach Terry, he’s not a big kid. You’ve got somebody 5-foot-8 helping out on (post) defense.
“That’s got to be our thing. We’ve got to play with heart.”
Both teams are back in action Monday. The Rams visit Friona, while Muleshoe faces Amarillo Highland Park at home.
Portales girls 37, Muleshoe 29 — Gabby Garcia scored a game-high 14 points, and Portales claimed its third-straight victory.
The Lady Rams (4-2) used their size advantage against the Lady Mules for the most part, as posts Jenna Wagner and Macy Mitchell each added nine points.
“We felt like we could hurt them inside, but they did a great job of collapsing on us in a hurry,” Portales coach Clay Stout said.
Muleshoe coach Val Acree said his squad is used to playing undersized, but it’s still a challenge to go up against Portales’ height.
“Against that type of team, we’ve got to make shots, we’ve got to make outside shots,” Acree said. “And we didn’t do make enough. Sometimes, it’s a simple game.”
Sarah Johnson had 10 points to lead the Lady Mules (4-11).