Portales senior guard Chris Mosier breaks past Hatch Valley’s Dakoda Moorhead for a layup Friday at the Ram Basketball Shootout at Ram Gymnasium.
Sophomore post Marcus Slocum scored a game-high 25 points in leading Portales to a 68-55 victory over Hatch Valley in the Rams’ opening game in the annual Portales Shootout Friday night.
After falling behind 23-22 at halftime, the Rams dominated in the second half in pulling away to victory.
Despite the win, Portales coach Mark Gallegos expressed concern about his team’s defense.
“We haven’t completely bought into the idea that we’ve got to play both ends of the floor,” Gallegos said. “I’m not sure how important the defensive end of the floor was for us tonight.”
Slocumb had similar concerns.
“We need to play better on defense,” Slocum said. “We really need to work on defense. If we work together and get on the same page, we’ll be fine.”
Portales (3-5) jumped out to a 16-10 first-quarter lead, but Hatch (1-6) got a hot-shooting quarter from Taylor Gobble to edge in front by the intermission.
“It’s just a matter of executing every trip down the floor,” Gallegos said. “We can’t be that inconsistent. We have to be consistent all the way through and not take a possession off. It just comes down to execution and consistency.
“At times, when we run our stuff, we’re pretty darn good. But at other times we don’t have five guys on the same page.”
Sophomore guard Shawn Carrasco added 10 points for Portales. Junior Billy Good got back on the floor after a first-half injury, scoring nine points, while senior Ky Mitchell had eight.
“We just didn’t play the best we could,” Mitchell said. “We can get a lot better.”
Gobble led the Bears with 13 points.
“We’ve got to find our identity, and part of that’s got to be defensively,” Gallegos said. “We’re close, we’re getting there. The good part is we came back after halftime, but there’s still a lot of things we need to work on.”
The Rams host Socorro at 6 p.m. today. On Friday, the Warriors lost to Artesia 71-61.
Artesia 71, Socorro 61
Portales 68, Hatch Valley 55
Hatch Valley vs. Artesia, 3 p.m.
Portales vs. Socorro, 6 p.m.