TUCUMCARI — It took the Portales Rams a while to get going Tuesday night.
They found their stroke in the second half, shooting 53 percent from the field en route to a 65-59 win over Tucumcari.
Senior post Zach Campbell scored two consecutive baskets to break a 54-54 tie down the stretch, and junior forward Daniel Sanchez went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 15 seconds to extend a two-point lead.
Portales (11-7) finished the game 14-of-16 from the foul line while the Rattlers (10-7) went just 8-of-15.
"The kids did a great job from the free throw line," PHS coach Rickie McBroom said. "We've been talking about how that's one way you can help yourself win games."
The Rams were cool from the field early, shooting only 33 percent and trailing 26-24 entering halftime. Still, the game was close virtually the entire way with neither team able to get ahead by more than a few points.
"Our offensive execution was better in the second half," McBroom said.
Senior post Emilio Baca led PHS with 13 points, while junior guard Jarret Faust, senior forward Reyes Calbert and Campbell all finished with 10.
Tucumcari's quickness gave the Rams some problems, McBroom said.
"That's a tough team for us to guard," he said. "But I thought we did a good job of playing defense and helping each other."
Senior forward Luke Smith scored 19 points for the Rattlers, while senior guard Chris Crespin had 13 and junior forward Cody Ryen added 10.
The Rams are back in action on Friday when they visit Roswell High.