Rams rout Rattlers in advance of tourney
Published: Monday, January 14th, 2008
TUCUMCARI — With little more than one week until the start of District 4-3A basketball, the Portales Rams are gearing up, with a runaway win at Tucumcari Monday night 70-35. “We got to get everybody in and work on a few things,” Portales Ram head coach Mark Gallegos said. “We’ve been trying to get our press ready to go for the (Hope) tournament and for district. So we got to jump on them with the press a little bit.” The Rams opened up fast, doubling up the home team 18-9 in the first quarter, before outscoring the Rattlers in the second period 16-7 to take a 34-16 halftime lead. Portales didn’t let up in the third quarter either, routing Tucumcari 18-5, to take a 52-21 advantage into the fourth period. Both teams scored 14 points in the final quarter. Gallegos was pleased with his defense allowing just 21 points through the first three quarters against a good team on the road. “A lot of that was our full-court press,” Gallegos said. “And then we played a little man and got to work on some things. We didn’t defend the pick-and-roll very well, and that’s something we have to work on.” Nick Bliss and Shawn Carrasco led the Rams with 14 points each. Tucumcari’s Anthony Apodaca also had 14 points in leading the Rattlers. “One of the biggest things (we want to work on) is our execution,” Gallegos said. “We’re getting a lot of shots in transition. But when people start getting back on us and taking it away, we really want to execute our half-court offense. And we’re getting better at it.” The Rams have their final tune-up before district play starts as they travel to Albuquerque for the Hope Tournament beginning Thursday. The Rams open up the tournament Thursday afternoon against 2A power Navajo Pine. “They’re one of the favorites to win 2A this year,” Gallegos said. “They’re going to shoot it from anywhere.” Portales opens district play Jan. 22 at NMMI before returning home Jan. 25 to host Ruidoso.
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