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  • THS girls edge Ruidoso for district title

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 28, 2024

    The Tucumcari girls basketball team captured its second straight district title Friday night, but it wasn't easy. Trailing for much of the game, the Lady Rattlers gathered themselves to put together a 14-1 scoring run in the fourth quarter to take the lead, then hung on for dear life during a 54-52 victory over fellow district contender Ruidoso. Kyla Lopez scored 12 of her team-high 15 points during that key fourth quarter as the Lady Rattlers, ranked sixth in Class 3A by MaxPreps.com, improved...

  • Warriors repel Rattlers' bid as spoilers

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 28, 2024

    For a little while, it appeared the Tucumcari boys basketball team might act as spoilers in Ruidoso's quest to capture a district championship. However, a scoring drought in the second quarter, plus red-hot shooting from behind the 3-point line in the third quarter by the Warriors, foiled the Rattlers' plans in a 60-42 loss Friday at Rattler Gymnasium. Ruidoso (14-11) captured the regular-season district title with a 5-1 mark and landed the No. 1 seed in this week's district tournament. The...

  • THS grappler finishes runner-up

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 28, 2024

    RIO RANCHO - Tucumcari senior Antonio Gonzales had conquered every opponent in his 172-pound weight class during the Class 4A state wrestling championships. But at the finale, Highland junior Amiri Mumba stood in his way - again. Gonzales (30-6) lost a 6-2 decision to the top-seeded Mumba (31-2) in the finals Saturday at the Rio Rancho Events Center. It was Gonzales' fourth loss to Mumba this season, though Saturday's was his closest against him. Mumba scored a takedown and near-fall in the...

  • Lady Longhorns capture district title

    Staff report|Feb 28, 2024

    The Logan girls basketball team captured the District 6 regular-season title and the top seed and home court for this week’s district tourney title game with a 73-50 home victory Thursday. Camryn Cantrell scored 26 points to lead the Lady Longhorns, and Desta Rose added 25 points. The Lady Longhorns (19-7) won their seventh in a row. They finished 5-1 in district play to top the standings and earned two byes and a home game in the finals in this week’s district tournament. “I’m very proud of the girls’ hard work and the toughness...

  • Corona center stands out at San Jon game

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 28, 2024

    SAN JON - The San Jon girls basketball team had one player in particular to worry about during its game Friday against Corona-Vaughn, and it was impossible to not notice her. That player was 6-foot-5 freshman center Harper Dunn, who stands literally heads and shoulders above teammates and opponents. She is believed to be the tallest girls player in New Mexico. She has attracted recruiting attention from national contenders Louisiana State University and Iowa, to name a few. During Friday's...

  • THS senior wins at first powerlifting meet

    Staff report|Feb 28, 2024

    Tucumcari boasted an individual champion in its first-ever powerlifting competition last week during a seven-team meet at Logan. Nolan Ryen, a senior at THS, lifted a total of 1,095 pounds in the 275-pound boys weight class for the Rattlers’ lone individual title. He lifted 440 pounds in the squat, 215 pounds in the bench press and 440 pounds in the dead lift. “He did fantastic,” Tucumcari coach Matt Benavidez said, noting Ryen had lifted 350 pounds in the squat and 185 pounds in the bench press just weeks ago. “Compared to what he did...

  • Logan boys seeded third in district tourney

    Staff report|Feb 28, 2024

    The Logan boys basketball team closed its regular season with a 90-50 victory Thursday over visiting Grady in a preview of this week’s district-tourney opener. Mason Wallin scored 32 points to lead the Longhorns, and Hayden Bruhn added 26. The Longhorns (22-4) finished third in District 6 with a 3-3 mark and was seeded third in this week’s district tournament, with the title game hosted by top-seeded Fort Sumner. The Foxes lost at Melrose 60-49 on Thursday but still earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament with a 5-1 mark in district play....

  • Three Rattler wrestlers earn medals at regional

    Staff report|Feb 21, 2024

    Three Tucumcari High School boy wrestlers earned medals at the at the Region 2 championships Saturday at Belen, all advancing to this weekend's state meet at Rio Rancho. Antonio Gonzales (27-5), a senior in the 172-pound weight class, advanced to the finals at the 19-team meet, losing only to Highland's Amiri Mumba by a 8-0 major decision. Josh Pacheco (34-9), a junior, finished third in the 145-pound division. He lost an 8-4 decision in the semifinals to Academy's Zac Fernandez but prevailed...

