Rams win district opener

By Dave Wagner

Mark Gallegos was glad to get the first one out of the way.
Senior guard Chris Carter scored 15 points and Portales High led all the way except for a brief tie late in the half in dispatching Ruidoso 51-41 Tuesday night in the District 4-3A opener for both teams at the PHS gymnasium.
The Rams (12-7) used two spurts — 13-2 at the start of the game, keyed by two Carter 3-pointers, and a 20-5 run in the second half — to pull away from the Warriors (10-10) and win for the eighth time in 10 games.
“It was a good way to start the district,” Gallegos said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we played pretty well defensively with the exception of putting them on the line too much.”
Ruidoso, led by 14 points from junior Jason Kampsky, pulled even 18-18 late in the half. Portales senior Chris Kirchner converted a 3-point play on the next trip down, and the Rams never relinquished the lead.
“All year long we’ve been talking about playing four quarters, but we let teams come back,” Kirchner said. “We just kept battling. Every time they came back, it seemed like our intensity got better.”
The Rams committed 19 turnovers, including 10 in the first quarter. But they shot 46 percent from the field, converted some free throws down the stretch and dominated the taller Warriors on the boards 33-23, led by Kirchner with eight.
Kirchner said he didn’t worry when the score got close.
“I don’t really think about that,” he said. “I just try to keep playing hard.
“For us seniors, it’s our last season. Other people (on the team) see us as leaders, so we need to step up.”
Ruidoso struggled most of the night from the free throw line (7-of-15) and managed only 2-of-17 from 3-point range. The Warriors were 0-for-13 before Kampsky finally hit two in short order with under three minutes left.
“We just didn’t play our game,” Ruidoso coach Billy Page said. “But we’ve got to take our hats off to Portales; they’re very physical and aggressive.
“We didn’t play to our strength tonight, which is our inside game.”

District 4-3A
Portales 51, Ruidoso 41
Ruidoso (10-10, 0-1) —
David Barnett 2 0-1 4, David Dickenson 0 0-0 0, Ted LaCoe 4 3-5 11, Maclen Enriquez 0 0-0 0, Sergio Castanon 1 2-4 4, Jason Kampsky 5 2-3 14, Dustin Prelow 1 0-2 2, Kyle Snowden 3 0-0 6, Dillon Hoffman 0 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 7-15 41.
Portales (12-7, 1-0) — Daniel Boan 0-1 1-2 1, Daniel Aranda 4-7 0-0 8, Chris Kirchner 2-4 4-5 8, Bo Gabriel 3-4 1-3 7, Trevor Ferguson 0-1 0-1 0, Chris Adkins 2-6 1-2 5, Chris Carter 4-9 4-4 15, Tyler Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Hale 3-7 1-2 7. Totals 18-39 12-19 50.
Ruidoso 8 12 8 13 — 41
Portales 15 6 18 12 — 51
3-pointers —
Ruidoso 2-17 (Kampsky 2), Portales 3-8 (Carter 3-5, Adkins 0-1, Kirchner 0-2). Rebounds — Ruidoso 23, Portales 33 (Kirchner 8). Assists — Ruidoso 5, Portales 8 (Carter, Kirchner 2). Total fouls — Ruidoso 17, Portales 20. Fouled out — none. Technicals — Ruidoso bench. JV score — Portales 53, Ruidoso 37.