Rams win district opener on road
Published: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008
The Portales Ram basketball team opened defense of their District 4-3A championship Tuesday night with a 63-55 victory at Roswell’s New Mexico Military Institute, but it may have been a little too close for comfort. The Rams began the game like gang-busters, exploding for 27 first quarter points. The Ram defense came up big early as well, allowing the Colts just 7 first period points. “It’s been a long time since one of my teams has scored 27 in one quarter,” Portales head coach Mark Gallegos said. “We were pretty pumped up. We pressed the whole quarter and turned them over quite a bit.” The Colts came back throughout the game and according to Gallegos, the Rams were up by 12 points with just under two minutes left in the game. NMMI cut that lead to just 3 points, but the Rams pulled away as time expired. The Colts outscored the Rams 16-8 in the second quarter. “I think we got a little bit tired, got a little bit passive and then in the second quarter we just missed some easy looks at the basket,” Gallegos said. “We got some pretty good shots off, but just couldn’t convert.” The Rams led 35-23 at the half, but the Colts outscored Portales once again in the third quarter, trimming the Ram lead to just 5 points at 44-39, before the Rams wrapped up the win in the fourth quarter. “I’m not disappointed, but we blew a huge lead,” Gallegos said. “We jumped on them and then they outscored us in the second and third quarters.” Portales sophomore Marcus Slocum led all scorers with 27 points, while junior Nick Bliss added 23 points, but the Rams shot just 9-of-19 from the free throw line. NMMI junior Eric Jaskoviac led the Colts with 21 points and senior DeMarcus Doucette scored 14 points in his first game back from suspension. “To our credit, we hung on this time. I was proud of the kids for that,” Gallegos said. “But we’ve got to learn that once we jump up on somebody, we’ve got to keep them down.” The Rams (8-7, 1-0) play their district home opener Friday, hosting Ruidoso before welcoming Lovington into the Portales gymnasium Tuesday. “It’s two big rivalry games,” Gallegos said. “The kids are really excited about it.” Junior Billy Good remains questionable for Friday’s game with nagging ankle and knee injuries. NMMI (8-11, 0-1) travels to Lovington Friday.
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