LITTLEFIELD — A strong night from beyond the arc wasn’t enough for the Portales Rams on Thursday.
Farwell built an eight-point, second-half lead and the Steers were able to withstand a late PHS rally for a 57-56 victory in the opening round of the Wildcat Classic basketball tournament.
Farwell (10-2) advanced to a 7 p.m. (MST) quarterfinal game today against Claude in the 13-team tournament. Meantime, the Rams (3-4) dropped into the consolation bracket at 1 p.m. (MST) today to face the loser of today’s early matchup between Post and the winner of Thursday’s late opening-round contest between Whitharral and host Littlefield.
Portales went 8-of-15 from 3-point range, with senior guard Isaiah Alvarado hitting five of them en route to 21 points and junior forward Nathan Chavez adding three treys and finishing with 14.
“It was a competitive game,” Rams coach Rickie McBroom said. “It went back-and-forth quite a bit.
“We made a run to get ahead several times in the fourth quarter, but they scored late to win.”
Portales jumped in front 7-2 early, but the Steers opened a 16-10 lead at the quarter and led much of the way until the Rams’ late run.
“We had a great opportunity to win (at the end), but the ball just wouldn’t go in,” McBroom said. “You’ve just got to take advantage of your opportunities when they’re there.”
Senior Ruben Gutierrez led the Steers with 19 points, while senior Austin Mason had three 3-pointers and 11 points and sophomore Angel Graxiola finished with 10.