By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
The Portales Rams and Lady Rams ring in the new year with the 2007 Ram Basketball Shootout this weekend at Portales High School.
The Rams (5-3), who are without senior guard Skyler Partin at the state band competition, play Artesia tonight in a game that’s not part of the competition, but just as important.
“(Artesia) is real physical inside, and they’ve got a lot of athleticism. Derek Montoya is one of the better players in their district.”
The first game of the Shootout for the Rams, at 8 p.m. Friday, pits them against the Socorro Wildcats, a team that looks a lot like Portales.
“They’re real athletic,” Gallegos said. “They’re a lot like us in terms of just hitting their stride because their football team was in the semifinals of the state football playoffs so they were just like us, playing catch-up, and they’re starting to really play well.
Gallegos was also quick to note that Socorro beat Ruidoso by 22 points Tuesday night.
“They’ve got some size, and they play tough man defense so we’re going to have to come out and really play.”
The Portales boys will finish with Taos at 6 p.m. Saturday The Rams beat Taos 53-41 in the consolation championship of the Stu Clark Tournament in Las Vegas last week.
The Lady Rams (5-6) get going at 6 p.m. Friday against the West Las Vegas Lady Dons before playing Trinity Christian Saturday night.
If you ask Lady Ram head coach Brenda Gomez, consistency is front-and-center with district play starting later this month.
“(Our girls) don’t realize how good they could be. We’re not there yet and we’re going to definitely get better and we have time. I just don’t know that they understand how good they could be,” Gomez said.
With district play fast approaching, both Gallegos and Gomez know what they’ll be looking for out of their squads this weekend.
“We’re getting close (to district), we’ve got two more weeks,” Gallegos said. “We get to play a couple of good 4A teams in Artesia and Taos. And then we play another team in our class in Socorro, and they’re the favorites to win their district so it gives us a good measuring stick of where we’re at.”