  • THS girls in position for district crown

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 21, 2024

    A district title is there for the taking for the Tucumcari girls basketball team. After a 57-13 drubbing of Dexter at the Lady Rattlers' home gym on Friday and a 12-point victory over Ruidoso earlier in the week, Tucumcari stands alone in first place in the standings with a 4-0 mark. The Lady Rattlers can secure the district title this week with wins at New Mexico Military Institute on Tuesday and a home game against Ruidoso on Friday. "We're in the driver's seat," THS coach Patrick Benavidez...

  • THS football coach placed on leave

    Staff report|Feb 21, 2024

    Tucumcari High School’s head football coach has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Tucumcari Public Schools interim superintendent Dave Johnson said that coach Tarik Emback was placed on leave after being notified of an allegation in January that Johnson would not specify. Johnson said the investigation should be wrapped up “in a few weeks.” He did not give specifics on the allegation because it is a personnel matter, though he said he might give more information later. Quay County...

  • Rattlers avenge earlier loss to Demons

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 21, 2024

    The Tucumcari boys basketball team wasn’t going to let Dexter’s CJ Granados ruin its night again. Granados, a freshman strong forward, almost single-handedly in the final minute of play led his team to a 67-66 comeback win over the Rattlers on Feb. 2. On Friday at Rattler Gymnasium, Tucumcari coach Gary Hittson assigned junior forward Julian Griego to shadow Granados, who also drew a double-team defense near the paint. “We changed up our defense just because of No. 10,” Hittson said....

  • Lady Longhorns surge to first place in district

    Staff report|Feb 21, 2024

    The Logan girls basketball team vaulted into sole possession of first place in the district with a 52-46 comeback victory Saturday over visiting Fort Sumner, the previous frontrunner. The Lady Longhorns twice trailed the Vixens early in the fourth quarter, then put together an 11-3 scoring run to take a decisive 49-42 lead with less than two minutes left. Desta Rose, who led Logan with 23 points, and Hailee Robertson each made late free throws to preserve the victory. With its sixth straight win, Logan improved to 18-7 overall and 4-1 in...

  • Fort Sumner edges Logan, wins regular-season district crown

    Staff report|Feb 21, 2024

    The Fort Sumner boys basketball team captured a regular-season district title Saturday with a 79-76 comeback victory at Logan in a clash of two highly ranked squads. With the Foxes trailing 76-75 with less than a minute left, senior guard Joaquin Segura scored a driving bucket with 20 seconds left, then made two free throws with four seconds remaining. A final play set up by the Longhorns gave senior guard Brock Burns a good look at what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer just before the buzzer, but his shot bounced off the rim. Logan...

  • Ex-Tucumcari athlete named to NM Sports Hall of Fame

    Staff report|Feb 14, 2024

    Amber Campbell, a former Tucumcari resident, was among eight people named Saturday to the Class of 2023 for the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. Campbell, 42, who said she gained her love for sports as a child in Tucumcari, was a USA Olympian in 2008, 2012 and 2016 in the hammer throw. At Coastal Carolina University, she was a five-time NCAA All-American in the weight throw, hammer throw, shot put and discus. She won 11 national track titles and was a two-time Pan American Games medalist. At...

  • Lady Rattlers dominate Colts

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 14, 2024

    Three seniors on the Tucumcari girls basketball team played a sizable role in their team's dominating 64-29 district victory Friday over visiting New Mexico Military Institute. On Senior Night where those athletes in winter sports and their parents were honored before the game, those three Lady Rattlers upperclassmen - Kirksey Smith, Alexis Ramirez and Haisley Huffman - combined for 18 points during the win. That pleased Tucumcari coach Patrick Benavidez. "It's big for our team right now to get...

  • Rattlers in second place after win over NMMI

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 14, 2024

    The Tucumcari boys basketball team turned up the intensity of their rebounding and defense late in the game, surging to a 64-53 district victory Friday over visiting New Mexico Military Institute. The Rattlers totaled just nine rebounds in the first half as the Colts staked a 33-32 halftime lead. THS had mounted a small rally in the third quarter for a slim 46-43 advantage, but coach Gary Hittson wanted more. "I told them, 'If we win this one, it's a three-way tie for second (in the district)....

  • Two THS girls advance to state wrestling tourney

    Staff report|Feb 14, 2024

    Tucumcari High School’s only two entrants in the Region 2 girls wrestling championships at Cobre earned medals and qualified for the state tournament later this month. Sarah Vallejo, a senior in the 114-pound weight class, and MiKayla Klinger, a junior at 152 pounds, each finished fourth at the 33-team tournament that took place Friday and Saturday. The top eight finishers in each weight division advanced to the state tourney. “I was very pleased with both of those girls. They gave everything they had,” Tucumcari coach Tim Clark said,...

