The Lady Rattlers played well in the first half, but let the Lady Bears begin to pull away in the second half as Tucumcari lost at home, 52-32, Friday. The Rattler girls had a knack for drawing fouls Friday evening. They shot from the foul line 22 times in the first half alone.
Even happier news is that they made 14 of those 22 free throws. That was 14 of the 18 points Tucumcari scored in the first half.
Throughout the first half, the Lady Rattlers played a little smarter ball than they have in the recent past. They seemed a little more patient in passing the ball. By taking better care of the basketball, they made the Estancia players foul more often.
Tucumcari was only down by six points at the end of the first quarter. For awhile they had the look of a team that thought it could win. Lady Rattlers’ coach Alicia Trujillo said her team needs to have a winner’s mentality.
“They don’t know how to win,” said Trujillo. “They are not total believers yet, but I give them credit for not giving up.”
The Lady Bears slowly started to increase their lead in the second period. Still, Tucumcari hit some shots and denied the ball often with Erin Kirksey, Amber Martin, Jamie Jones and Whitney Spinks all snagging rebounds.
One of the best plays the Lady Rattlers have made in a long while occurred with a minute and a half to go in the second quarter. Nikki Newman had the ball out on the perimeter, Newman saw Kirksey inside the key and shot a quick pass to her. Kirksey then executed a textbook turn-around jumper, bringing Tucumcari within seven. Coach Trujillo lauded that play after the game.
“That’s the kind of thing we need to do a lot more of,” she said.
Tucumcari trailed by 11 at the half, and it was anybody’s guess at that point how the game would turn out. Tucumcari began to slip in the third period. The Lady Rattlers’ passes became hurried and they hesitated to shoot when they had open looks.
Estancia went up by 16. Jamie Jones came on strong in the fourth quarter, getting six in a row on two three-point plays, but Estancia kept answering and walked away with the 20 point victory. Coach Trujillo said she’s glad she has the sophomore Jones on her team.
“The next two years of her high school career, she’ll grow to be unstoppable,” said Trujillo.
Estan 15 29 39 52
Tcum 9 18 23 32
Tucumcari : Amber Martin, 3, Shay Rigdon 1, Jennifer Maestas 2, Nikki Newman 5, Whitney Spinks: 4, Erin kirksey 3, Amanda Tapia 2, Jamie Jones 9.
Estan Heather Thomas 12, Dayna Galinda 14, Kaycee Riley 1, Katie Rogers 6, Ashton Coburn 6, Erica Smythe 8, Destinii Trujillo 5.