Rattlers fall to Bobcats
December 8, 2021
Despite spotting Bosque a double-digit lead early, Tucumcari nearly caught up with the Bobcats in the fourth quarter but fell 65-58 Saturday in the championship game of the Brian Gallegos Memorial Tournament at West Las Vegas.
The Rattlers finished their opening week with a 2-1 record, defeating Penasco and Wagon Mound earlier at the tourney.
“I thought we played pretty good, considering it was our first week of playing,” Tucumcari coach John Span said in a phone interview. “And they had some good competition at that tournament. To finish second out of eight, that’s not too bad.
“Anytime we go to a tournament and we win two games, that’s a good tournament for us. If we win three games, that’s a great tournament. We tried really hard for that great tournament, but overall, we’re pleased that way we finished,” he added.
Andrew Henderson-Clark led Tucumcari with 24 points, and teammate Curtis Gonzales added 17.
Kyle Morris led Bosque (3-1) with 30 points, and Ezra Elliott added 16.
The Rattlers fell behind 12-1 to start the game. They reduced that gap to 25-17 by intermission and 39-36 by the end of the third period.
“The kids showed a lot of character by battling back,” Span said.
He said his team needs to cut down on turnovers and do more shooting drills in practice.
“We’ve got to find a spot on the glass,” Span explained with the latter. “We missed a lot of points off the boards. If you know where your spot is on the glass, you can make that shot nearly every time.”
Span said the Bobcats will cause a lot of problems for other teams.
“Bosque was tough,” he said. “They shot the ball well, they spread you, and they’ve got two sophomores who are really, really good and shoot the ball well.”
Tucumcari 63, Penasco 57
The Rattlers jumped out to an early lead in the first half and hung on for a 63-57 victory Friday over Penasco in the tournament semifinals.
Henderson-Clark scored 21 points to lead Tucumcari, and teammate Dominick Jasper added 20.
“That was a heck of a game,” Span said. “We jumped on them. We led as much as 21, 22 points at one time, and it should have been more. We missed some free throws and missed some easy shots we should have made.
“We were very fortunate. We talked at halftime: ‘When you play teams like them, you can’t leave points off the board, because they’ll come back to bite you.’”
Penasco pulled within two after three Tucumcari starters — including Gonzales and Henderson-Clark — fouled out.
“We did what we needed to do to pull it off,” Span said. “We made some free throws, a layup and a shot from the outside to get us the win.
“Penasco is going to be tough; they beat Santa Rosa. They’re going to beat a lot of people.”
Penasco finished the week with a 3-2 record.
Tucumcari 70, Wagon Mound 20
Tucumcari opened the tournament with a 70-20 blowout over Wagon Mound.
The Rattlers led the Trojans 52-11 at intermission and held them scoreless in the third quarter.
Henderson-Clark led Tucumcari with 19 points, and Gonzales added 17.
Wagon Mound ended the week 0-3.