FRIONA, Texas — After a back-and-forth first half, the Portales Rams finally loosened up Friona’s zone defense.
Trailing by two points at halftime, PHS hit six 3-pointers — four by senior guard Isaiah Alvarado — in a 22-10 third-quarter run and pulled away to a 59-47 victory over the Chieftains on Tuesday night.
Alvarado finished with five 3s and 21 points for the Rams (3-2), who won their second game in a row.
“They were playing zone and doubling our posts,” Rams coach Rickie McBroom said. “The second half, we kind of opened it up.”
Senior guard Jarret Faust added 13 points for Portales. Faust and senior Nathan Chavez each had a 3-pointer in the third -quarter surge.
“They didn’t want to come out (of the zone,” McBroom said of the Chieftains. “When (Alvarez)_ started hitting, they finally came out and it really opened it up inside for us.”
The Rams are slated to play their final home game before the holidays on Friday night against Clovis. McBroom, though, wasn’t ready to talk about the Class 5A Wildcats just yet.
“We’ll worry about them tomorrow,” he said. “Tonight, we’re going to enjoy this one.”
Junior guard Cole Stowers scored a game-high 24 points for the Chieftains (5-5), but only two of them came in the third period.
“We held him down in the third quarter,” McBroom said. “He’s a really good player.”
Portales also had a substantial edge on the glass, led by seniors Zach Campbell and Daniel Sanchez with eight and seven rebounds, respectively.
“We’re improving every ballgame, every quarter,” McBroom said. “I’m happy because the kids are starting to play well together. We’re getting the ball to the open man.”