There’s no better way to start district play than a victory on the road and that’s exactly what the Rams did on Tuesday.
The Rams won their 4-3A district opener against the Ruidoso Warriors, 55-54. Portales (6-11, 1-0) is tied with the New Mexico Military Institute Colts for first place in the district.
The leadership of two junior guards helped Portales pull out a victory on the road.
“Chris Carter’s done a good job in the leadership role and not just him, but Chris Kirchner also,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “They handle the ball and break the press well. They have come a long way in the maturation process.”
Gallegos said Carter is averaging 15 points a game for the Rams.
Portales rallied from a 21-13 deficit in a hostile territory to defeat the Warriors. The Rams must go into hostile territory again as they play the Lovington Wildcats (16-4, 0-1) on Friday. The junior varsity tips off action at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game.
“It (victory over Ruidoso) goes a long way with our confidence,” Gallegos said. “It was a nice trip back, the trip went by quick, but today we started getting ready for Lovington. They’re the number-one ranked team in the state. The NMMI win (over Lovington) was a big surprise. This is the toughest district in the state, from top to bottom.”
The Dora Lady Coyotes vaulted themselves back into the race for the top seed in District 3-1A with victories over district foes, Vaughn and Melrose. The Lady Coyotes improved their district record to 2-1 and 6-9 overall.
Dora has the home court advantage in their next matchup, which is against the Floyd Lady Broncos on Friday. There are four games slated for Friday with the junior varsity games first, followed by the varsity games. The first game starts at 4:30 p.m.
The Dora boys (3-13, 1-2) will host a hot Floyd Broncos after the girls’ varsity game.
The Elida boys (2-12, 0-3) will be aiming at their first district win of the season when they travel to play Vaughn on Friday. Vaughn’s suffered a 100-28 loss to Floyd.
“They’re (Vaughn) very much like us,” Elida coach Darrell Chenault said. “They’re young and inexperienced. We’re excited to play them. We know up front that we have a good chance of being in the ball game.”
Chenault said the Tigers’ leading scorer is Wesley Gilmore, who is averaging around 15 points a game.
“I’ve got a senior, Shay Daughtery, that is the back bone of this team,” Chenault said. “He’s a good rebounder, plays defense inside and handles all the tough duties. He’s the one with all the bruises. His influence on them (younger kids) has been that he’s hard-working, shows up every day to practice and he does everything you ask of him.”
The Elida Lady Tigers look to bounce back after a slow start in district 1-2, with the game against Vaughn on Friday. Vaughn suffered a 72-15 drubbing at the hands of Dora on Friday.