Rattlers press leads to win

By TV Hagenah

When the the boys’ basketball game between San Jon and Tucumcari at Rattler Gymnasium began Friday evening, everyone in the stands knew they were in for a show and they were not disappointed because the final score of 84-59 did not reflect just how competitive the game was.

Tucumcari (2-0) wanted to show its strength against the smaller San Jon team.

“This Tucumcari team is very good,” said San Jon Head Boys’ Basketball Coach Mac Millon. “We gained a lot tonight just playing with them. Playing teams like this just make us better.”

The Rattlers were led by senior Ray Johnson who drilled four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 23-points. Nemi Salvador and Joseph Aragaon each added 12.

One of the things that was especially challenging for the Coyotes was the constant full-court press that the Rattlers put the Coyotes through for the entire contest. In the first quarter San Jon had 12 turnovers and just nine points.
Another thing that plagued the Coyotes was solid three point shooting on the part of a number of Tucumcari players led by Johnson.

“Yeah, we’re capable of hitting three point shots,” said Tucumcari coach John Span, “But at times in the first half, I really felt we were out hustled by this San Jon team. In the second half we played a little better on defense at least. We did give up some cheap baskets.”

Span said that the most frustrating part of the 25-point win by his team was their weakness on transitions.
“We definitely need to work there,” Span said.

Tucumcari never trailed in the game although at times, in the first period San Jon made impressive runs at the Rattlers, but to no avail as they ended the first quarter trailing 17-9. At the half, the Rattlers led 41-27. The Tucumcari lead was expanded to 58-36 at the end of three quarters.

San Jon was led by Jarrod Archuleta with 19-points and Troy Rust added 17-points.