The Portales Rams got back into the win column at home Friday as they demolished the New Mexico Military Institute Colts 59-20.
Portales (9-5) wasted no time building a lead one the Colts as senior Stephen Shields rattled in three 3-pointers in the first few minutes of play, taking advantage of an attempt by NMMI to go man-to-man on the Rams. Senior Andrew Villanueva added a 3-pointer of his own and Portales led 17-4 after one quarter.
“I was surprised they mixed defenses up on us like that and even tried to play man,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said.
Gallegos said his team’s defense exceeded the goals they had for the evening and that provided an opportunity for everyone to get playing time.
“I was pleased we got everybody in the game,” Gallegos said. “The (bench) doesn’t always get much time, but they work real hard in practice and they did a good job tonight.”
NMMI (1-12) eventually gave up on the man defense and the Rams posted a 28-13 halftime lead thanks to a pair of breakaway layups from junior David Rodriguez.
Villanueva had the hot hand for the Rams in the third period, sinking two straight field goals midway through.
Senior Trent Johnson came off the bench to score eight points in the last nine minutes of play to stretch the Portales margin.
Ram junior Enrique Urioste led all scorers with 10. Stephen Powers led NMMI with six.
“I think we played pretty good, we got everybody in the game,” Villanueva said. “I think we played pretty good defense.”
Portales faces defending Class 2A state champion Mesilla Valley Christian tonight in the Ram Athletic Center.
The Sonblazers were ranked No. 2 in 2A this week in the state high school coaches poll
Portales lost to Sonblazers last year and are looking to even the score.
“We’ve got to come out and play, tomorrow,” Villanueva said. “We’ve got a pretty good team coming to town. I think everybody knows that.”
Gallegos said Mesilla has a good mixture of size and perimeter play and will mix things up well.
“It should be a good test for us.”