The Tucumcari Rattlers, down by 12 at the half, stormed back to within three with two minutes to go Tuesday night, but the Lions scored the final five points to win 54-46.
Justin Galvan, playing one of his best games, scored 17 points. During one stretch in the fourth quarter, he was the only player on either team to score as he rattled off six straight points.
Tucumcari opened weakly in the first quarter, turning the ball over and missing three pointers. The Rattlers scored only eight points in the opening period.
During the second quarter, Santa Rosa players kept hitting 10-15 foot jumpers, one after another. There was nothing Tucumcari could do defensively. Many of the Santa Rosa shots were off balance but fell anyway despite sticky Rattler defense.
Ray Johnson nailed a three at the halftime buzzer as Tucumcari headed to the locker room down 30-18.
Tucumcari gained three points in the third quarter, due to Chris McCasland steals and Joseph Aragon baskets.
Tucumcari was in a dogfight with a minute and a half remaining, but several Rattlers missed shots in the final minute, while the Lions went up by five on free throws.
SRosa :17 30 43 54
Tcum : 8 18 34 46
Tcum: Ray Johnson 3, Joseph Aragon 12, Nemi Salvador 2, Justin Galvan 17, Chris McCasland 10.
SRosa: Eric Sandoval 24, Joaquin Gonzales 3, Brian Chavez 2, Daniel Zamora 3, Joseph Urban 9, Thomas Gonzales 11.