LAS VEGAS, N.M. — This time, the Portales Rams built a lead and kept it.
After struggling to hang on to leads in the first two rounds of the 55th annual Stu Clark Invitational, Portales laid 29 points on Las Vegas Robertson in the first quarter Wednesday and went on to a 73-54 win over the Cardinals in the tournament’s seventh-place game.
Senior post Billy Good led three Rams in double figures with 17 points, including two of the team’s four 3-pointers. Senior post Walker Partin added 15 points and junior post Marcus Slocum scored 14.
“We’ve played pretty well the last two days, but (today) we came out with the best intensity we’ve had,” Rams coach Mark Gallegos said. “We got up today, and the good thing is we kept pouring it on them.”
Portales (3-5) extended a 17-point lead at the quarter to 46-25 by halftime. The Cardinals got within 12 early in the final period before the Rams pulled away for good.
Portales had a good night at the free-throw line, going 15-for-22.
“We’re starting to come together,” Gallegos said. “We got a little bit of a late start because of football, but we’re going to come together.”
Despite the seventh-place finish, Gallegos said the tournament is beneficial to his squad.
“We learned a lot about ourselves this week,” he said. “That’s why we go up there.”
Portales returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Friona, Texas. Two junior varsity games are set for 4 p.m. starts, with the varsity girls playing at 5:30 p.m. and the boys to follow around 7 p.m.