PNT Staff Report
LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Portales Ram basketball coach Mark Gallegos has always said the experience his team receives at the Stu Clark Tournament in Las Vegas is important. But sometimes the lessons are hard.
The Rams (3-3) got one of those lessons here Thursday as they lost to the Santa Fe Capital Jaguars 47-30 in opening round of the tournament.
“The reason you come to these kinds of tournaments is to find out more about yourself as a team,” Gallegos said. “You find things to improve on before district starts.”
One of those improvements pointed up by Thursday’s game was free throw shooting. Gallegos said he was very disappointed with his team’s 41 percent, 7-of-17 shooting from the line.
“We did a good job defensively in the first quarter,” Gallegos said. “We knew what they were going to do. We just couldn’t convert (the shots).”
The first quarter ended with both teams showcasing their defenses and the Jaguars coming away with a 5-3 edge. By the half they had built that lead to 16-9, however.
Portales showed signs of a comeback in the third but those hopes were quickly doused as Capital connected on a series of big 3-pointers that put them up 30-17 at the start of the fourth.
Portales had its best quarter of the night in the final stanza but was still outmatched on the scoreboard 17-13 in the period.
“We’re just struggling to our offensive identity,” Gallegos said.
Capital’s Luis Muñoz led all scorers with 14 points, followed by teammate Randall Gallegos with 9.
Portales didn’t get anyone into double figures, but got a balanced attack from Cruz Ontiveros and Chance Sherburne with 6 points each. Todd McBroom tallied 5 points in the contest.
Portales plays the loser between Lordsburg and Robertson at 1 p.m. today.