Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Rattlers fall at Citizens tournament

Lady Rattlers finish tourney with 1-2 mark.


January 4, 2017

Staff photo:

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks Tucumcari Lady Rattlers Kalani French passes the ball around Lady Wildcats Gracie Hooten during Friday's 50-47 loss to Tularosa.

By Thomas Garcia

QCS Senior Writer

The Tucumcari Rattlers lost their three games during the Citizens Bank Invite basketball tournament this weekend at Texico.

"We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball," said John Span, Rattlers head coach.

Span said the Rattlers (2-5) had 20 turnovers during Friday's 52-43 loss to the Tularosa Wildcats (8-3). He said other factors impacting the Rattlers during the tournament were missed open shots and free throws.

"We missed too many open shots that put us behind and in a situation of having to foul to stop the clock," Span said. "The problem was the Wildcats made their foul shots."

The Wildcats were 18 of 22 from the foul line while the Rattlers were 8-14.

Span said free throws were an issue in Thursday's 66-58 loss against the Muleshoe Mules (4-7). He said the Rattlers were 11-21 from the foul line and the Mules were 14-23.

"We weren't making our free throws, and we were giving them too many opportunities at the foul line," Span said.

Span said the Rattlers' free throw shooting improved on Saturday, making 11-15, but they still fell short 60-51 against the Clayton Yellowjackets (5-4).

"We've got a lot of work to do to prepare for Santa Fe Prep on Saturday," Span said.

Game time will be 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Snake Pit.

• • •

The Tucumcari Lady Rattlers (6-3) finished 1-2 at the Citizens Bank Invite basketball tournament at Texico.

"It was a learning experience for the girls that allowed them to see the areas they still need to improve," said Gary Hittson, Lady Rattlers head coach.

Hittson said the tournament had two hard losses the first came during Thursday's 63-44 loss to the Eunice Cardinals (9-3). He said freshman point guard Ashley Shipley will miss 10 days after suffering a concussion during the loss to the Cardinals.

"Ashley's health comes first, and we want to make sure she is fully recovered before putting her back on the court," Hittson said.

Hittson said against the Cardinals the Lady Rattlers three-point shooting was off. He said the Lady Rattlers were 3 of 21.

"The shots were there; they just wouldn't go in," Hittson said.

The Lady Rattler's second loss was on Friday against the Tularosa Lady Wildcats (8-4).

Hittson said the Lady Rattlers ran out of time during the 50-47 loss to the Lady Wildcats. He said a missed layup and a baseline violation while inbounding the ball in the final seconds thwarted any chance at a comeback.

"The opportunities were right there; we just didn't seize them," Hittson said.

The Lady Rattlers won their third game with a 50-14 routing of the Dexter Lady Demons (8-4).

The Lady Rattlers will be competing Thursday-Saturday at the Estancia basketball tournament against teams that include Santa Rosa, East Mountain, Bosque and Estancia.

"This tournament is going to benefit the team greatly," Hittson said. "There is a potential for some tough matchups that will help the team's development."


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