The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales boys get first win of season


December 6, 2017

PORTALES — Basketball legend Allen Iverson once mocked a reporter’s question about practice by saying, “We talkin’ about practice, man. Not a game, practice.”

For the Portales High boys basketball team, however, practice made perfect in the Rams’ 79-36 win over Dexter on Tuesday night, the first time they’ve tasted victory this season.

Portales (1-2) had struggled in its first two games of the season, in blowout losses to Roswell and Texico. However, Monday’s practice proved to be a breakthrough for the Rams, who outscored the Demons (3-2), 38-3, over the final 11:15 of Tuesday’s first half.

“There’s not much we didn’t work on (in Monday’s practice),” Rams coach Rickie McBroom said, laughing. “It wasn’t a regular pre-game practice — it was a practice. (The season) didn’t start out the way we wanted those first two games, but we won tonight’s game in practice yesterday — we really did. The kids had a great practice yesterday, and so, we’re learning.”

Portales got off to a 6-0 lead, midway through the opening quarter. Dexter struggled to convert on 3-point opportunities, starting off 0-for-7. However, pull-up 3’s from Jaime Chavira and David Miramontes suddenly tied the contest at 6-6.

But, the Demons’ hopes of giving the Rams a run for their money quickly disappeared. Baskets from Tyrese Dawson and Braden Bridges made for a quick 15-0 run to end the quarter, including a Dawson buzzer-beater 3-ball.

The scoreless run eventually ended at 18-0 for Dexter, but another big Rams run was still to follow. Lay-in’s from Rico Diaz, coupled with buckets by Kellan Hightower and Jase Wallace late in the half soon extended the run to 38-1, before a late Demons basket in the closing seconds of the first half made the score 44-9 Portales, going into the break.

“We were just out-manned. (Portales was) bigger, stronger and we got killed on the boards. Nothing was falling for us,” Demons coach Arthur Cobos explained. “The 3-ball when it’s falling, we’re happy. But when it’s not, it’s tough to try to learn in the game that we have to depend not just on the 3-ball, but we have to trust our guys inside — even though they’re not as big as some of the other guys that they’re facing.”

In all, Portales had 56 rebounds, led by Bridges’ 15. Dawson led the way with 21 points, with Diaz adding 15 more. Dexter, meanwhile, went just 2-for-19 from beyond the arc in the first half, and finished the night with seven triples overall.

For McBroom, the Rams’ first win of the 2017-18 season was certainly pleasing, especially how his kids showed a great attitude and were “all-in” for Tuesday’s game, as the coach would later explain.

Now, the Rams will host a tough Santa Rosa team this Saturday night at Rams Athletic Center. The Lions approach the game with a different style than the Demons, and in particular, have a lot of size that could give Portales trouble down low.

“They’re really good,” McBroom said of the Lions. “They’ve got two bigs that are 6-5, 6-6. We’re going to have to deal with that a little bit, too. We were trying to survive the first three games, because now we get some practice in before we get to Saturday and we can work on some things. We’re really excited to get to practice.”


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