LOVINGTON — The Portales Rams had a chance to take the lead going into halftime against Lovington in Saturday’s District 4-3A tournament final.
They didn’t, and the rest of the game was downhill.
The top-seeded Wildcats went on a 15-3 run in the third quarter to take complete control and hand the Rams a 48-26 loss.
PHS coach Mark Gallegos had hoped his team could earn a first-round home game next week in the Class 3A state tournament. Instead, the Rams will in all liklihood travel in the opening round.
“The third quarter we just didn’t execute very well,” Gallegos said. “The key to the game was we didn’t attack their 2-3 zone (defense) very well.”
Guard Robert Perez led a balanced attack for Lovington with 11 points, while Robert Hargrove and Saul Guevara chipped in 10 points apiece. Senior guard Shawn Carrasco had a pair of 3-pointers and eight points to lead the Rams (13-13), who lost to Lovington for the third time this season.
Gallegos said that with Lovington clinging to a one-point lead late in the half, his team had two possessions to try to go in front but turned the ball over on both occasions.
The Wildcats went in with a 20-16 advantage. They held Portales to only 10 points in the final two quarters.
Lovington had a considerable advantage at the free throw line, although the Wildcats didn’t shoot all that well — they were 13-of-25, while the Rams finished the night 2-of-4.