Rams return favor with victory at Lovington

CMI staff

LOVINGTON — After losing at home to Lovington last week, the Portales Rams returned the favor Tuesday night.

Senior post Zach Campbell led three Rams in double figures with 14 points in a 59-53 victory over the Wildcats that puts PHS (13-11, 2-1 district) into the lead in the 4-3A race and in control of its own destiny heading into Friday’s matchup at Ruidoso.

PHS coach Rickie McBroom said the Warriors (9-15, 1-2) are perfectly capable of throwing the race into a three-way tie.Basketball in Flame

“Lovington went up there and lost, so we’re going to have to go up there and play well,” McBroom said.

Portales got off to a 14-5 lead late in the first quarter and held it most of the way, although the Wildcats (11-14, 2-2) rallied for a 40-39 lead after three periods.

Portales won the final quarter 16-9.

“We did a better job of keeping them off the free throw line (in the second half),” McBroom said. “Offensively, we executed about as well in the fourth quarter as we executed all night.”

He said that while 6-foot-8 junior post Stephen Lennox finished with 15 points for the Wildcats, the Rams were able to hold their other big guns — senior guards Quantel Nash (eight) and Andrew Homer (five) — in relative check.

“We won the game on the defensive end,” McBroom said. “Both of them (Nash and Homer) had hurt us the last time.”

The Rams regained the services of senior forward Daniel Sanchez for the first time since he injured an ankle on Jan. 25 at Moriarty. Sanchez, who missed five games, played about 11 minutes, McBroom said, and helped hold the fort when Campbell got into some foul trouble in the first half.

Senior guards Caleb Burciaga and Nathan Chavez added 13 and 10 points, respectively, for Portales.

SUMMARY
District 4-3A
Portales 59, Lovington 53
Portales (13-11, 2-1) — Matt Martinez 2 1-2 5, Jarret Faust 1 1-4 4, Ben Martinez 2 2-3 6, Isaiah Alvarado 1 0-0 3, Caleb Burciaga 6 0-1 13, Zach Campbell 5 4-6 14, Bronte Staugaard 1 0-0 3, Paul Conrow 0 1-2 1, Nathan Chavez 3 2-3 10. Totals 21 11-21 59.
Lovington (11-14, 2-2) — Nik Mann 1 0-0 3, Joanus Rueda 3 1-2 9, Sebastian Sanchez 0 3-4 3, Andrew Homer 2 0-0 5, Alvin Simpson 1 0-0 3, Stephen Lennox 3 9-12 15, Jared Wilks 2 3-3 7, Quantel Nash 3 1-1 8. Totals 15 17-22 53.
Portales    14    16    13    16    —    59
Lovington    12    15    17    9    —    53
3-pointers — Portales, Chavez 2, Alvarado, Burciaga, Faust, Staugaard. Lovington, Rueda 2, Homer, Mann, Nash, Simpson. Junior varsity — Lovington 68, Portales 64.

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