Rams get past Ruidoso, stay unbeaten in district

By Dave Wagner

RUIDOSO — The Portales boys basketball team has learned the hard way that no team can be taken for granted in District 4-3A.
Four days after escaping from Roswell with a 1-point win over New Mexico Military Institute, the Rams had what looked like a comfortable lead over Ruidoso.
With 6 1/2 minutes left in the game and a 47-38 lead, Portales coach Mark Gallegos pulled the offense out and spread the floor, making the Warriors play pressure defense.
“I think he felt the momentum starting to shift,” Ruidoso coach Billy Page said. “That’s why he spread the offense so early.”
Gallegos may have tried to spread the floor to stop Ruidoso from charging, but the Warriors were still able to get to within three points before finally falling 60-50.
“We just got too passive in our offense after getting a lead and weren’t attacking the basket,” Gallegos said. “We told them to be cautious and I fault myself for that.”
The Rams (15-7, 4-0 district), who extended their winning streak to seven, were tied with Ruidoso 2-2 early, then went on a 10-6 run to begin pulling away steadily. By halftime, Portales had a 31-24 lead and what looked like control of the game.
The Warriors (11-13, 1-3) weren’t taking bad shots, but they weren’t going through the hoop. Portales, meanwhile, was getting the ball inside very well against the Ruidoso defense and getting strong layups from the likes of Jake Hale and Bo Gabriel.
Gabriel led the Rams with 14 points, while Hale had 11. Chris Kirchner put in an additional 12 points.
But Ruidoso continued to hang around, and finally started taking advantage of the Rams’ slow-down strategy.
Starting with 5:08 left in the game, the Warriors went on a slow 10-3 run to get to within three points with just over a minute left. before the Rams put the game away.
“This was a similar game to when we played them in Portales,” Gallegos said. “We just made more free throws at home.”
With the victory, the Rams can clinch the district regular-season title by beating Lovington on Friday night at Lovington.

District 4-3A
Portales 60, Ruidoso 50
Portales (15-7, 4-0) —
Daniel Boan 1 0-0 2, Daniel Aranda 3 3-4 9, Chris Kirchner 4 3-6 12, Bo Gabriel 5 4-6 14, Trevor Ferguson 1 0-0 2, Chris Carter 1 6-8 8, Tyler Johnson 1 0-2 2, Jack Halre 5 1-2 11. Totals 21 17-28 60.
Ruidoso (11-13, 1-3) — David Barnett 3 0-3 6, Ted LaCoe 3 4-6 10, David Dickinson 0 2-2 2, Sergio Castanon 0 1-2 1, Jason Kamsky 5 09-0 13, Dustin Prelo 3 4-8 10, Kyle Snowden 4 0-1 8. Totals 18 11-22 50.
Portales 22 9 16 13 — 60
Ruidoso 13 11 12 14 — 50
3-pointers — Portales (1): Kirchner. Ruidoso (3): Kampsky 3. JV score — Portales 50, Ruidoso 48.