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Clovis girls basketball team tips off tonight

 

November 28, 2017

Tony Bullocks

Seniors Sydni Hill, left, and Teya Morris, center, take part in Clovis girls basketball practice as teammate Kaydee Weaver (23) moves without the ball on Monday at The Rock. Hill and Morris were voted co-captains and will be key contributors to this season's team.

CLOVIS — Officially, the Clovis High girls basketball team is nicknamed 'the Lady Wildcats.' But they might as well call themselves 'the Lady Chameleons.'

Indeed, the Lady 'Cats will need to be quite the chameleons this winter, adapting to the situations around them.

According to head coach Jeff Reed, they won't have a specific style of play, no particular offense or defense they roll out each game like breaking out the good china when company comes over. The Lady Wildcats' style will depend on the styles and sizes of the opponents that come their way. And, it will depend on how the Lady 'Cats themselves seem to be shaping up as November dissolves into December and their season starts moving along.

"It's going to be a work in progress to see what we're going to be able to do and not be able to do," Reed said. "I think there are certain teams we can do some things against, and certain teams we cannot do some things against. It's going to depend on who we're playing. We're not set to one style.

"There are some teams we can play man against. There are other teams we're going to have to play zone against because we don't match up."

Based on that statement and on the roster, it seems like Clovis will be playing a lot of zone this season. There are plenty of long and lean teams up Albuquerque way, and the Lady Wildcats' tallest player is senior guard Teya Morris, who stands 5'9".

Despite the adaptability theme, Clovis will still likely need a general approach to those taller opponents.

"On defense we'll play a zone," Reed said. "We've got to pack it in. And on offense, we're still going to do what we've got to do. We've got to learn how to shoot against bigger girls, draw fouls, shoot from outside."

"I think we should be able to run," Morris said. "Weve got some speed behind us, and we've got some shooters."

"We have a lot of speed," said Sydni Hill, a 5'4" senior guard. "Then again, Albuquerque has a lot of tall, physical players. We've just got to make sure that we do little things right, like blocking out and taking care of the ball. ... We're going to have to make our outside shots, and hopefully give ourselves a chance."

Juniors Kaydee Weaver and Antanishwa Molett, and sophomore Madison Tolbert, are all listed as post players, but also at 5'8", which gives you an idea of how relatively small the Lady Wildcats are.

Tolbert was the team's second leading scorer in summer ball behind Morris, so there are high hopes that she can make a big impact this winter.

"She's got a chance to be a breakout player along with Antanishwa," Reed said. "I think those two have a chance to be breakout players."

The varsity roster is rounded out by: senior guards Hayley Kidd (5'5") and Espy Robles (5'4"); senior post Azzianna Smith (5'8"); junior guard Brittni Chavez (5'4"); and sophomore guard Aydan Everett (5'6").

It's a mix of veterans and younger players, with Morris and Hill serving as co-captains.

"Being a senior always puts you in a position to lead," Hill said, "but especially with me and Teya being voted captains. We take it personally. ... It's a lot of pressure, but I think we're ready to handle it."

"I've just got to show up and play and score," Morris said. "And be a leader."

They've been leading during practices building up to the season, but tonight it gets going for real, when the Lady 'Cats open on the road against Hobbs. Jayvee action is set to tip off at 4:30, with the varsity to follow.

"I think we're going to be thrown into the fire right off the bat," Reed said. "Hobbs is probably the best team in the state. They'd be my choice if I was voting on it."

Hobbs, in fact, was a state semifinalist last season, joining Eldorado, La Cueva and eventual champ Sandia in that select group. The Lady Eagles return four starters from last season's 29-win team. Yeah, 'fire right off the bat' sounds fairly accurate.

What will it take for Clovis to stomp out the flames?

"Everything," Morris said. "We're going to have to do every little thing right. But it's possible. Everything's possible."

Tonight's challenge sounds like it will be a microcosm of Clovis' season-long challenge. And to overcome it, the Lady Wildcats need to play well for all four quarters, not three. Morris says that she and her teammates hung tough for much of last year's games, but would self-destruct in one quarter or another, often dooming their chances to beat their juggernaut 6-A opponents.

"I think we should be all right (this season)," Morris said. "I think we just have to not have that one bad quarter."

That could well be the difference between just showing up, just holding their own, and actually being in big games, actually having a chance at the end.

"Last year we did a good job of competing," Reed said. "This year, I'm hoping we can get over the top and not just compete, but find ways to win."

ROSTER

No. Name Ht. Yr. Pos.M

2 Sydni Hill 5-4 Sr. G

3 Espy Robles 5-4 Sr. G

10 Brittni Chavez 5-4 Jr. G

15 Teya Morris 5-9 Sr. G

20 Aydan Everett 5-6 So. G

22 Antanishwa Molett 5-8 Jr. F

23 Kaydee Weaver 5-8 Jr. F

30 Haylee Kidd 5-5 Sr. G

33 Azzianna Smith 5-8 Sr. F

42 Madison Tolbert 5-8 So. F

Head coach: Jeff Reed Assistant coaches: Candace Jordan, Petie Davis, Keith Durham

Managers: Melissa Calderon, Alicia Ponce, Jazlyn Montano, Fatima Hernandez

2017-18 schedule

November: 28 - at Hobbs, 5:30 p.m.

Tony Bullocks

Clovis girls basketball head coach Jeff Reed watches as senior Espy Robles makes a pass at Monday's practice session.

December: 1-2 - Strength and Sass Shootout at Clovis HS, tournament starts 1 p.m. both days; 5 - at Lovington, 7 p.m.; 7-9 - at Logan and Rio Rancho Tournaments, TBD; 12 - Lubbock, 6:30 p.m.; 16 - at Portales, 7 p.m.; 28-30 - Plateau Holiday Tournament at Clovis HS, TBD

January: 2 - Lubbock Coronado, 6:30 p.m.; 5 - at Artesia, 7 p.m.; 9 - at Goddard, 5:30 p.m.; 12 - at Cleveland, 6:30 p.m.; 16 - Eldorado*, 7 p.m.; 20 - Manzano*, 6:30 p.m.; 23 - at Santa Fe*, 7 p.m.; 27 - at Sandia*, 6:30 p.m.; 30 - La Cueva*, 7 p.m.

February: 3 - at Eldorado*, 6:30 p.m.; 6 - at Manzano*, 7 p.m.; 10 - Santa Fe*, 7 p.m.; 13 - Sandia*, 7 p.m.; 17 - at La Cueva*, 6:30 p.m.; 20, 21, 23, 24 - District Tournament*, TBD

March: 2 - First round of state playoffs, TBD; 6-10 - State Tourament in Albuquerque, TBD

All Times Mountain * — indicates District 2-6A games

 

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