TUCUMCARI — The Elida Lady Tigers overcame a slow start against Class 3A Raton at the Route 66 Tournament Friday to take a 45-28 win and advanced to today’s 6 p.m. championship game in the Route 66 Holiday Tournament against host Tucumcari.
“We kind of fell off tonight,” coach Dan Howard said. “There wasn’t much intensity. We woke up and played pretty decent in the second half though.”
Leading 17-9 after a sluggish first half, the Lady Tigers opened a 15-point lead by outscoring Raton 12-5 in the third period. Raton matched its three-quarter output in the final period with 14 points, but couldn’t cut into the margin.
Lindsey Smith led Elida (7-2) with nine points, while Nicole Jasso had eight. For Rton, Whitney Cappellucci scored 12 points and Rebecca Wright added 11.
In first-round action on Thursday, the Lady Tigers had an easy time with Mesa Vista in a 63-11 decision.
Elida dominated its younger opponent on both sides of the court, cruising after building a 27-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Kodi Armitage led all scorers with 14 points. Smith added 11, and Jasso hit double figures for the first time this season with 10 points.
Kayla Alire had five for Mesa Vista.
Elida boys fall in semifinals — After defeating cross-county rival Floyd 55-44 on Thursday, the Elida boys lost to Tucumcari 69-61 on Friday in a hard-fought decision in the championship semifinals of the Route 66 Holiday Tournament.
“We played a really good team tonight,” coach Darrell Chenault said of Tucumcari. “They (Tigers) played tough. I’m happy tonight.”
According to Chenault, Friday’s game got physical and wound up with the Rattlers going to the line 37 times during the contest and making 19.
Elida took a 29-26 lead at the half and went up by as much as nine points in the third stanza. Then Tucumcari’s pressure began to bother the youthful Tigers and the Rattlers mounted a comeback.
Wesley Gilmore led Elida (4-3) with 21 points, followed by Tom Sullivan with nine.
Tucumcari’s Josh Viegas led all scorers with 24 points, getting support from Jeremy Lopez with 16.
On Thursday, Elida began to put some distance between itself and Floyd in the second quarter and never looked back.
Gilmore had 18 and Ever Varela 16 for the Tigers. The Broncos got 14 points from Kyle Kropf and 11 from Brad Lee.
Elida plays Dexter at 4 p.m. today for third place.