The Tucumcari varsity squad was in reach heading into the second half, but the Clayton big men overpowered the Rattlers as they did in the previous outing against Tucumcari, leading their team to a 77-50 victory Friday night.
Clayton’s 6’7” center, Russell Gallagher, scored 16 of Clayton’s 18 first quarter points. The Tucumcari team managed ten points in the first quarter with help from three pointers by Ray Johnson and Larry Roybal. The Clayton center sat out the second quarter with two fouls and the Rattlers took advantage of his absence by closing the gap to just five points as the first half ended.
During the second quarter, Tucumcari’s big man of the future, Drew White, grabbed a little of the spotlight as he hit two baskets from down low, made a free throw and snagged some rebounds. Chris McCasland and Justin Galvan drew fouls and hit free throws while the Rattler defenders held Clayton to just ten points.
Heading into the locker room, the Rattlers must have felt confident being only five points down to a team that had won big against them during their last outing. Clayton’s 6’7” Gallagher was back in action to start the second half, and the Clayton team surged. Gallagher and another of Clayton’s giants, Ross Perschbacher, combined for over half of Clayton’s 27 points in the third quarter. Justin Galvan and Drew White provided some help inside and scored some baskets, but Tucumcari found itself down 55-33 heading into the final period.
The Yellow Jackets made things worse for Tucumcari in the fourth quarter. More Clayton players found their way into the scoring column while Tucumcari missed some shots and struggled at the free throw line. With three minutes left in the game, Clayton went up by 30, 70-40. Justin Galvan, Joe Aragon and Robert Garcia added to the Tucumcari point total late in the game, but Clayton players also hit some shots as Clayton won by 27, 77-50.
Tucumcari heads into district tournament play next week. Perhaps it is a good thing that The Rattlers will hold a grudge against any team they may face.
The “revenge” factor has been known to give a team an edge in tournament play.
Clayt 18 28 55 77
Tcum 10 23 33 50
Tucumcari: Ray Johnson 3, Felimon Chavez 1, Larry Roybal 3, Justin Galvan 10, Drew White 7, Nick Wiegel 4, Nemi Salvador 4, Robert Garcia 2, Chris McCasland 3, Joe Aragon 4.
Clayton: Russell Gallagher 29, Cesar Urrutia 4, Angelo Montoya 5, Ross Perschbacher 7, Chad Fluhman 5, Neil Jesko 1, Eason Spinelli 5, Tanner Beckner 5, Ricardo Sisneros 6.