Lady Rattlers fall 46-45 to Tularosa


February 12, 2020

Shaky free-throw shooting, foul trouble and a scoring drought in the second half kept the Tucumcari girls basketball team from notching an upset as it fell 46-45 at No. 2-ranked Tularosa on Saturday.

The game was the Class 3A-District 4 opener for both teams. Tucumcari, ranked ninth in last week’s coaches poll, fell to 13-8 overall and has lost three in a row — all against Top 10 teams.

Tularosa, ranked second in the coaches poll and No. 3 by, improved to 18-3.

Ashley Shipley led the Lady Rattlers with 14 points. Jasmine Jones added 11 and Reece Goldston nine for Tucumcari.

The Lady Rattlers, hoping to score another win over Tularosa since beating the Lady Wildcats 61-57 at the Lady Lions Classic tournament in Santa Rosa on Dec. 6, stormed to a 32-19 lead by intermission.

Tucumcari’s shooting went cold in the second half, and “we could not buy a basket,” coach Gary Hittson said.

Compounding the problem was the Lady Rattlers, ordinarily an excellent foul-shooting team, went 5-for-10 from the free-throw line late in the game and 17-for-26 overall.

Jones also fouled out with four minutes left, dropping the team’s scoring potency.

Hittson said he also needed better ball handling from his team.

“We need to protect the ball better under pressure,” he said. “The second half we did not value the ball very well.”


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