By Dave Wagner
CMI sports writer
One minute, 3-pointers were falling and the Portales Rams were in the game. The next, Roswell Goddard took off on a game-clinching run.
The Rockets broke open a one-point game, outscoring PHS 18-3 over the final six minutes of the second quarter Tuesday night en route to a 61-47 victory at the Ram Athletic Center.
Senior guard Josh Wagner scored 26 points, including 8-of-8 from the foul line to help put the game away in the final quarter for the Rockets (4-2).
The Rams (1-2) got virtually all of their points in the first half on four 3-pointers and found themselves down 32-16. After Wagner opened the second half with a 3 for a 19-point lead, the Rams closed to 37-25 with a 9-2 spurt, but went scoreless the final four minutes of the period.
PHS coach Rickie McBroom said his team simply isn’t in sync just yet.
“We’ve got to execute better, and we’ve got to do it as a group,” he said. “We’re just going to keep working at it.”
Wagner, a 5-foot-10 left-hander who is the Rockets’ leading scorer at just over 20 points, has a high game of 34 this season. Goddard spent much of the first quarter behind before taking control, but shot 54 percent overall (21-of-39) and knocked down 17-of-20 free throws.
“That’s usually how we play,” coach Kevin Jones said. “It takes us a few minutes to get warmed up.
“This is probably one of the better shooting nights we’ve had.”
Junior forwards Trent Johnson and Derek Najar added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Rockets before fouling out in the final quarter.
Portales had four players with at least eight points, with only senior post Zach Campbell reaching double figures (11). The Rams shot 30 percent from the field and hit 6-of-22 from 3-point distance.
“I think their pressure (defense) got us pretty good,” McBroom said. “I felt like we got some good shots, but we just didn’t knock them down.”
The Rams return to action on Saturday with a 7 p.m. game against New Mexico Military in Roswell.