By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
Portales Ram coach Mark Gallegos knows if his team is to succeed this season, they’re going to have to give a better effort than they did Thursday night at home against Artesia.
The Bulldogs sank nine 3-pointers and outscored the Rams 21-12 in the fourth period as Artesia won 67-54.
Junior guard Bryan Madrid scored 11 of his game best 22 points in the decisive final quarter for Artesia.
“Considering that we were missing three of our top four post players, (we’re) very pleased just to get a win against a tough Portales team,” Artesia head coach Ike Montoya said.
Portales led by six after the first quarter and the Rams built a 12-point lead midway through the second period thanks to tough inside baskets from Chance Sherburne while Ky Mitchell supplied an outside presence, sinking two 3-pointers in the first half. But Gallegos attributed the Ram second half collapse to a lack of conditioning.
“We got out-hustled tonight,” Gallegos said. “We had them down by 12 points, and they never got down. They just decided they were going to get down and play as hard as they could to get back into it. And us, when we got down at the end we ran out of gas. We’re not in very good shape and that comes down to one thing, that’s me. I didn’t have us in good enough shape ready to play.”
Gallegos also called out some of his seniors to start playing with more effort.
“I was real disappointed with our effort at the end. I thought some of our older kids, some of my supposed leaders kind of quit just a little bit, and that’s one thing I won’t stand for,” Gallegos said. “All my seniors have to step up and play, they’ve got to realize that their time is running out. It comes down to our intensity level in practice is nonexistent, and I’ll fix that, I know how to fix that.”
Sherburne led Portales with 17, followed by Mitchell and senior post Hunter Rackler, each with 10 points.
“We covered (getting out to cover their shooters) all throughout the week and we write it on the board in pre-game before we come out. It’s a matter of wanting to, and getting down and just doing it, and tonight we just didn’t get it done,” Rackler said. “We were obligated to play good tonight and we just didn’t. If we don’t pick it up during the (Ram) Shootout against Socorro and other 3A teams, we’re really going to be hurting when it comes to district time and the playoffs.”
Both teams are competing in the Ram Basketball Shootout this weekend. The Rams play Socorro at 8 p.m Friday, while the Bulldogs open the tournament against Taos at 3 p.m Friday.
• Artesia sophomore Dallas Bullema sank a 20-foot jumper as time expired to lead the Bulldog JV over the Portales JV 53-51 Thursday night.