SHALLOWATER, Texas — For the second time in three seasons, the Portales Rams are in the championship game of the Shallowater Shootout.
The Rams (2-0) won a pair of games on Thursday, beating Tulia 51-39 and host Shallowater 46-45.
Portales will face Trinity Christian (Lubbock) at 7 p.m. (MST) tonight at Shallowater High School.
“We’re just happy to be in the championship game,” Portales basketball coach Mark Gallegos said.
The Rams just survived in the semifinal against the host Mustangs, despite entering the fourth quarter up 40-32.
Portales won the tournament two years ago by beating Shallowater and finished in fourth in 2002.
Chris Carter led Portales with 17, while Chris Kirchner added 11.
The Mustangs were led by Jason Howell’s 21 points, while Robert Arencibia added 17.
Portales 51, Tulia 39
The Rams capitalized early with an 18-6 first quarter and never looked back against the Hornets.
“We started out really quick,” Gallegos said. “We played really good defense; we were able to force turnovers.”
Carter led Portales with 13, with Kirchner and Seth Clabaugh each adding nine.
“I think we played really well,” Gallegos said. “We had balanced scoring with a couple of other guys (scoring) six or seven.
“We need to have balanced production to be successful.”
Brandon Winkfield had 16 to lead Tulia.