Rams rally for victory over Pintos

PNT Sports

MORIARTY — If nothing else, the Portales High boys basketball team found out this weekend that it is resilient.
The Rams, who dropped a last-second heartbreaker on Friday night at Los Lunas, saw a 13-point lead after one quarter on Saturday turn into a three-point deficit early in the final stanza before rallying for a 59-53 victory over Moriarty.
Senior Chris Kirchner scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Rams’ victory. Reserve Chris Adkins put Portales (4-5) in front for good with a turnaround shot from the lane with 3:40 left and Kirchner added seven points in the remaining time to help hold off the Pintos (2-3).
“Like the Roswell High game, we weren’t very patient when we had to be,” PHS boys coach Mark Gallegos said. “When we were ahead (early), we kind of kept getting up and down the floor, and we gave them some easy baskets.”
Seniors Bo Gabriel and Chris Carter added 13 and 10 points, respectively, for Portales. Gabriel also had five rebounds.
Carter converted a 3-point play for a 51-46 lead with 2:28 to go before Kirchner added a basket and two free throws to extend the margin to six points with just over a minute left.
Gallegos said Adkins (eight points) and 6-foot-3 junior Daniel Boan (six points, five rebounds), had strong games off the bench.
“That’s the nice thing about this team,” Gallegos said. “They know that everybody’s going to have their nights.”
Daniel Pierce, a 6-4 senior forward, and Eric Bryant, a 5-9 senior guard, kept the Pintos in the game with 21 and 19 points, respectively, including five 3-pointers for Bryant. But no other Moriarty player scored more than five points.

Los Lunas 64, Portales 61 (Friday) — The Rams trailed the Class 5A Tigers most of the way, but pulled even on a basket by Carter with 1:25 left. Los Lunas then ran the clock all the way down, but ended up with a desperation 3-pointer off a screen by junior guard Alex Stein as time ran out.
The ball banked in off the glass to give the Tigers (4-3) the last of their 10 3-pointers — and the win.
“We dug ourselves a hole early and scrapped back,” Gallegos said. “But we could never get more than a two-point lead.
“We just couldn’t get a crucial stop when we needed it.”
Stein finished with 28 points and five 3-pointers for Los Lunas, while senior guard Isaiah Herrera added four treys and 13 points. Freshman guard Matt Billups also inched into double figures with 10 points.
“They ran a halfcourt zone trap against us, and it took us a while to get going,” Gallegos said. “We didn’t play very well defensively — they had nine offensive rebounds — and we had 14 turnovers.”
Kirchner had three of Portales’ six 3-pointers and finished the night with 19 points, while Gabriel was next in line with 11.

Friday
Los Lunas 64, Portales 61
Portales (3-4) —
Chris Kirchner 8 0-2 19, Bo Gabriel 3 5-5 11, Chris Carter 3 0-0 8, Tyler Johnson 2 2-3 6, Daniel Aranda 3 0-0 6, Chris Adkins 3 0-0 7, Jack Hale 2 0-0 4. Totals 24 7-10 61.
Los Lunas (4-3) — Alex Stein 6 11-15 28, Isaiah Herrera 4 1-2 13, Matt Billups 3 4-5 10, Erik Geyer 3 0-0 6, Joey Bertrand 1 0-0 3, Tommy Summerline 0 2-4 2, Ben Ortiz 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 18-26 64.
Portales 9 19 24 9 — 61
Los Lunas 16 18 18 14 — 64
3-pointers — Portales (6): Kirchner 3, Carter 2, Adkins. Los Lunas (10): Stein 5, Herrera 4, Bertrand 1. JV score — Los Lunas 53, Portales 38.

Saturday
Portales 59, Moriarty 53
Portales (4-5) —
Chris Kirchner 5 4-6 14, Bo Gabriel 5 3-4 13, Chris Carter 3 3-5 10, Chris Adkins 3 2-3 8, Daniel Boan 3 0-0 6, Daniel Aranda 2 1-1 5, Tyler Johnson 0 1-2 1, Jack Hale 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 14-21 59.
Moriarty (2-3) — Daniel Pierce 10 1-5 21, Eric Bryant 6 2-2 19, Josh Weiss 2 0-0 4, Chris Hibbs 1 1-2 3, James dorsey 2 1-1 5, Josh Sparks 0 1-2 1. Totals 21 6-12 53.
Portales 19 10 10 20 — 59
Moriarty 6 15 19 13 — 53
3-pointers — Portales (1): Carter. Moriarty (5): Bryant 5. JV score — Portales 62, Moriarty 46.