Rattlers drop two at season’s tipoff

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

The Rattlers fell prey to the Elida Tigers, 49-64, Tuesday night at Tucumcari.
“We need to work on conditioning. I told the guys we have a few kinks we need to work out. It’s only the beginning of the season and we are going to be all right,” said coach John Span.

The Rattlers played a close first period. They only trailed by two points at the start of the second. The Tigers then went on an eight-point run late in the second period taking a 26-35 lead into the half. Senior center Drew White had 12 points and 4 rebounds at the half and senior center Josh Villegas had 10 points and 8 rebound going into half-time.
The third period was fast paced as both teams went on the offensive. The Rattlers tried to shorten the Tigers lead but only scored 11 points to the Tigers 21 sending the Rattlers into the fourth period trailing 39-56. In the final period the Tigers lead began to shorten as the Rattlers defense blocked shooting opportunities and the Rattlers limited the Tigers to only eight points in the fourth period while racking up ten points for a final score of 49-64.

“We were getting tired out there,” said White, who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Tucumcari. “Elida doesn’t play football so they have been practicing and conditioning for some time now. We need to work on free throws and getting faster for our game Thursday against Estancia.”

Ever Varela scored 19 points for Elida to tie White for the game lead, while Ryan Best added nine for the Tigers. Josh Villegas scored 12 for the Rattlers.
The Tucumcari varsity boys play at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday against the Estancia Bears at Tucumcari.

Girls – Lady Rattlers
The Lady Rattlers lost 31-36 to the Lady Tigers Thursday night at Tucumcari.
“We were playing against a seasoned team. Elida has been to the state tournament several years running,” said coach Wayne Ferguson. “We have some things to improve on,but we are starting off better this year.”

The Lady Rattlers took a 5-0 lead early in the first period. Lady Rattler’s guard Samantha Montano made 8 of the first 12 points of the Rattlers. But the Lady Tigers held the Rattlers to only 3 points in the second period. And late in the second period, they ran into foul trouble with seniors T’Shawna Span having drawn 3 and Cydnie Rich drawing 2. The Lady Rattlers went into half-time trailing 15-19.

In the third period both teams’ defenses played tight limiting each other to only seven points each. The Lady Tigers got into foul trouble midway through the final period but managed to keep the lead and with a 3-pointer in the closing second of the fourth they won 31-36.

Samantha Montano had 11 points and four rebounds to lead Tucumcari, while Cydnie Rich scored six points and dished out two assists.

Montano said, “We played good tonight. Elida is a good team. It’s good to play tough teams at the start of a season. We play Des Moines Thursday which is another really tough team.”
Morgan McBride had 12 for Elida to lead all scorers, while Lindsey “Bob” Smith added seven.
The Lady Rattlers play Thursday against the Des Moines Lady Demons at the Orange and Black Tournament at Clayton. Time is to be announced.