LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Despite what their coach feels is uneven play, the Portales Rams got an even start to the Stu Clark Tournament in Las Vegas.
The Rams were in a pair of blowouts in their opening games, beating Robertson 59-39 Friday and losing to Santa Fe Capital 63-43 in Saturday’s semifinal.
“We’re playing harder, but we’re just not playing very smart,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said after a 25-turnover night against Capital.
Portales (4-6) will play today in the third-place game against the loser of Saturday’s Bernalillo-West Las Vegas game.
Against Capital, the top-ranked team in Class 4A, the Rams couldn’t match the early firepower and couldn’t significantly cut into a 35-19 halftime deficit.
“They got off to a quick start, but in the first quarter we had 11 turnovers,” Gallegos said. “They shot extremely well and we had a stretch of seven straight possessions where we didn’t get anything.”
Fabian Lucero scored 19 to lead three in double figures for the Jaguars (9-1), with Daniel Lovato adding 17 and Terrence Mirabal 14. Chris Kirchner led Portales with nine points, while Chris Carter added eight and Bo Gabriel six.
The Rams avenged an early-season loss to Robertson in the tournament opener, but didn’t pulled away until the second half.
“We played with no heart, no desire, no intensity (in the first half),” Gallegos said. “We told them we had to come out and play. We came out in the second half and pulled away.”
The Rams return home for a Saturday game against West Las Vegas.
The Portales girls return to play after a holiday break last week Monday when they face the Clovis junior varsity at 9 a.m. in a first-round game of the Plateau Holiday Classic in Clovis.
The Lady Rams (9-2) learned last week that they will be without sophomore post Megan Kabrick for the rest of the season. Kabrick suffered an ACL injury in a game against Santa Fe Capital during the Lady Horsemen Invitational, and will probably not appear in a Portales uniform again until the 2004 volleyball season.
Portales coach Brenda Gomez could not be reached for comment Saturday night.