The Tucumcari High School boys basketball team jumped to a big lead early but wound up losing 66-63 to the Pecos Panthers Thursday in Santa Rosa.
Head Coach John Span said his team could have won with better free throw shooting. “We jumped to a 29-8 lead, but I knew Pecos was going to come back on us. Pecos is a scrappy team and they kind of walked us down late in the game,” said Span. “Free throws are what hurt us the most. We only hit about 32 percent of our free throws.”
Tucumcari was without the services of Nemie Salvador and Eric Holt. Span said he didn’t know if their absence was a factor in the final outcome.
“I will say we missed them,” he said. “The Pecos full court press just wore us down late in the game.”
Matt Braziel was a sharpshooter from three-point land as he poured in a game high 26 points.
“Matt Braziel did well,” said Span, “but he needs to help us out with handling the ball.”
Jeremy Lopez and Gabriel Anaya did well most of the game getting the ball down to the open man. The Rattlers began the fourth quarter with a 54-48 lead. A few minutes later Pecos took a 58-56 lead.
Robert Munoz was the only Rattler to do well from the charity stripe, hitting 7 of 12. Nathan McDonald hit some put-backs off the glass to garner 10 points for the game.
Span said he was pleased with everyone’s effort.
“Our guys played their hearts out,” he said. “We’ve just got to do a better job of taking care of the ball. We had 24 turnovers but lost by only three points.”
A. Page 2, R. Munoz 9, C. McCasland 3, M. Braziel 26, G. Anaya 5, J. Villegas 6, N. McDonald 10.