  • Buffs edge Longhorns in overtime

    Staff report|Feb 14, 2024

    The Logan boys basketball team failed to score for more than two minutes of overtime, which proved to be the difference in a 79-74 district loss Saturday at Melrose. The Longhorns also went scoreless for almost the final two minutes of regulation, including a last-second shot from point guard Brock Burns. “We had a shot to win it in regulation that just didn’t fall,” Logan coach Kyle Griffiths said. “In overtime, the game was back-and-forth until the last minute, when Melrose hit some big free throws down the stretch.” The Buffaloes...

  • Logan girls in first place tie after Melrose win

    Staff report|Feb 14, 2024

    Desta Rose and Hailee Robertson made three of four free throws late in the fourth quarter to give the Logan girls basketball team a key 59-56 district victory Saturday at Melrose. The victory moved Logan (17-7), ranked fifth in Class 1A by MaxPreps.com, into a first-place tie in the district standings with a 3-1 record. No. 2-ranked Fort Sumner (17-5) also is 3-1 in district play. The Vixens travel to Logan for a key district matchup on Saturday. Melrose, ranked third, fell to 18-4, 2-2. The Lady Longhorns have won two of three against the...

  • Three THS wrestlers win district titles

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    Three Tucumcari wrestlers were crowned as district champions as the Rattlers finished second at the District 6 boys dual meet Saturday at Ruidoso. Fernando Ureste (wrestling in the 133-pound weight class), Antonio Gonzales (172 pounds) and Benny Garcia (189 pounds) were Tucumcari's individual district champions. They won all five of their bouts by pin or forfeit. Tucumcari coach Tim Clark said the titles by Ureste and Gonzales weren't unexpected, but Garcia was a different matter. "Benny surpris...

  • Longhorns rally past No. 1 Buffs

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    LOGAN - Logan junior Diego Sanchez was sidelined with an injury in virtually all of his team's previous clash against Melrose at the EPAC tournament. His presence Thursday showed how much the Longhorns missed him. Sanchez scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter to lead the No. 2-ranked Longhorns to a 61-53 comeback victory over the top-ranked Buffaloes in a key district game that featured 13 lead changes and several ties. Mason Wallin scored 15 points for the Longhorns (19-2,...

  • Defense lifts Logan girls over Melrose

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    LOGAN - Strong defense carried the Lady Longhorns past foul trouble and a shooting slump in the second quarter to a 45-35 district victory Thursday over arch-rival Melrose. Camryn Cantrell scored five of her 11 points in the fourth quarter to expand Logan's lead to double digits. Hailee Robertson and Lizzy Horner also scored 11 points to lead the Lady Longhorns' balanced attack. They avenged a 44-43 loss to the Lady Buffaloes on Jan. 13 in the EPAC tournament final. Logan, ranked sixth in Class...

  • Rattlers blow lead to Demons in final seconds

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    The Tucumcari boys basketball team blew a six-point lead with less than a minute remaining during a 67-66 district-opening loss Friday at Dexter. Dexter freshman guard CJ Granados made a short jump shot with 1.3 seconds left to give the Demons (9-12) the comeback win. He scored five of his team’s seven points during the last-minute rally. The loss spoiled a 34-point performance by sophomore Luis Archuleta for the Rattlers (6-11). Daymion Urioste added 19 points for THS. The Rattlers committed four turnovers during the final minute. Ball secur...

  • Lady Rattlers cruise to district-opening win

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    Starting the game with a 21-0 lead, the Tucumcari girls basketball team breezed to a 50-20 victory at Dexter in both teams’ district opener Friday. The Lady Rattlers, using their sprawling full-court press to force a flurry of turnovers by the Lady Demons, led 21-5 after the first quarter and 41-7 at intermission. The scoring pace went down after that because of a running mercy clock during much of the second half. Caylee Benavidez led the Lady Rattlers with 20 points and six assists. July Lafferty added 17 points and six steals. Kyla Lopez...

  • Rough week for Rattlers

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 31, 2024

    It's hard to win a basketball game if you can't make shots at point-blank range. The Tucumcari boys basketball team found that out during a 62-51 loss Thursday to Clayton during the Rattlers' annual Homecoming game. It was a rough week for the Rattlers, with them losing three games. Calling up his iPad used to compile statistics after the Clayton game, THS coach Gary Hittson showed on the screen a flurry of red X's near his team's basket. Those X's signified missed shots 5 feet or less from the...

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