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

Hope Christian eliminates Portales boys from 4A tournament


March 8, 2018

RIO RANCHO — Portales High's 2017-18 boys' basketball campaign came to an end on Wednesday morning against the most familiar of opponents.

District 4-4A champion Hope Christian made it a 4-0 sweep over Portales, holding off the sixth-seeded Rams 72-63 in Wednesday's quarterfinal at the Santa Ana Star Center.

"(Hope) came out and executed pretty well to start the third quarter," Rams coach Rickie McBroom said. "We didn't shoot well to start the quarter. But we achieved a couple of our goals — we outrebounded them. Our kids really competed, and I thought we were gonna win."

The third-seeded Huskies (21-8) led by a point after the first quarter, and 30-26 at half. A 17-11 third quarter advantage was probably enough for the Huskies, despite allowing 26 points in the fourth to Portales (17-13).

While the Rams outrebounded the Huskies, 46-39, they couldn't outshoot them. Hope's 20-for-56 (35.7) effort from the field left something to be desired, but was better than Portales' 20-for-60 (33.3 percent) outing.

The Rams shot just 5-23 from downtown, while the Huskies shot a much worse 2-for-14. Hope, meanwhile, made 30-of-40 free throws, while Portales went 18-of-24.

Tyrese Dawson led the Rams with 24 points, while the Huskies were paced by Johnnie Nitafan's 21 points.

While Hope will advance to an 8 a.m. Friday semifinal against Silver, which topped Shiprock 74-40.

Portales, meanwhile, will be reflecting on a season that had plenty of highs and lows.

"I can't say enough about this group of kids," McBroom said. "They're real coachable, they gave everything they got, and that's all that you can ask for. They're all gonna be very successful in life, because of those attributes."


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