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Carrasco sets tone as Rams muzzle Dogs

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Shawn Carrasco outscored the Artesia Bulldogs by himself in the first quarter of Portales’ 55-48 win Monday afternoon in the opening session of the Stu Clark Tournament.

The Rams’ 5-11 guard tallied 14 points in those first eight minutes. He scored the first five points of the contest with a layup and a three-pointer from the right wing, and he’d bookend the period with a steal and coast-to-coast layup, then a trey from the left corner off a feed from Andrew Villanueva.

Portales opened a 21-12 lead in a frenetic first period, certainly by the standards of PHS coach Mark Gallegos, known for a slow-it-down style in recent years.

Carrasco would finish with a game-high 21 points, and the game would slow down appreciably after the fast start.

To its credit, Artesia never quite went away. Ezekiel Montoya nailed a three-pointer at the end of an otherwise evenly played second period to make it 29-23 at half. Montoya, who’d finish with a team-best 14 points, did even more damage in the second half.

Five Rams scored in the third quarter as Portales padded its lead to 45-31, and Villanueva’s two foul shots stretched it to a 16-point spread, 47-31, with 7:49 left in regulation.

The Bulldogs made a charge in the closing minutes, outscoring their opponents 17-8, including a 7-0 run to end the game.

But the rally ran out of time.

Unofficial scoring, Portales: Carrasco, 21; Villanueva, 12; Jesse Blue, 9; Zachary Terry, 6; Stephen Shields, 3; Garrett Hancock, 2; Kevin King, 2.

Artesia: Montoya, 14; Ryan Elkins, 9; Juan Marcos Muñiz, 8; Koby Caton, 7; Kevin Chandler, 5; Ty Anderson, 2; Jesus Lares, 2; Matt Navarrette, 1.