Lovington turns back Rams in District 4-4A tourney semis
Last updated 2/26/2022 at 11:13am
LOVINGTON — Basketball experts say 3-pointers can shoot you into a game or out of it in a hurry.
As they often do, Lovington’s boys relied on the long ball to lead the way on Tuesday night. Six players combined to hit 14 of them, and the Wildcats overcame an early 10-point deficit for a 63-51 victory over Portales High in a first-round District 4-4A matchup.
“They shot the ball pretty well tonight,” Rams coach Randy McBroom said of the Wildcats (20-7), who won at Roswell Goddard 46-43 on Thursday to reach Saturday’s tourney final at Artesia. “Some of them were tough shots that were pretty well contested.”
The Rams (11-15), who believed they still had at least an outside shot of earning a Class 4A state tournament berth — pairings were to be announced today by the New Mexico Activities Association — got out of the gates quickly and opened a 13-3 advantage midway through the opening stanza.
Lovington, though, went on a 14-0 run that carried into the second frame and led most of the remaining time.
PHS trailed 32-30 at halftime and was still within seven entering the final quarter, but managed only nine points during the final eight minutes.
“I was really proud of our kids,” said McBroom, an assistant to his father, Rickie, for nine years before replacing him at the helm this season. “They competed well. Lovington’s a good basketball team.
“It got away from us at the end. We came in with a specific game plan, and our kids did a heck of a job. They battled, and we had a chance to win.”
Senior guard Isaac Hinton led the Wildcats with 16 points, including five 3-pointers, while senior forward Tayten Hillard had 15.
For the Rams, senior guard Kaden Hightower was the lone double-digit scorer, finishing with 16 points.
Senior forward Greydon Rigsby led the team with eight rebounds and two blocks, while senior guard Alex Garcia collected three steals. Hightower and junior guard Davian Lucero both had three assists.