Serving the High Plains

Rattlers win consolation title at WLV tourney

The Tucumcari boys basketball team opened its season with a consolation championship Saturday by defeating Maxwell 46-41 at the West Las Vegas/Brian Gallegos Tournament.

The Rattlers (2-1) outscored the Bears 16-10 in the third quarter to create some space.

“We opened it up in the second half and went to a straight press defense, try to wear them down a little bit,” Tucumcari coach John Span said. “We missed some opportunities, but we gained enough to put them away a little bit.”

Kamren Apodaca, a 6-foot-4 freshman, lead Tucumcari with 20 points, and senior point guard Curtis Gonzales added 11.

Tucumcari coach John Span said Apodaca still is learning to be a center.

“He missed a lot of other shots,” he said. “If he learns to finish his shots, he’s going to score more.”

Span said he was mostly pleased with his young team’s performance at the tourney.

“Anytime we win two of three games at a tournament, it’s a good thing,” he said.

Maxwell fell to 1-2.

Tucumcari 61, Wagon Mound 41

Gonzales scored 29 points to boost the Rattlers to a victory Friday over Wagon Mound in the consolation round of the tournament.

Apodaca added nine points for Tucumcari, and Julian Griego scored eight.

Tucumcari outscored the Trojans 19-8 in the second quarter for a 28-17 halftime lead.

“We missed a lot of open shots and shots right underneath the basket,” Span said. “We won by 20, but it could have been a lot worse. We don’t know quite how to finish (shots) yet. We still got work to do. We’ve got to use the backboard; if you learn how to use it, you’ll make that shot almost every time.”

The Rattlers defeated the Trojans by 50 points at the tournament last season.

“They’re much improved from last year,” Span said of Wagon Mound. “They’ve got a new coach (Felipe Garcia), and he’s done a lot of good things with them, very disciplined. I thought we’d be able to press them and get a lot of turnovers, but they handled it pretty well.”

The Trojans fell to 1-2.

Bosque 69, Tucumcari 30

The Rattlers found themselves overwhelmed by a state-ranked Bosque squad during their season opener Thursday at the tournament.

The Bobcats (3-1), who made eight 3-pointers, led 20-10 after one quarter, 37-20 at halftime and 59-26 after three periods.

“That was only their second game, but it looked like they were already ready for postseason,” Span said of Bosque.

Gonzales scored 16 points to lead the Rattlers. Span said Bosque’s defense often frustrated his team.

“We had a lot of opportunities to put more points on the board,” he said. “They were long defensively; we had trouble getting the ball to the wing. We had a hard time getting the ball to the post inside. Their length bothered us, and they have good speed.”

Cooper Hautau led Bosque with 26 points, including four 3-pointers, and 15 rebounds. Teammate Kyle Morris added 20.

Bosque shot 56% from the field.

“We have Bosque again (at home) this coming Friday,” Span said. “We’ll need to change some things on that a little bit.”

 
 
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