And round four begins.
The Portales girls basketball team is set to host Lovington for the District 4-3A title and seeding consideration in next week’s Class 3A basketball tournament.
Portales (16-10) has been idle since its 37-24 victory in Monday’s district tiebreaker over Lovington, and it’s hoping to take three out of four in the season series with a win tonight.
Lovington (21-8) set up the rematch with a 61-55 win Thursday over Ruidoso.
Portales coach Clay Stout thought the tiebreaker win at New Mexico Military Institute gave the team a good push heading into playoff time — especially considering the previous two Portales-Lovington games were decided by a combined five points.
“Any time you can do something that makes you feel like you’ve got momentum is good,” said Stout.
Both teams receive a spot in the tournament, but there’s no telling where anybody will be seeded. Portales won the regular season district title, and has won five straight since its 27-25 loss at Lovington to open district play. But Portales is ranked fifth in the final New Mexico High School Coaches Association poll while Lovington is second behind Pojoaque.
Stout doesn’t know what the weekend will do for Portales’ seeding, and he’s trying not to show much concern.
“I don’t have any idea,” Stout said. “I think it’s a mystery. You just don’t know what they’re thinking up north.”
He figures the message is that you just want to win your last four games — no matter where you’re seeded.
“You’re going to play some good teams in the playoffs,” Stout said. “You’ve got to beat the best to be the best”