Rattlers lose contest to Texico

William Thompson

The Tucumcari boys varsity missed shots late in the game as Texico held on to a 77-65 victory Tuesday night in Rattler Gym. Coach John Span said it wasn’t for lack of effort that Tucumcari lost the game.

“The energy was there,” said Span. “We just couldn’t hit our shots down the stretch.”

Texico outpaced the Rattlers in the first quarter. The Wolverines stole the ball several times and made their fast breaks count. They were up 22-14 heading into the second period despite four Rattler three pointers. Tucumcari came alive early in the second quarter, scoring two baskets in a row and narrowing the score to 22-18. Texico would not back down, however, as they went on a 14-3 run to finish the half. Joseph Aragon opened the second half by scoring seven points. At the six minute mark, Tucumcari was down by just ten. It seemed that this was going to be a nail biter just like the last outing against Texico when the game wasn’t decided until the final seconds.

Chris McCasland made a three-point play to bring the Rattlers within eight points at the five minute mark. Texico, however, didn’t let the Rattlers get much closer the rest of the game. The Wolverines answered almost every Tucumcari basket the rest of the way. To make things worse, Justin Galvan left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury and hot shooting McCasland fouled out early in the fourth period.

Still, Rattlers Drew White and Josh Benavidez continued to provide solid reserve play, keeping Texico from taking complete control of the game. White drew several fouls, hitting some free throws while Benavidez stole the ball at half court and drove the ball in for a layup to pull Tucumcari within seven points halfway through the final period.
Texico players then hit a number of free throws, but coach Span shrugged off costly Tucumcari fouls late in the game.

“The refs called some fouls on us late in the game and the Texico players hit their free throws,” said Span. There isn’t much you can do about that except hit your shots, and we missed some shots at the end.”

Ray Johnson hit a three with a minute left in the game, but that brought the Rattlers only to within ten points. Texico held on for the twelve point victory, 77-65. Coach Span said Justin Galvan should be okay to play against Clayton Saturday. Despite the district tournament looming, Span said the Clayton game is not as crucial as one might expect.

“We really need a win, but Clayton is not a must-win situation for us from a technical standpoint.”

The Rattlers play Des Moines after Clayton, and then will head into the district tournament where they may very well have another shot at the Wolverines, and the third time could be a charm.

Txco 22 36 52 77
Tcum 14 21 43 65
Individual Scoring
Tucumcari: Joe Aragon 17, Chris McCasland 13, Ray johnson 10, Felimon Chavez 10, Nick Wiegel 8, Josh Benavidez 2, Drew White 5.
Texico: Bryce Bailey 26, Mark Peabody 5, Josh Pena 2, Johnny Rivera 8, Braden Vaughan 20, Logan Brown 16.