Prep basketball: Tigers upend Portales in second half


December 9, 2018

Kevin Wilson

Portales senior forward Jaycob Medlin goes up for a shot attempt in the second half of Friday's game against Taos. Medlin had seven points, but Taos took a 71-58 victory.

PORTALES — After a back-and-forth first half, the Taos Tigers slowly pulled away in the second half and left Portales with a comfortable win.

Sounds like deja vu, but it really wasn't. Two weeks after the Taos football team came in and took a win over Portales in the Class 4A football semifinals, the basketball team followed it up with a 71-58 win over the Rams Friday at the Ram Athletic Center.

However, it was a completely different group of Tigers (4-1) leading the way, as the pair of Abdul Khwis and Quinn Moon combined for 55 points and keyed an 8-0 third-quarter run that turned a nailbiter into a comfortable win.

"When you play against a good, solid squad like Portales, it takes a while to figure out where your advantages are," Taos coach Hernando Chavez said following the game. "The first half was really a feeling-out process. I felt our press was effective in the second half, and I was pleased with our effort overall."

So, too, was Portales coach Rickie McBroom, despite the way the second half turned out.

"Right now, they're 4-1 and they won their own tournament," McBroom said of the Tigers. "They have nine kids on the team who didn't play football, so they're ahead of us in the sense that they've had most of those kids since August."

The Rams, who topped Dexter 72-49 on Tuesday night, showed signs throughout the night and posted a balanced effort on offense with Kellan Hightower scoring 20 to lead three in double figures.

But a pair of spinning transition layups by Moon steadily built a third-quarter lead, and Khwis added the exclamation point with a fast-break dunk that made it 59-47. Portales (1-1) never got closer than double figures the rest of the way.

While he wasn't happy to take the loss, McBroom said he took solace in the fact that the mistakes the Rams made were correctable.

Rico Diaz added 13, while Julian Urioste had 11 for the Rams - who get a few days off before starting an even busier week. It's West Las Vegas at home Tuesday, Muleshoe at home Friday and then Robertson on the road Saturday.

McBroom said he liked having the games because it gave Portales a chance to face some adversity, get in some travel and see different styles of play.

"We're going to treat it like we're in a tournament," McBroom said.

Tuesday - Hightower hit three 3-pointers and scored 17 points to lead five Rams in double figures.

"It was a good start," McBroom said. "Our kids played really hard and our pressure caused a lot of problems."

Master Taplin added 15, and Portales got 10 each from Diaz, Urioste and Dayvion Hunter.

Jaime Chavira and David Miramontes both had 12 for the Demons.


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