Tucumcari boys take home tournament

William Thompson

The Tucumcari High School boys basketball team cruised past Mountainview Saturday morning and then had a tougher time beating Fort Sumner Saturday night. The Rattlers swept through their Route 66 tournament. Nemi Salvador and Robert Munoz made the all-tournament team.
Tucumcari vs. Mountainview.

The Rattlers had very few turnovers as they soundly defeated the Mountainview Warriors 71-29 Saturday morning. The Rattlers’ defense was stifling. Rattler Coach John Span liked the effort.
“Defensively there was a lot of energy,” he said. “We were tipping the ball a lot. I tell my players the best offense is a good defense.”
Tucumcari began the game with a 9-0 run as Nemi Salvador, Matt Braziel and Robert Munoz each hit shots. Braziel went on a tear in the second quarter, opening the period with a three pointer, stealing the ball and getting some layups. Eric Holt stole the ball a few times and hit some layups as well. Jeremy Lopez was finding the open man and Nathan McDonald scored two baskets in a row late in the second quarter as the Rattlers cruised to a 49-18 halftime lead.
Invidual Scoring
Tucumcari: R. Munoz 6, M. Braziel 18, N. Salvador, J. Villegas 8, E. Holt 10, G. Anaya 4, J. Lopez 4, Larry McCLendon 3, N. McDonald 6
Mountainview: A. Lopez 6, D. Snyder 5, C. Elizaldez 1, M. Martinez 2, M. Chavez 7, T. Briscoe 6, M. Gutierrez 2.

Tucumcari vs. Fort Sumner
The Fort Sumner Foxes took the Rattlers all the way through overtime in Saturday night’s game, but the Rattlers came out with the 5-point victory, 72-67.
Matt Braziel, who scored 23 points, hit a three near the end of regulation to give Tucumcari a one-point lead, but a Fort Sumner free throw from a disputed foul call tied the game at 66-66.
Overtime belonged to the Rattlers as Nathan McDonald grabbed rebounds and hit a jumper to give Tucumcari the lead. Eric Holt stole the ball at mid court and drove all the way for a layup to put Tucumcari ahead 70-67.
“I had our guys run the man-to-man defense toward the end and Eric Holt made some big plays for us,” said Coach Span. The last time we played Fort Sumner we didn’t hit some shots but we did a little better tonight.”
Matt Braziel rained three pointers down on the Foxes in the first half.. He was a threat to hit the three throughout the game. The Fort Sumner head coach told his players during a timeout that,”Number 10 (Braziel) is killing us.”
The Fort Sumner Coach also told his players that somebody needed to stop Nemi Salvador early in the game as he hit a three and got some buckets off the fast break.
Tucumcari held a tenuous lead for most of the game as Fort Sumner started a gradual comeback in the third quarter. WIth three and a half minutes left in the game, the Foxes finally tied the game at 58-58.
Braziel’s three-pointer with seconds left appeared to wrap up the game for the Rattlers but a foul was called on Fort Sumner’s next possession. The Rattlers and their fans thought the Fort Sumner player charged but the referee called it the other way and Tucumcari was on its way to its first overtime game of the season.
Individual Scoring
Tucumcari: N. Salvador 14, M. Braziel 23, R. Munoz 8, J. Villegas 4, N. McDonald 10, J. Lopez 4. E. Holt 9.
Fort Sumner: J. Gauna 25, B. Williamson 3, B. Wilson 6, R. Cortese 9, R. Canales 7, M. Sena 4.