DEXTER — The Portales Rams secured the District 4-3A regular season championship and the top seed in the district tournament attached to it with a 44-29 win against a scrappy Dexter Demons squad Friday night.
However, Portales coach Mark Gallegos wasn’t happy with how his Rams started the game.
Dexter stunned the Rams, carrying a 13-11 advantage into the second quarter.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half,” Gallegos said. “We needed a wakeup call. We were kind of lackadaisical, and came out kind of flat. I think we took some things for granted.”
Portales took control of the contest in the second quarter, out-scoring the Demons 14-4 to take a 25-17 halftime lead.
“At halftime we just talked about turning the defense up,” Gallegos said. “And we did a pretty good job.”
The Rams defense did stiffen up, and allowed 12 second-half points.
Portales senior Skyler Partin led all scorers with 12 points and junior Ky Mitchell added nine.
Brian Porte led the Demons with eight points.
As the regular-season district champion, the Rams earn a state tournament first-round game and the right to host next week’s 4-3A championship game.
“It’s huge to play at home,” Gallegos said. “If you looked at our crowd last Saturday against Lovington, if we have the same kind of crowd, it will be big for us.”