RRHS’s Josiah Marfil (24) plays some D against a Coyote Friday in the RAC. Marfil came off the bench and scored 11 points in the Rams’64-46 victory. (Herron photo)
Although the host Rio Rancho High School boys basketball team was without its big man inside, the Rams still had more than enough firepower last Friday to defeat Class 4A Roswell, 64-46, in the RAC.
With senior Maddox Presser out of state after a death in the family, RRHS coach Wally Salata had the opportunity to make sure everyone got playing time.
Except for a 2-1 deficit early, the Rams led the whole way: 25-19 at the end of the opening period; 37-26 at halftime; 48-48 after the third quarter. The Coyotes (10-8) couldn’t get closer than seven in the final period, and after they did, the Rams closed out the game on a 14-3 run.
Jayden Johnson led RRHS with 13 points; Josiah Marfil and Jerry Archuleta added 11 apiece.
“We gave up too many points (19) in the first quarter, and I thought our defense was going to give up a lot of points tonight,” said head coach Wally Salata. “But then, at the end of the night, we only gave up 46.”
Roswell managed single-digit quarters twice: seven points, all from the foul line in the second quarter, and six in the fourth quarter.
“Defensively, it just goes to show if we can keep our intensity defensively, we’re going to be in a lot of games,” Salata said. “We’re 12-5; four teams in our district have 12 wins or more. That just tells you how exciting our district is going to be.”
He was happy to see some relief from the previous weeks, when the Rams had three games in as many night in late December and then four over a five-night stretch for the APS Metro Championships the following week.
“One game this week; one game next week. We needed that. All those games takes a lot out of you,” he said. “0-3 at the beginning of the year. We’ve come a long way since then.
“We have to believe we can beat Volcano, we can beat Atrisco, we can beat Cleveland. I know we can, it’s just we’ve got top execute for 32 minutes. It’s gonna be close games (the rest of the way).”
Ram dunks: The Rams open the 1-5A slate Thursday at Atrisco Heritage Academy, their only game this week. Next week, the Rams are home Wednesday to meet Cibola, then back in the RAC Friday to face defending state champ Volcano Vista. Both games tip off at 7 p.m.