By Thomas Garcia
Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattlers lost a pair to the Portales Rams Tuesday night at the Snake Pit.
The (8-6) Rattlers saw action first on Tuesday night as they hosted the (12-5) Rams.
Travis Garcia and Jantzen Darnell each hit three pointers in the last minute of the game to bring the Rattlers within six points.
“We had no answer for Travis Garcia or Dalton Wood,” said Rams head coach Mark Gallegos. “They were great guards which kept getting by us.”
The game came down to missed free throws as the Rams were 11-18 and the Rattlers were 16-24.
“The games we have lost have been from the free throw line,” Gallegos said. “We have been under 50 percent.”
“We missed eight free throws and that would have been the game,” said Rattlers head coach John Span.
Gallegos said another key to the win was their press, which they enforced at the start of the second half.
“They executed the press well and used it to open that gap between us,” Span said. “They kept with the press and we were not able to overcome the gap.”
Span said he knew the Rams were going to be a strong team to compete against. He said their fast-paced play and strong defense is what he was counting on.
“They have so many weapons,” Span said. “They are a state tournament team. That is the type of team we like to play.”
“The Rattlers did not give up,” Gallegos said.
The (5-7) Lady Rattlers capped the action of the night with a 39-10 loss to the (12-6) Lady Rams.
“This was a good game, I am proud of how the girls played,” said Rattlers head coach Gary Hittson.
Hittson said this was one of the best defensive games for the Lady Rattlers.
“They played as a team,” Hittson said. “We need to work on making those easy baskets on offense.”
The Lady Rams were able to find holes in the Lady Rattlers’ defense after they settled down.
“We were not looking in the right places and the Lady Rattlers were right there the whole way,” said Lady Rams head coach Clay Stout.
Stout said the Lady Rams were sliding too high on offense and not finding the gaps.
“They did a great job on defense,” said Stout. “Their kids played hard and didn’t give up.”