TEXICO — The way they played offensively in the first half, it was tough to believe the Tucumcari Rattlers could be nine games under .500 coming into Texico.
Unfortunately for the upstart Rattlers, it was pretty evident why the host Wolverines were 18 games over .500.
Make that 19, as the Wolverines parlayed a nearly flawless first half into a 71-57 win in Saturday night’s District 6-2A contest.
Seth Bailey had 25 points to lead the Wolverines (21-2, 3-1 district), who turned the ball over just twice in the first half en route to a 33-22 cushion — even without the services of point guard Jose Posada.
“I thought the kids did a good job of looking for each other,” Texico coach Richard Luscombe said. “There were probably a few times I thought we overpassed the ball.
“I thought Marcus Pena did a really good job of filling in for (Posada).”
Guard Conner Doolittle, who added 14, said everybody knows the system.
“We had a good week of practice and it really paid off,” said Doolittle, a 6-foot, 165-pound junior. “Our three guys can fluctuate; each one can play point guard and run the offense.”
The Rattlers (6-16, 0-4) stayed with Texico throughout the first quarter, and rallied to tie the game with :44 left on Jantzen Darnell’s third trey of the period.
But Doolittle answered with a 3-pointer, the start of a 16-2 run over the next 6:39 of the first half. The run was where Bailey started to take over, as he scored 21 in the second and third quarters.
“When they need baskets, they go through him,” Tucumcari coach John Span said of Bailey. “I told the kids once he gets it that deep down low, he’s going to score, so don’t foul him.”
Bailey and Doolittle each hit two of the Wolverines’ six 3-pointers, and Texico led by as much as 24 midway through the fourth.
Span also credited Tucumcari’s 13-of-16 night at the line for helping to put some “real estate” between the teams.
Darnell had six treys and led three Rattlers in double figures with 20. Jake Martinez carried Tucumcari with 13 of the team’s 16 in the third, and finished with 18.
Dalton Wood added 11 for Tucumcari, while Kyle Boatman scored 10 points on the strength of a 6-of-6 night at the line.
Both teams will take a break from district play Tuesday. The Wolverines travel to Portales, while the Rattlers travel to Albuquerque to face Evangel Christian.
• At Grady, the Logan Longhorns took over the District 4-1A lead with a 48-43 victory over Grady.
Junior guard Brandon Rafool scored 14 points for the Longhorns (11-8, 4-0), while senior guard Jarod Allen led the Bronchos (4-16, 3-1) with 11 points.
• Floyd rode a balanced attack led by 11 points from freshman post Colby Love and 10 from junior guard Hunter Terry to a 45-32 District 3-1A win over Elida at Elida.
The Bronchos (17-5, 4-2) kept Elida in check for most of the game, limiting the Tigers (7-14, 1-6) to six points in each of th first three quarters. Senior post Kody Paiz and junior post Jordyn Tivis scored eight points apiece for Elida.
• Host Texico roared out to a 39-2 halftime advantage en route to a 65-17 District 6-2A drubbing of Tucumcari, which didn’t get a field goal until the third quarter.
Sophomore Jordyn Cooper scored six of her game-high 17 in a 19-0 first quarter, then added eight more in the 20-2 second.
The Lady Wolverines (18-5, 3-0) went to the bench early, as 11 different players scored, including 10 points from senior Victoria Richards.
Laura Fought led the Lady Rattlers (9-10, 0-4) with five points.
• Grady continued to roll in District 4-1A, cruising to a 60-39 home win over Logan in a battle of district unbeatens.
Junior guard Mandy Rush hit 10-of-14 free throws and scored 31 points for the Lady Bronchos (14-9, 6-0), while senior post Molly Rush added 13. The Lady Longhorns got 13 points from sophomore guard Nicole Collins.
• Floyd improved to 16-5 overall and 4-1 in District 3-1A by winning at Elida 54-49 behind 21 points from junior guard Tori Tucker and 13 from senior center Cassie Breshears.
For the Lady Tigers (15-8, 3-3), junior Reavis Best netted 14 points while senior Shanna Anthony and junior Margarita Ortiz had 11 points apiece.