By TV Hagenah
Both the boys and girls are playing basketball as the season begins in earnest following the Christmas holidays.
The boys’ team which is now ranked third in the AA rankings in New Mexico, will head to the first ever Lion Classic Basketball Tournament in Santa Rosa. There the Rattlers will take on some of their most challenging competition to date according to Tucumcari head basketball coach John Span.
Also taking part in the tournament are Santa Rosa, Monte Del Sol, Escalante, Tohajiile, Pecos, Springer and the Moriarty Junior Varsity.
“We start off with Pecos,” said Span. “They’re ranked fourth in the state, and I understand they are a very good team. I expect they will be a very good test for us. I’m a bit worried about them because while I think we’ve got all the tools, I’m not sure we deserve that number three ranking just yet.
We’ve still got some things to bring together first.”
Following Pecos, Tucumcari could meet either Springer or the Moriarty JV. Span said that both teams are highly respected and he is “hard pressed” to say which squad is better.
“We’ll just have to see what we see,” said Span.
Span said most of his team is healthy. The only exception is Nemie Salvador who injured his ankle in the penultimate game before the holiday break.
“Nemie is still limping around and he’s supposed to see the doctor about it,” said Span. “We won’t know until then.”
While the boys head west, the Lady Rattlers are heading north to Des Moines to take on the Demons on Saturday, Jan 10. The Des Moines Demons, a 1A squad, are highly respected among teams in the northeast portion for their solid defensive skills and consistent shooting.
“It will be a good contest,” said head girls’ basketball coach Alicia Trujillo.” They are a solid and well-coached team and we should have our hands full with them.”
Trujillo said that for almost the first time this season her girls will be going into a game healthy.
“We will finally be able to play at a level we are capable of,” said Trujillo.