Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Rattlers, Longhorns prepare for homecoming games

 

January 27, 2015

Lady Rattlers Head Coach Gary Hittson works with the defense on cutting off the lane and limiting the options for the opposing point guard. The Lady Rattlers and Rattlers will begin district play at 6 p.m. Friday with a homecoming game against Clayton.

link Lady Rattlers Head Coach Gary Hittson works with the defense on cutting off the lane and limiting the options for the opposing point guard. The Lady Rattlers and Rattlers will begin district play at 6 p.m. Friday with a homecoming game against Clayton.

QCS Senior Writer

The Tucumcari Rattlers 15-2 and Lady Rattlers 7-10 will contend against homecoming distractions Friday as they start district play against the always-daunting Clayton Yellowjackets.

The second season, district competition, is about to begin.

“All the games leading up to Friday’s game against Clayton have been preparing us for what is coming up,” said Rattlers Head Coach John Span.

Span said that against Clayton, the Rattlers are going to do exactly what they have been doing for several years. If the shot is there they are going to take it.

“We are going to shoot the ball and if we are on the mark, we hope that will open the middle and we will drive the ball to the basket,” Span said.

Span said against a team like Clayton he has stressed to his team the importance of boxing out and securing the rebound.

“A team doesn’t beat you on the first shot, its the second and third shots you give them that can hurt you in a game,” Span said.

Span said the team is still working to improve on their free-throw percentage in games. He said those points left out there on the foul line can make or break a season.

The Rattlers beat Fort Sumner 67-46 on Jan. 20, and were led on offense by John Paul Garcia with 17 points (2,5,0-3) and D’Ontee Sandoval with 15 points (4,1, 6-7).

On Jan. 24 in the 65-25 routing of Estancia the Rattlers again were lead by Sandoval with 25 points (5,4,3-6) and Garcia 15 points (1,4,1-2).

The Lady Rattlers need to focus on playing four periods of basketball, said Head Coach Gary Hittson.

Hittson said the Lady Rattlers are still coming out hot in the first period and he continues to work with the girls to keep up that energy throughout the game.

The Lady Rattlers lost to Fort Sumner 55-39 Jan. 20 and won 48-37 Saturday at Estancia.

Hittson said he doesn’t feel that the distraction of homecoming will be an issue for the Lady Rattlers. He said their focus is going to be on limiting the open shots for Clayton’s outside shooters and being patient on offense.

“I want the girls to come out with energy but I don’t want them to rush and try to force something to happen on offense,” Hittson said.

Hittson said he will also hope to press Clayton into giving up opportunities that the Lady Rattlers can take advantage of on defense.

Game time: 4 p.m. Friday at the Snake Pit.

Logan will also be hosting its basketball homecoming on Saturday against Springer.

This will be the second meeting between the Longhorns 12-3 and the Red Devils. Their first meeting ended with a 64-55 win for Logan at Springer.

The Longhorns followed that win with a 75-62 loss on Jan. 24 at Clayton.

The Lady Longhorns 11-4 won 80-56 against the Lady Red Devils and edged the Lady Yellowjackets 53-52.

However those wins left some of the Lady Longhorns dealing with new and lingering injuries and has Head Coach Clair Rachor looking to recoup before their district run.

“We don’t want to take any team lightly but as long as we take care of the ball and keep the pressure on defense we should be able to handle business,” Rachor said.

Rachor said the team has progressed a lot since the start of the season. He said the upperclassmen continue to show great leadership and the younger players have shown a lot of heart and development.

Rachor said the younger players have stepped up, bringing a huge benefit as the Lady Longhorns work to return all their to 100 percent. He said as the Lady Longhorns approach district play, they want to be hitting on all cylinders.

Game time: 2 p.m. Saturday at Logan

The San Jon Coyotes 12-3 will be playing their third district game on at 5 p.m., Feb. 5 against Mosquero at San Jon.

The Lady Coyotes 2-12 will play their third district game against Elida at 4 p.m., Saturday at San Jon.

 

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