Rams reach title game

The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE — Daniel Aranda has been battling the flu, but you would never know it by his performance on the basketball court Friday.

Aranda scored 12 points, including 10 in the final quarter, to lead Portales to a 47-36 win over Pojoaque in the state tournament. Portales advances to meet the winner of the Grants-Bernalillo Game in the AAA state championship Saturday.

“We were putting Pepto-Bismol in Daniel before the game,” Portales Coach Mark Gallegos said.

But Aranda said he just “floated to the open spot” and took the shots.

Portales (19-8) used a tough man to man to slow Pojoaque’s scoring throughout the game.

“I thought our defense kind of fed our offense,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said after the game. “Offensively, we struggled a little bit.”

Portales was 15 for 35 from the field hitting 43 percent of its shots.

But Pojoaque (21-7) connected on just 12 of 40 shots for 30 percent shooting. The Elks also hit just three of the 21 3-pointers they put up.

“We just didn’t hit, because we had some good looks,” Pojoaque coach Joey Trujillo said.

The game was tied at 16 at the half and again at 19 early in the third quarter. Chris Adkins hit a three pointer with 6:30 left in the quarter to give Portales the 22-19 lead.

But Jassen Lopez hit a basket, Joshua Harris added a layup and Eric Quintana got a putback to give Pojoaque a 25-22 lead with 3:00 to go in the quarter.

Adkins, who scored 11 for Portales, retaliated with two more 3-pointers.

But a free throw from Quintana and a 3-pointer from Jaramillo put Pojoaque on top 29-28 going into the fourth.

Portales used the full-court press to hold Pojoaque to just 7 points in the fourth.

With Pojoaque leading 31-20 two minutes into the quarter, Aranda hit a 3-pointer to give Portales the lead for good. He followed it up with a free throw and three lay-ups to give Portales 39.

Quintana, Pojoaque’s leading scorer with 11, hit two free throws before fouling out with 1:22 on the clock. Lopez added another free throw to bring Pojoaque to 34.

Portales then went on a 7-2 run to end the game.