With the top seed in Class 3A, and district rival Lovington on the other side of the bracket, there are plenty of reasons for the Portales girls to be pleased.
For the Portales boys, not so much.
Rams coach Mark Gallegos expressed frustration at the 3A boys bracket, released Sunday afternoon by the New Mexico Activities Association. Portales (13-13) is seeded 12th in the 16-team field
“I’m really unhappy,” Gallegos said. “To say we’re a 12 seed and you look at the teams above us, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to us.”
Defending champ Hope Christian (25-1) is the No. 1 seed.
For the boys tournament, Gallegos questions a seeding process that says three District 1-3A teams and four District 2-3A teams deserve a higher seed than Portales — the District 4-3A runnerup.
“I know their records are good, but I’d like to see them play our schedule,” Gallegos said of the District 1 squads. “I’d like to see Bloomfield and Tohatchi play our schedule and see if they could get 20 wins, and I’d like to play their schedule and see if we could get 20 wins.”
The result is the Rams are playing St. Michael’s, who he thinks is the third-best team in the state, behind the Huskies and second-seeded Sandia Prep.
In the girls’ bracket, Portales, 16-8 and 7-0 in Class 3A play, will host Las Vegas Robertson in a 7 p.m. game on Friday. That winner will play in a Tuesday game at The Pit against either eighth-seeded Socorro or No. 9 St. Michael’s.
Lady Rams coach Clay Stout said Robertson (11-15) is no No. 16 seed, notting the Lady Cardinals have had a number of close losses.
“They’re a whole lot better than the (seed) they gave them,” he said. “I think they’re a top five team.”
The top seed is an honor, but can also be a burden, Stout said. “You have a big ol’ target on your back,” he said.
“Obviously, we were tickled with the No. 1 ranking, with the injuries we’ve had the past couple of weeks. We’re finally getting healthy again.”
Teams on the other side of the bracket include District 4-3A runnerup Lovington, seeded fifth against No. 12 Wingate, and defending 3A champion Pojoaque, seeded third and hosting Ruidoso.
In other first-round action:
• A 22-4 mark garnered Clovis High’s girls the fifth seed in Class 5A. The Lady Wildcats host Rio Rancho Cleveland at 7 p.m. Friday.
• The Clovis boys are seeded sixth with a 14-10 mark, and host Gadsden in a 6 p.m. Saturday game. The winner takes on either No. 3 Valley or 14th-seeded Rio Rancho in a Wednesday quarterfinal at The Pit.
• The Class 1A and 2A tournaments will not be seeded until Sunday, following the first round games between district champions and runners-up.
Friday’s girls games involve Evangel Christian at Dora (6 p.m.), Cimarron at Grady (6 p.m.) and Floyd at Desert Academy (5 p.m. at New Mexico School for the Deaf).
There are three small-school games set for Saturday, with 6 p.m. tipoffs at Melrose (hosting Evangel Christian) and defending 2A champ Texico (hosting Tularosa). Defending 1A champion Fort Sumner travels for a 3 p.m. game against Santa Fe Waldorf, with the site to be announced.