It’s not the question of the century for the Ram basketball team. Rather, it’s the question of the half-century mark.
Since winning its first two games, Portales has suffered a four-game losing streak. Every team that has beaten the Rams this season has scored at least 50, including Robertson in a 50-49 overtime contest on Monday night.
This season, teams that get halfway to 100 have had a 100-percent success rate against the Rams, and recent history shows a similar trend. Dating back to the 2001-02 season, Portales is 2-22 when allowing 50 points or more and 23-13 otherwise.
It was a statistic that didn’t surprise Portales coach Mark Gallegos, who has emphasized a defensive approach to compete with Class 3A teams that usually have more height and quickness.
“Defensively, we’ve always been so focused on holding our opponent to 48,” Gallegos said. “I think in the last couple of years, we haven’t been able to play the same style of basketball the other schools play.”
A knee injury in Friday’s game at Bernalillo means Russell Knudson won’t be playing Saturday against Moriarty.
“I’m not going to be able to do the wave,” the 6-foot, 180-pound forward said with a laugh.
Knudson suffered a sprain to his left knee when he landed wrong challenging for a rebound in Saturday’s 65-55 loss to Bernalillo. Knudson said it was a sprain and that he expects to be back in action next weekend when the Rams go to the Stu Clark Tournament in Las Vegas, N.M.
Knudson has taken on several duties this year, mostly as a part of his role as student body president. Some of his duties include conducting a student council meeting every other Monday, running pep rallies and speaking at various school functions (i.e. a Sept. 11 remembrance held by the school).
“It’s actually not too hard,” Knudson said. “My athletics will come first, but most of the student body president duties (don’t interfere).”
He also helps out with the Ram crowd when he can. During volleyball and girls basketball games this season, Knudson has occasionally ran back and forth through the student section to start a wave.
Knudson has not yet decided whether he will run on the track team, choosing to focus on the basketball season for now. Through it all, Knudson tries to maintain a humble attitude.
“I couldn’t do any of this without my family and friends,” Knudson said. “They support me through all of this.”
Six Portales players were named to the Class 3A all-State volleyball team, four of them seniors.
Lady Rams named to the team included outside hitters Erika Cook and Kelly Parkey, setter Kassandra Richards and defensive specialist Amy Truelock. Cook was also selected as a defensive specialist.
Sophomores Megan Kabrick and Morgan Hill were also named to the team as middle blockers.