FRIONA — Senior Matthew Stanberry had 16 points, and the Friona Chieftains kept Portales from an undefeated run through Texas with a 41-36 win Monday night.
Seniors Stetson Reed and Joey Dickson added eight points apiece for Friona, which led 24-13 at the half and withstood a late Rams charge.
“They just got lots of easy baskets (early),” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “They really got the ball inside to Stansbury. He hurt us.
“They got in a zone and we had a hard time scoring. We couldn’t get an inside basket.”
The Rams (2-3), who were led by senior Shawn Carrasco’s game-high 19 points, cut the Chieftains’ lead to three points late but came up empty on four consecutive possessions with that margin.
Gallegos said the game was the opposite of Friday’s win at Muleshoe, where the Rams jumped out to an early lead and their confidence grew from there. Unfortunately, Gallegos said, Monday’s bad start snowballed, too.
“We played as good a second half as we’ve played all year long,” Gallegos said. “We came out and pressured them, and maybe we should have started that earlier.”
The Rams are off for a week before traveling to Las Vegas, N.M. for the annual Stu Clark Invitational. Portales will face Class 4A runnerup Artesia in a 3 p.m. quarterfinal on Monday.