Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Wolverines defeat Rattlers


December 11, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Tucumcari guard T.J. Lampkin drives the lane in Tuesday's game at Texico.

TEXICO - Opening night is always a special time for any sports team. Fresh start, 0-0 record, all that.

For the Texico boys basketball team, with a new head coach and so many new players, it was filled with even more anticipation Tuesday night at Texico High School, and even more excitement after the Wolverines pulled away from Tucumcari for a 74-50 victory.

"Opening night, it's amazing," Wolverines junior post David Davalos said. "It's a thrill to play here for Texico, it's a blessing, honestly. I don't take anything for granted here."

The young Wolverines turned a close game early into a rout that gave Craig Cook a victory on his first night as Texico's head varsity coach, after having moved up from junior varsity head-coaching and varsity assistant positions to replace the retired Ty Thatcher.

Cook liked what he saw from the Wolverines on his first night as Thatcher's successor.

"Well, for one week of practice I think they played pretty good," Cook said. "I was impressed that with a new team and a new system, I think they bought into it and played to the best of their abilities."

"We had our rough edges," Davalos said, "but it all comes down to execution and getting stuff fixed and moving on to the next play."

For Texico it was the start of a new era, considering it was Cook's debut. But Cook didn't quite see it that way.

"It's just natural," he said. "Like any other position, whether I'm jayvee or varsity head coach, I'm still pushing for those kids to win, getting 'em in the right position."

"Coach Cook, oh man, he's an amazing coach," Davalos said. "He's young, and I like his intensity; I think it makes me better as a player. Hopefully we can continue this intensity throughout the season."

Tuesday's game was tied at 11 late in the first quarter, and Texico still led only 14-11 by quarter's end, thanks to a three-point play completed at the line by Texico senior center Ruger Horton.

Tucumcari actually led 15-14 after beginning the second quarter with two straight baskets from sophomore guard Jesus Ramos. On Texico's next possession, though, freshman guard Jahvon Askew completed his own three-point play from the line, which handed the Wolverines a 17-15 lead.

It was the start of a 13-0 Texico run that continued with a Cade Collins left-corner trey, a field goal by Davalos, a Luke Phipps free throw, a Collins layup, and a driving shot by Anders Nelson. When the run was over, Texico led 27-15.

By halftime it was 32-21 Wolverines. Askew hit a three on Texico's opening possession of the third quarter, followed by a Davalos two on the Wolverines' next possession.

On Tucumcari's next possession, Askew came up with a steal and was fouled driving for a layup. He hit 1-of-2 to make it 38-21, and a Phipps three from well beyond the right arc put Texico up by 20 for the first time this season.

"They kept scoring and we stopped scoring," Tucumcari head coach John Span said. "And I got a couple of key kids in foul trouble, and then when I have to go to my bench it kind of hurts us a little bit because I have some young kids that don't quite have the experience that we need right now."

Toriano Lampkin finally ended Tucumcari's drought with a pair of free throws that made it 41-23, but Texico quickly surged back into a 20-plus-point lead again, and led 54-33 by the end of the third quarter.

Tucumcari 71, Mountainair 44

team notched its first win of the season Saturday with a 71-44 decision over East Mountain in the seventh-place game of the Brian Gallegos Tournament in West Las Vegas.

Jesus Ramos lead a balanced attack for the Rattlers (1-4) with 14 points. Alexander Lujan and TJ Lampkin each added 13 points, Andrew Henderson-Clark scored 11 and Curtis Gonzales added 10.

"We took care of the ball, and we took good shots," Tucumcari coach John Span said. "We played a lot better as a team, and we had only one kid in foul trouble."

In the third quarter, Tucumcari outscored East Mountain 29-7.

"That allowed us to put some real estate between them," Span said.

East Mountain fell to 0-4.

Span said he also recently learned Mora decided to cancel its game at Tucumcari scheduled for Dec. 10. That pushes the Rattlers' first home game to Jan. 4, against Logan.

Robertson 89, Tucumcari 62

Tucumcari fell to Robertson 89-62 Friday in the consolation bracket of the Brian Gallegos Tournament.

Ramos scored 28 points to lead the Rattlers. Nathaniel Mardo and Alexander Lujan each added eight points.

Robertson improved to 1-1.

Santa Rosa 67, Tucumcari 31

The Rattlers lost 67-31 on Thursday to area rival Santa Rosa in the first round of the Brian Gallegos Tournament.

Ramos led the Rattlers with 13 points. Tucumcari found its offense stymied much of the game, totaling just 10 field goals and just one point scored during the final period.

Span also attributed the loss to foul trouble, turnovers and missed open shots.

It was the season-opening game for the Lions.


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