Clayton survives Texico’s late burst

CNJ staff

TEXICO — In a see-saw matchup that went down to the final seconds, third-seeded Clayton outlasted Texico 62-59 on Saturday in the boys District 6-2A tournament championship.

Tanner Beckner scored 18 points for the Yellowjackets (17-13), while John Fernandez added 17. Meantime, junior Courtland Luscombe took game honors with 29 for the Wolverines (21-5).

Clayton will host District 5-2A runnerup Mesilla Valley, which lost to Lordsburg 72-63 on Saturday, in the Class 2A state round of 16 next Saturday. Texico will play at Lordsburg.

Clayton’s Tanner Beckner scored 18 points and John Fernandez netted 17 points.
Luscombe had a chance to send the game to overtime with 13 seconds left to play, but his 3-point shot bounced off the rim. Teammate Casey Crist got the rebound and missed a second 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

“Really, (Courtland) was the only one who was consistent for the whole game,” said Texico coach Richard Luscombe, Courtland’s father. “He rebounded well and did a lot of good things for us tonight.”

Crist and junior Daniel Schueler both finished with 15 points for Texico.
Clayton attacked the basket and got the Wolverines in foul trouble early, coach Luscombe said, adding that his team was out of rhythm, probably due to having to wait a full week to play as the tournament’s No. 1 seed.

“What’s bad is we’ve been off all week, and sitting here waiting,” he said. “I never felt like we got into a rhythm. For a minute or two we got into it, but we couldn’t play consistent.”

Texico led by four midway through the third quarter, only to see Clayton roar back and take an eight-point lead with under two minutes remaining in the game.