Tucumcari Rattlers looking to improve in district

Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer

The Tucumcari Rattlers and Lady Rattlers are looking to turn their district basketball record around Saturday in Texico.

The (11-11) (0-2) Rattlers are off to a rough district start. They lost their district opener to 83-53 to the Santa Rosa Lions, then lost 69-31 the following night to the Clayton Yellowjackets.

“Against the Lions we did not do a great job of handling the pressure,” said John Span, Rattlers head coach.

Span said the Rattlers got away from their normal game plan in some situations and couldn’t get it back in time to defend against inside shots. Several open shots that were shot square just wouldn’t fall, he said, while the Lions were firing on all cylinders.

Span said the Rattlers have to focus on correcting little mental mistakes and remember good ball control. They will work on limiting turnovers and securing rebounds to prevent second and third shot opportunities for their opponents, Span said.

The (7-13) (0-2) Lady Rattlers need to play with the same intensity they showed in the second half of their 47-34 loss to Santa Rosa, said Gary Hittson, Lady Rattlers head coach.

At half-time in their district opener, the Lady Rattlers trailed by 16 points against an aggressive Lady Lions team.

When the Lady Rattlers emerged from the locker room for the second half, however, they pressured the Lady Lions, forcing them to make bad passes that led to turnovers and points for the Lady Rattlers.

The Lady Rattlers also turned more aggressive on offense, taking more inside shots. Midway through the third period the Lady Lions’ double-digit lead had been cut down to four points.

“We just need to play like that through the whole game,” Hittson said.

The Lady Rattlers second-half push fell short, though, and as the clock wound down, the Lady Rattlers became frequent foulers in their attempts to gain ball possession. The Lady Lions were spot-on with their free throws, increasing their lead.

The Lady Rattlers lost the following night 55-36 to the Lady Yellowjackets in Clayton.

The Rattlers and Lady Rattlers will play at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Texico.

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