Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Tucumcari girls take district


February 27, 2019

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari's Lenora Trujillo tries to grab an offensive rebound against Dexter's Cynthia Martinez during a game Feb. 19 at the Snake Pit.

The Tucumcari girls basketball team captured the regular-season district title and the No. 1 seed for this week's district tournament with a 55-42 win Friday at Tularosa.

The Lady Rattlers, who improved to 20-4 overall and are ranked third in Class 3A by MaxPreps.com, will host at the Snake Pit the winner of the Dexter-Tularosa game at 6 p.m. Friday to decide the district tournament title.

Aliyah Herrera led the Lady Rattlers with 17 points. Jasmine Jones added 15 and Kalani French 12.

Tucumcari coach Gary Hittson said several of his players fell into foul trouble, and the Lady Rattlers led just 30-27 at halftime. By the end of the third period, Tucumcari led 42-29.

"We slowed the game down in the third," Hittson said. "This seemed to really frustrate them. Jasmine got a lot of good looks at the basket in the second half."

Tucumcari point guard Ashley Shipley and French fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, but Hittson said second-string players filled the gap.

"Lenora Trujillo and Reese Goldston stepped up and played a great game for us," he said. "Lenora had many key rebounds and steals for us. Reese and Aliyah Herrera did a great job of handling the ball. This was a great team effort; the girls never got down once Ashley and Kalani fouled out."

Amber Cervantes led the Wildcats with 16 points. Tularosa, ranked sixth in Class 3A, fell to 16-8 overall.

Tucumcari 91, Dexter 23

Tucumcari scored the first 35 points and tallied what might be a school-record 52 points in the first quarter during a 91-23 district victory Feb. 19 against an overmatched Dexter squad at the Snake Pit.

French nailed six 3-pointers and scored 26 of her game-high 28 points during a first half that ended with Tucumcari ahead 73-13.

"She couldn't miss," Tucumcari coach Gary Hittson said.

Shipley scored all 22 of her points during the first half. Herrera added 13 points in a game where 10 Lady Rattlers scored amid liberal substituting.

Hittson, who's coached Tucumcari girls basketball for nearly 20 years, couldn't recall a game with that many points scored in one quarter.

"I've never seen that," he said. "No matter what we tried, it worked tonight. I've been in those shoes (on the wrong end of lopsided games). But you can't tell your kids not to play. We couldn't empty the bench too much because those other girls played junior varsity and they had only 'x' amount of quarters to play. So we couldn't start subbing until the second quarter."

All that kept Tucumcari from scoring 100 points were a state mercy rule that led to a running clock in the second half and a lot of substituting.

Tucumcari improved to 3-0 in Class 3A, District 4 and 19-3 overall. Dexter fell to 11-14, 0-4.

Anayee Carlos led the Lady Demons with seven points.


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