PNT Staff Report
LAS VEGAS, N.M. — Patience is a virtue — especially when your opponent knows your every move. The Portales Rams stayed patient and came away with a 42-33 victory over the Taos Tigers here at the Stu Clark Invitational Thursday.
The win puts them in the consolation final at 2:30 p.m. today with the winner between Espanola and Las Vegas Robertson.
After a heart-breaking one-point loss to Santa Fe High in the first round of the tournament, Portales was paired Thursday with Taos after the Tigers lost to West Las Vegas. Taos is coached by Rick Apodaca, who was a Ram assistant under coach Mark Gallegos two years ago. Both coaches knew it would be an interesting game going in, and it lived up to its billing.
“They knew what we were doing and we knew what they were doing,” Gallegos said.
Laden with returning lettermen, Taos pulled out to an early 10-4 lead after one quarter. But Portales got its press activated in the second quarter and recovered to a 19-19 tie at the half.
Gallegos said his biggest frustration in the game was his team’s failure to take advantage of opportunity.
“Taos went seven straight turnovers (in the first half) and we didn’t take advantage of any of them,” Gallegos said.
Gallegos said his team stayed calm, though, and they began to mix up their looks quite a bit to keep Taos off balance. It paid off with a third quarter that limited the Tigers to just four points and a 15-point offensive effort for PHS in the fourth.
In the fourth quarter the Rams began to be able to effectively spread the floor on the Tigers on offense. Then Ram Daniel Aranda sealed the victory with a nine of 10 performance from the line in the fourth quarter.
“It was a good win for us to beat a 4-A team,” Gallegos said. “We’re still searching for that complete game, though. But I thought our defensive was better.”
Jerod Long and Aranda led the Ram offensive effort with 16 points each. Chance Sherburne had six.