Rams cruise to win over Cavemen

By Dave Wagner

On the surface, Mark Gallegos says, Portales High’s 48-33 win over Carlsbad on Friday night at the PHS gym looks pretty good.
But the Rams coach thinks his squad will have to pick up its play when District 4-3A play begins in just over a week.
Senior guard Chris Carter scored eight points in a span of just over a minute in the second quarter, putting the Rams in front for good. Still, while PHS controlled the game for the most part, the Class 5A Cavemen were able to pare a 15-point deficit to four early in the final period.
“We’ll be OK,” Gallegos said after emerging from a lengthy postgame team meeting. “The biggest thing we talked about after the game is what we have to do to be ready to play in the district.
“The most discouraging thing to me is we turned the ball over 22 times. I’m not taking anything away from Carlsbad, but (district foes) Ruidoso and Lovington are a whole lot better.”
Junior guard Daniel Aranda led PHS (10-7) with 13 points, while Carter finished with 12 points and senior post Jack Hale added 10.
Carlsbad’s pressure caused some problems for the Rams, and the Cavemen finally mounted a rally behind senior guard Andrew Brooks, who scored all of his team-high 11 points in the first three-plus minutes of the final period.
The last of his three 3-pointers pulled Carlsbad (5-13) within 36-32, but the Rams righted their ship and closed the game on a 12-1 run.
“We made a run to get ahead (early) and we should’ve put them away, but we didn’t,” Carter said. “We just kind of had a mental lapse.
“We probably have the toughest (Class 3A) district in the state, but if we play like that we probably won’t go far. We have to focus on the things we didn’t do well.”
With the Rams trailing 11-10 two minutes into the second quarter, Carter scored on a drive to the basket and followed that with consecutive 3-pointers to kick off a 14-0 run that carried into the final seconds of the half.
“He’s done that quite a bit for us this year,” Gallegos said. “We have to have that from him.”
PHS led 31-16 late in the third quarter and was in control until Brooks brought the Cavemen back early in the final stanza.
“We didn’t go a good job of closing out (on defense),” Gallegos said.
Carter acknowledged that Carlsbad wouldn’t allow the Rams to simply kill the clock.
“We were trying to run clock and get a layup,” he said. “But we just couldn’t handle their pressure sometimes.”
While Portales shot 53 percent from the field on 20-of-38, the Cavemen were just 13-of-39 overall and 4-of-18 from 3-point distance.
“This was probably the worst shooting night we’ve had all year,” said Carlsbad coach John Madden, whose team was trying to extend a two-game winning streak. “We didn’t come to play. But I can’t take anything away from Portales; they play suffocating defense.”

Portales 48, Carlsbad 33
Carlsbad (5-13) —
Frankie Martinez 0 0-0 0, Alex Bustos 2 1-2 5, Andrew Brooks 4 0-2 11, James Aguirre 0 0-1 0, Jermaine Barksdale 1 0-0 2, Jeff Forrest 2 2-4 7, Jacob Leyva 0 0-0 0, John Morales 0 0-0 0, Elias Lewis 2 0-0 4, Matt Gadbury 0 0-0 0, Tanner Nygren 2 0-0 4. Totals 13-39 3-9 33.
Portales (10-7) — Cruz Ontiveros 0-0 0-0 0, Daniel Aranda 5-8 3-4 13, Chris Kirchner 1-4 1-4 3, Trevor Ferguson 3-4 0-0 6, Chris Adkins 1-3 0-0 2, Daniel Boan 0-0 0-1 0, Chris Carter 5-11 0-1 12, Tyler Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Jack Hale 4-6 2-2 10, Chris Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-38 6-12 48.
Carlsbad 9 4 7 13 — 33
Portales 8 16 8 16 — 48
3-pointers —
Carlsbad 4-18 (Brooks 3, Forrest), Portales 2-6 (Carter 2-4, Adkins 0-1, Hale 0-1). Rebounds — Carlsbad 21, Portales 24 (Hale, Kirchner 5). Assists — Carlsbad 7, Portales 9 (Kirchner 4). Total fouls — Carlsbad 15, Portales 14. Fouled out — none. JV score — Portales 41, Carlsbad 32.