PNT Staff Report
The fifth annual Portales Shootout gives the Rams a chance to work on improving themselves before heading into District 4-3A play later this month, coach Mark Gallegos said.
Santa Teresa, Socorro and Artesia will be in town for the two days. The Rams (3-6) play Santa Teresa (9-3) tonight and Socorro (4-6) on Saturday.
“In New Mexico, it’s kind of hard because you have a game limit,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “A lot of teams play in three-team tournaments, but it’s hard to get some games. So I came up with the idea of having a (two-day) shootout deal. Where teams come to a neutral sight and get two games.”
Portales is 5-0 against its two opponents this weekend. The Rams swept the shoot out last season, beating both teams.
“Santa Teresa is one of the top four or five teams in (Class) 4A,” Gallegos said. “We wanted to bring in a quality team like them to the shootout.”
Gallegos said, like his squad, Socorro tries to play a tough pre-district schedule. Gallegos said Santa Teresa was excited about coming to Portales to play Artesia.
“Santa Teresa is a really patient team,” Gallegos said. “They’re a good motion offense team. They have really good big player named Dillon Taylor, who is 6-foot-5. We’ve got to worry about another good inside player, Renato Torres, along with Taylor.”
The Desert Warriors are looking to bounce back from a 46-40 loss to Gadsden on Tuesday.
“They give you some matchup problems, but they also can go inside on you,” Gallegos said of the Desert Warriors. “We’re going to have to play more man and zone defense and play a lot better than we had in the last games on defense.”
Socorro shoots the ball well, which means Portales will have to play more man-to-man defense in order to contest the Warriors’ 3-pointers, Gallegos said.
Gallegos said if fans want to see good shooting teams, they should see today’s Artesia-Socorro contest, set for a 6 p.m. tipoff.
“You are going to come and see two quality varsity games, and that’s a really good deal,” Gallegos said.