Speed will be the name of the game for the Quay County boys basketball teams this season.
All four teams in the county will try and get up and down the court quickly — that’s how they’ll make up for a lack of size on the front lines.
Tucumcari has only one player over 6 feet tall on its roster in Alex Hutchins. Hutchins, who started occasionally last year, will have the task of providing some sort of inside presence for the Rattlers.
“We don’t have a lot of size,” Rattlers coach John Span said. “We have to make up for that with the quickness we have.”
“And if we don’t turn the ball over we will be OK.”
Tucumcari has three starters returning: Juniors Jakus Martinez and Dalton Wood and sophomore Travis Garcia.
The Rattlers will open the season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Springer.
Logan will also try and rely on its speed to beat opponents. Coach Billy Burns feels his defense will help trigger a more up-tempo offense.
“We are working really hard this year,” Burns said. “We have to get out there and play defense.”
The Longhorns also have three starters returning in seniors Truitt Frost and Blake Strack and junior Brandon Rafool. Burns hopes his team’s speed will be a strength.
“This is going to be an exciting year,” Burns said.
Logan opens the season at 7 p.m. Friday against Springer.
House’s Bobby Lee and Efrain Rodriguez will play with Grady this season on a combined team. Lee will join the starting lineup with Dalton Thomas, Dustin Provenico and Jared Lee. Bronchos coach Jim Kneipp thinks his team will be quicker than it has in past years.
“We have a lot of quickness this year,” Kneipp said. “We don’t really have that big rebounder this year.”
Kneipp hopes his team is able to press teams to kick start their running.
Tommy Thompson takes over as the new coach at San Jon. The Coyotes are a young team with only one senior, Robbie Garcia, returning. Thompson said he has some players with starting experience but is still trying to figure out his starting lineup.
“Our young guys are going to have to gain experience the hard way,” Thompson said.
Tucumcari's goal coming into this season is to finish what they start. Throughout last years season the Lady Rattlers played yo-yo from week-to-week. One week they had a strong performance and the next they were at the opposite side of that spectrum.
"Consistency is what this team needs," Lady Rattlers head coach Gary Hittson said. "It will take hear and commitment to truly bring the team around. These girls will have to want to win."
For the 1A Quay County Schools this is their last chance for rivalry match-ups before the alignment and classification change in 2010-2011.
Logan, San Jon and House are currently part of the Class 1A District 4 basketball alignment along with Clovis Christian and Grady.
However, at the start of next years season Logan and Clovis Christian will join Melrose and Fort Sumner in Class 1A District 3. San Jon, House and Grady will be joined by Elida and Roy/ Mosquero in the new Class 1B District 3.
"We are going to lose those great district rivalries," said Logan's head coach Calrie Rachor. "It is going to be a tougher district their is no doubt about that."
"We lose Logan, which is a tough team but we are also gaining Elida," San Jon Head Coach Steve Foust said. "Keeping Grady in the mix will make for some interesting games."