ALBUQUERQUE — The Portales Rams breezed into semifinals of the Hope Christian tournament, jumping on Tohatchi early en route to a 56-43 win Thursday.
Seniors Miguel Vasquez and Jesse Blue led Portales (8-3) with 14 points.
Thomas Lydale led Tohatchi with 19 points.
“The key to the game was we jumped on them early,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “Our press bothered them a little bit and we were able to score some easy baskets. We had a let down in the fourth quarter because they were able to get some easy shots.”
Portales led 34-19 at halftime.
Lydale hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep Tohatchi within striking distance. Senior Andrew Villanueva scored four of his nine points in the fourth quarter as Portales held on for its third straight.
“We had a mental breakdown in the third,” Gallegos said. “We were able to relax, but we didn’t close them out like we should have.”
Portales plays Rehoboth 4:30 p.m. today.