The Tucumcari High School boys basketball team beat Elida handily Thursday evening and dominated Lake Arthur Friday evening in the Route 66 Tournament held at Tucumcari Elementary School.
Tucumcari vs. Elida
The Rattlers defeated the Elida Tigers 79-46 at home Thursday evening. The final score hides that Elida jumped out to an 8-0 lead on the Rattlers. Rattler Coach John Span said he wasn’t worried at Elida’s big lead. “I told my players not to panic,” said Span. “I told them that Elida couldn’t shoot that well all night.”
Tucumcari’s first lead did not come until early in the second quarter when Nemi Salvador hit a bucket. From then on Tucumcari steamrolled ahead. Coach Span was able to get his reserves some quality playing time.
Josh Villegas and Alex Page got some minutes in the post. The two big guys along with Robert Munoz helped frustrate the smaller Elida players.
“We were able to use our size to an advantage at times,” said Span. “Getting our reserves in the game rested our starters for the tournament games this weekend.”
Gabriel Anaya was in at guard for much of the game.
“We need Gabriel to come in and run the show and not turn the ball over,” said Span. “He did a good job tonight.”
Eric Holt scored ten points and came up with some steals and some assists off those steals. It is becoming apparent that Coach Span wants Holt’s athleticism out on the floor as much as possible.
Salvador had 14 points for the night. Munoz and Matt Braziel added 13 apiece. Chris McCasland added ten.
Tucumcari: C. McCasland 10, E. Holt 10, N. Salvador 14, R. Munoz 13, M. Braziel 13, G. Anaya 3, A. Page 2, J. Villegas 4, J. Lopez 4, N. McDonald 4.
Elida: D. Radcliff 13, A. Roberts 2, W. Gilmore 16, T. Chenault 5, T. West 5, T. Sullivan 5.
Tucumcari vs. Lake Arthur
Lake Arthur was within reach of the Rattlers during the first half, but Tucumcari came alive and took over, racing to a 63-20 victory. The Rattlers allowed only nine points to Lake Arthur the entire second half.
Coach Span said the big second half gave him the chance to see his younger players in action.
“It’s always good to get a game like this so I can see how our younger players are doing,” said Span. “I thought Gabriel Montano did well again tonight.”
Josh Villegas got big minutes and used his height to good advantage to score a team-high 13 points. The rest of the Rattler scoring was well-balanced. Nate McDonald and Robert Munoz each had eight points. Eric Holt had seven and Matt Braziel, Chris McCasland and Jeremy Lopez each chimed in with six.
The first half was a little sloppy for both teams offensively. The two teams traded steals back and forth mainly due to careless passes.. The score at halftime was only 24-11 in Tucumcari’s favor.
Still, the Tucumcari players displayed their characteristic high energy which paid dividends in the second half as the Lake Arthur team wore down.
Just about every Rattler was credited with a steal or two off the constant full-court press.
Tucumcari: J. Villegas 13, C. McCasland 6, N. Salvador 4, N. McDonald 8, E. Holt 7, R. Munoz 8, G. Anaya 3, M. Braziel 6, J. Lopez 6, M. Martinez 2.
Lake Arthur: I. Romero 4, B. Wolf 4, A. Castillo 3, M. Saleido 9.