The Tucumcari Boys Varsity squad played solid basketball but couldn’t hold on to their fourth quarter lead as they lost to Texico 62-58 Friday night.
It was a see-saw game. The Rattlers were down by as much as 12 points in the first half, and up by six in the second half.
The first quarter was tight, 8-8 with three minutes left. The Wolverines outshot Tucumcari the rest of the period, leading 16-11 as the teams headed into the second quarter.
Midway through the second period, Texico went up by 12, and it seemed they might pull away. Joseph Aragon had other plans, however, stealing the ball and getting three the old-fashioned way by scoring off the glass, getting fouled and making his free throw. As if that were not enough, Aragon hit a long three-pointer on the Rattlers’ next possession.
Aragon finished with 12 points in the first half as Texico held on to a slim 38-32 lead.
Nick Weigel scored some needed baskets in the third period. With under three minutes left he put the Rattlers ahead 43-42 with a shot off the glass.
The real story of the third quarter was that Tucumcari did not turn the ball over once, and they held Texico to only four points. It was the best eight minutes of basketball the Rattlers have played in a long while.
Heading into the final period, up 48-42, Tucumcari continued to play a smart game, but Texico started a patient comeback. At the five minute mark, the Wolverines went ahead 48-47.
Texico used a full-court press late in the game to shake the Rattlers up. Tucumcari turned the ball over several times and Texico players hit their free throws after Rattler fouls. With 16 seconds left, Tucumcari had the ball down by four. The Rattlers turned the ball over against the press on their inbound pass, and the game was over.
Two Rattlers finished in double figures, Aragon and Nemi Salvador. Chris McCasland and Justin Galvan each had eight points.
Txco: 16 38 42 62
Tcum: 11 32 48 58
Tucumcari: Joseph Aragon: 19, Chris McCasland 8, Justin Galvan 8, Nemi Salvador 11, Nick Wiegel 6, Larry Roybal 3, Ray Johnson 3.
Texico: Bryce Bailey 8, Johnny Rivera 5, Mark Peabody 7, Braden Vaughan 25, Logan Brown 10, Garrell Mayfield 6, Josh Pena 2.