By William Thompson: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattlers held slim leads at times during the second quarter, but Clayton surged ahead in the third quarter Friday at Rattler Gym to beat Tucumcari for the second time this season.
The Yellow Jackets went up by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but Robert Munoz hit some baskets late to help Tucumcari make the final score more respectable at 63-52. Munoz finished with 12 points.
Tucumcari Coach John Span said he was glad to see Munoz hit some shots.
“He can shoot the ball,” Span said. “Tonight he got it going a little bit.”
Munoz’ effort was not enough to counter Clayton’s hot three-point shooting. Tucumcari Coach John Span just shook his head after the game.
“When they (Clayton) are raining down those threes on you, there isn’t much you can do,” Span said. “That’s their game. We seem to bring out the best in them.”
Munoz, Nemi Salvador, Chris McCasland and Matt Braziel played their last home game at Rattler Gym. Salvador said he wished he and his teammates could have given the home crowd a victory.
“I’m going to miss this gym,” Salvador said. “We weren’t communicating on defense tonight. It frustrated us when we were trying to come back and Clayton kept hitting those big threes.”
Now it’s on to the district tournament. Tucumcari will play at Santa Rosa Tuesday evening. Coach Span said he believes in his team.
“There is no doubt in my mind we can win,” Span said. “We know what we are capable of.”
Matt Braziel was high scorer for Tucumcari with 16 points.
Scoring by Quarter
Tucumcari 12 12 10 18 = 52
Clayton 13 18 14 18 = 63
R. Munoz 12, M. Braziel 16, C. McCasland 8, G. Anaya 3, J. Villegas 6, N. McDonald 4.
Correction: Last week R. Munoz, scored 2 points and was left out of the paper.