By Leroy Chavez, Sports Writer
PEÑASCO — Though the end result was the same, the Ram basketball squad made big strides in their second encounter with the Peñasco Panthers in Peñasco on Saturday (Dec. 5).
“Hopefully it was a step forward,”said Ram coach Daniel Vigil. “We were in the game until the final minutes of the final quarter and we did a whole lot better breaking their press this time around.”
Peñasco jumped out to a 13-11 lead in the first stanza but Cimarron rebounded with a 13-12 advantage in the second quarter to cut the Panther lead to 25-24 at intermission.
“We worked hard all week on breaking their press and it worked well for us in the first half,” said Vigil. “Now we have to focus on rebounding and better shot selection. We tend to take a quick shot instead of working the ball around for a better shot.”
In the third stanza, the game remained tight with Peñasco gaining a slight 20-17 advantage to take a 45-41 lead at the three-quarter mark. In the final period, the game remained close until a late Panther push gave the home team an 18-10 advantage to claim the 63-51 win.
The Rams were led by Joseph Serna and Thomas Jeffers with 16 points each, Dominik Ickes with 7 points, Austin Luksich with 6 points, Matthew Dean with 5 points and Jacob Garcia with one point.
Ram Jonah Coca left the game early with an ankle sprain and will be in a game-to-game status, as far as availability for the Cowbell Tourney.
The Rams will play Raton on Tuesday (Dec. 8) at 5:30 p.m., following the Lady Ram verus Peñasco game scheduled for 4 p.m. Both games are opening round games in the annual Cowbell Tournament and will be played in Springer.
Penasco JV 42, Cimarron 23
In the junior varsity game, the Panther Cubs jumped out to 10-3 first quarter advantage, while the little Rams bounced back with a 9-5 second quarter advantage to make the score 15-12 at halftime with Penasco leading.
A 12-4 and 15-7 advantage pushed Penasco to a 42-23 win over the Alex Martinez coached Rams.
Marcus Gonzales led the Rams with 9 points with Morgan Bomer adding 8 points, Will Ritterhouse 4 points and Cayden Potter 2 points.