ROSWELL — The New Mexico Military Institute Colts had something to play for, and it showed.
Waige Turueke scored 14 points to lead the host Colts to a 53-36 victory over the Portales Rams Friday night in a District 4-3A contest.
The Colts (9-12, 5-1 District 4-3A) forced a tie with Lovington for the top spot in district, while Portales was locked into third regardless.
The Rams couldn’t adjust to the Colts height, and NMMI steadily built a 38-28 lead through the first three quarters. The Colts had just two field goals in the fourth quarter, but got more than enough free throws (16-of-26) to keep them ahead.
“The difference was they had 18 offensive rebounds,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “They killed us on the glass.”
Casey Williamson added 11 points for the Colts. Nathan Brown led Portales with 11 points, while Chris Carter added eight and Austin Pullen six.
Portales will play host to a pair of District 4-3A games Monday as a result. Lovington and NMMI will face off at Greyhound Arena, while the Rams will host Ruidoso at Portales High School. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Lovington blew out Ruidoso 84-59 Friday, and Gallegos wasn’t sure how the Warriors would respond in Monday night’s game — he figures the “law of averages” will have to catch up sometime for the Warriors, who haven’t won a District 4-3A game since beating Portales for the 2001 district title.
“It’s hard to say because you don’t know when they’re going to explode,” Gallegos said. “They’ve played two games with those two kids (Chance Hooper and Patrick Valiant) back. They’re scary. They’re one of the more talented teams.”