The Tucumcari High School Girls’ basketball team had that winning feeling only once last year in a disappointing season. Head Coach Alicia Trujillo said her players are looking to improve this season.
“They are at the point where they are tired of losing,” said Trujillo. “I am a lot more excited. They are starting to know they are capable of more.” The Rattlers are still a young team with only three seniors. Jamie Jones was the team’s standout last year. “I’m challenging Jamie Jones to become the best post-up player in district this year,” said Trujillo. We have a core of five or six girls that are pretty good.”
Returning with Jones are Whitney Spinks, Amanda Tapia, Jana Kirksey, Nikki Newman and Shay Rigdon. Trujillo said Sam Montano and sophomore T’Shawna Span should see more playing time this season. Things could be tough for the girls early on. “We have a tough early schedule,” said Trujillo. “The girls will have a tough time of it, but I would rather play strong competition early on so we can improve faster.”
In district play, the girls will face tough competition as always. “We play in the toughest district in the state,” said Trujillo. “Santa Rosa and Clayton are always tough.”
Trujillo said her Rattlers have made some improvements since last year. “We played in a summer league in Melrose,” she said. “Our ball handling is better. I look for us to press more often and play more man-to man this season.”
The Lady Rattlers get to travel to Albuquerque in January for the Sandia Prep tournament.
“My husband Albert and I are starting to build a program here. The middle school girls are learning everything the high school girls are learning,” she said. “We will soon have a feeder system. Things are improving.”