After Quitman scored the first eight points of a Class 2A West/Central regional game Wednesday evening, the Magazine Rattlers played from behind all night, and although Matt Smith scored 16 second half points, it would not be enough for the Rattlers.
Three times they got within two points of the Bulldogs, but the Rattlers (15-13) could not draw even and saw their season end with a 61-44 loss to the top seed from District 2A-4 East in the tournament, hosted last week by Magazine.
Magazine, the four seed from the 2A-4 West, survived a first quarter in which they turned the ball over seven times and were whistled for 10 fouls.
Just 2:13 after the Bulldogs jumped to an 8-0 lead on a pair of 3s by Zac Shue and a pair of free throws by Zackary Heffentrager, the Rattlers whittled the lead to 11-8 behind baskets by Chase Gibson, Max Greb and Randon Baumgartner, along with a pair of free throws by Greb.
Greb would shoot two more free throws in the quarter, making one, accounting for all of the Rattler charity stripe chances. Meanwhile, Quitman shot 16 free throws — including missing the front end of a one-and-one — making seven and would lead 19-11 after one quarter.
A pair of Baumgartner buckets started the second quarter and when Greb scored with 4:53 left in the half it was 19-17.
Two Shue free throws made it a four point game but two by Landen Gilbert cut it back to 21-19 with 3:09 left in the half.
With eventually three Rattlers sitting with three fouls, the only Magazine offensive production the rest of the half came on a rebound put-back basket by Caleb Hyatt and Quitman led 27-21 at the intermission.
Smith, the first Rattler with three fouls, which were accumulated in the first 2:42 of the game and without the senior having scored, tallied the first four points of the second half and Magazine was again within two, 27-25, with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
Smith would also score Magazine’s next four points to keep the Rattlers in it and with a free throw from Baumgartner it was 36-30 with 1:19 left in the third quarter.
A three-point play by Heffentrager pushed the lead to nine before the end of the quarter and he added a pair of free throws with 7:32 to play for a 41-30 Bulldog lead.
Again it was Smith scoring the next four Rattler points and when Greb scored again with 5:10 left it was a 43-36 deficit.
However, Quitman scored the next six points to go up 13 before a Gibson basket with 3:06 left.
From there the Bulldogs needed mainly to make free throws, doing so at a 12-for-13 slip over the final 2:31, pulling further away.
Two more Smith baskets wrapped up the Rattler scoring for the year.
Joining Smith in double figures was Baumgartner, who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in his final game as a Rattler. Greb scored nine.
Shue scored 16 points to lead Quitman. Heffentrager added 13 and David Alvarez finished with 12.