The 2A Tucumcari Rattlers fourth-period rallies were not enough to keep the 1A Melrose Buffalo from two 5-point wins at the Snake Pit.
The (5-14) Lady Rattlers trailed the (5-15) Lady Buffalos throughout most of Tuesday night's 44-39 loss to the Lady Buffalos.
"I saw some good things out there tonight," said Lady Rattlers head coach Gary Hittson. "If we would have made better shots from the line and the paint, we could have won this game."
With 3:54 left in the game, the Lady Rattlers defense got them back into the game. The defense pressed the Lady Buffalos and forced two turnovers which resulted in four points.
"The girls were not being patient on offense and that led to turnovers," said Lady Buffalos head coach Jack Props.
The Lady Buffalos lead was cut in half after freshman Michelle Fazekas made 1-2 free throws to bring the Lady Rattlers within 5 points. A call from the referee waived off a jump shot made by Lady Rattlers senior Kadi Powers with a traveling charge.
"That was a backbreaker," Hittson said. "That would have cut the lead down to 3 points and put a lot more pressure on their defense."
The waived off shot was followed by a series of turnovers by the Lady Rattlers that put an end to any chance of a comeback.
"I kept telling the girls that Tucumcari was going to keep fighting till the end," Props said. "When Tucumcari started to score late in the fourth, I told the girls to take care of the ball and run time off the clock."
Props said that the win will help as they prepare for their district match-up with the (15-2) Dora Lady Coyotes.
"We know that Dora is going to be a tough game," Props said. "This win will give us a little boost."
Jordan Meir 17 points
Kadi Powers 11 points
Free throws late in the final period aided in the (6-12) Rattlers 56-51 loss to the (8-9) Buffalos.
With less than a minute left in the game, the Rattlers trailed 51-49. A turnover forced the Rattlers to foul in an effort to save time and regain possession of the ball.
The Buffalos used the foul shots to extend their lead by 7 points ending any chance of a comeback by the Rattlers.
"We had several opportunities in that game to win," said Rattlers head coach John Span. "That game could have gone either way."
In the second half the Rattlers had fought their way back from a 12-point Buffalos' lead. Several times they pulled within 3 points, but missed shots kept them from tieing or taking the lead.
"The shots just were not falling for us tonight," Span said. "We missed some easy shots and that hurt us."
With three minutes left in the game a technical foul called on Rattlers sophomore Jakus Martinez for language gave the Buffalos a chance to extend their lead with free throws and the possession of the ball.
Buffalos senior Call Barnard was 0-2 for the technical foul shots while the Rattlers defense prevented the score on the following Buffalos' possession.
Span said that the Rattlers will look forward as they resume their district play against the Clayton Yellow Jackets.
"The games do not get any easier as we get back to district play." Span said. "We have a tough schedule ahead of us and just need to concentrate on taking care of business."
Clint Barnard 22 points
Sammy Lawrence 13
Andrew Francis 17 points
Curtis Simpson 12 points
The Rattlers will play at 6 p.m. Friday against the Yellowjackets at Clayton.
The Buffalos will play at 4 p.m. Saturday against the Coyotes at Dora.