The Tucumcari High School girls basketball team lost to Elida Thursday evening but rebounded with a victory over Mesa Vista in the first game of the Route 66 tournament Friday.
Tucumcari vs. Elida.
The Lady Rattlers’ winning ways suffered a setback Thursday evening when Elida came to town. The Tigers won easily, 57-24 as The Rattler girls were without the services of their primary ball handlers.
Amanda Tapia and Sam Montano were out sick and Nikki Newman is no longer with the team.
Lady Rattler Coach Alicia Trujillo said she was at least glad to give her reserves some playing time.
“We played a better second half,” said Trujillo. “It was better than last year when we lost 77-7 to Elida.”
Margarita Romero saw some minutes in the post. She hit two free throws in a row and hit an outside jumper. Brandi Arenas and Cydnie Rich hit shots as well.
The Lady Rattlers did manage to limit Elida’s ability to score in the second half, but the Tigers already had a 46-12 lead at halftime. Elida’s full-court press was ruthless throughout the game. The Lady Rattlers often found it impossible to get the ball beyond mid court.
The Lady Rattlers were slow to run up to help their teammates when their teammates got trapped holding the ball.
Whitney Spinks was high scorer for Tucumcari for the second time this season with seven points. She also brought down some rebounds and steals. Jamie Jones was solid in the paint whenever her teammates managed to get her the ball. Jones finished with five.
Tucumcari: C. Rich 2, B. Arenas 2, W. Spinks 7, J. Jones 5, R. Banuelos 2, M. Romero 4, T. Span 2.
Elida: A. Cross-Smith 2, C. Ford 8, K. Armitage 11, J. Taylor 2, A. Griffin 3, A. Col 15, L. Smith 14, S. Anthony 2.
Tucumcari vs. Mesa Vista
The Lady Rattlers got back on the winning track Friday afternoon with a 53-44 victory over the Lady Trojans of Mesa Vista. Rattlers Jamie Jones and Whitney Spinks combined for 39 points. Many of Jones’ points came during a run in the fourth quarter when she hit five shots in a row.
Jones was getting good assists from players like Margarita Romero and T’Shawna Span. Whitney Spinks hit well throughout the game. Late in the game she was calling for the ball down low.
Coach Trujillo said Spinks is maturing as a player.
“She’s more confident this year. It didn’t help last year that we only won one game,” said Trujillo. “Now that we’ve got some wins, she is more confident.”
Trujillo said she was glad Sam Montano returned to action. The Lady Rattlers needed someone capable of consistently getting the ball down court to open players.
Shay Rigdon and Brandi Arenas hit shots at crucial junctures when Mesa Vista was threatening to come back.
The Lady Trojans hung around most of the game, but Tucumcari managed to respond well to every surge. The Tucumcari players seemed more aggressive than in their loss to Elida.
Tucumcari: W. Spinks 18, J. Jones 21, S. Rigdon 6, C. Rich 2, B. Arenas 6.
Mesa Vista: L. Pena 13, J. Martinez 6, K. Alire 6, R. Montoya 7, N. Alire 5, C. Herrera 7.