Huskies knock Rattlers out of tournament

QCS Staff

ALBUQUERQUE — Xavier Blount and Zach Spangler scored 16 points each, and top-ranked Hope Christian pulled away in the fourth to hold off eighth-seeded Tucumcari 62-47 in Wednesday’s Class 2A state quarterfinal game at Cibola High School.
The Huskies (25-5) face the winner of Wednesday’s other quarterfinal at Cibola between No. 4 Navajo Pine (24-3) and No. 5 Pecos (15-14).
Hope Christian, which also got 13 from Pat Baca, never trailed but needed a 7-0 fourth-quarter run to pull away. After Drew White completed a three-point play to open the fourth quarter, the Rattlers (18-12) led 40-36.
Ryan Gladwell answered with a layup, then Blount hit a 3-pointer to help hold off the upset. Spangler scored with 4:30 left for his last points before fouling out less than a minute later. That gave the Huskies a 47-38 lead, and the lead never got under double digits after that point.
White and Aric Trujilo led a balanced Rattler attack with 11 points each. Andrez Apodaca, Jeremy Lopez and Nathan McDonald each had eight for Tucumcari.
After the Huskies scored the first six points of the game, the Rattlers rallied back. Apodaca had a chance to give Tucumcari a lead with four minutes to play in the first quarter, but missed the free throw on a three-point play opportunity. Spangler hit a 10-foot jumper on the next possession, keying a 12-4 run to close out the quarter.