The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Bear-ly a contest: Clovis routs La Cueva

Wildcats rally from early 11-4 deficit, take 77-54 win for first district victory.


February 18, 2018

Kevin Wilson

Clovis senior Brandon Romero adjusts in the air after taking contact from La Cueva defender Ja'shon Lowery in the first half of Saturday's District 2-6A game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. The Wildcats defeated La Cueva 77-54 for their first district victory.

CLOVIS — Since we're about two hours from Roswell, here's a conspiracy theory.

The Clovis boys basketball team that was playing crisp, confident, winning basketball in late December was abducted by aliens around New Year's Eve and replaced by impostors who had won only one game overall and none at home since the start of 2018 prior to Saturday. The real team was then returned safely to Earth in time for Saturday's regular-season finale against La Cueva at Rock Staubus Gymnasium and proceeded to run the Bears off the court, winning 77-54, the Wildcats' first and only District 2-6A regular-season win of 2018.

That may sound far-fetched, but something has to explain how much different, how much better, how much more dominant the 'Cats played in Saturday's game as opposed to the nine games leading up to it. If not the alien thing, was it all part of a master plan to lull the opposition into a false sense of overconfidence heading into this week's postseason district tournament?

Maybe not. But in his office at the Rock following Saturday's lopsided win, Clovis head coach Scott Robinson didn't have any more plausible reasons for the Wildcats' stunning one-game turnaround.

"I don't know," he said, shaking his head while smiling and shrugging. "We've prepared the same way for a month. You know what? I don't know what was different. Obviously, mentally they were certainly better tonight, but as far as doing anything different, it's been the same preparation, it's been just a bounce of the ball here or there."

Seniors Jakeem Wynn and Brandon Romero offered their opinions.

"The defensive intensity we brought tonight," Wynn said, "coming out knowing it was our last game at The Rock. I wish we could've played like that the whole time during districts. It's been difficult, but I'm glad we got the win in our last home game."

"We came into the game wanting to have fun," Romero said. "We talked about it before the game, (saying), 'Just have fun.'"

While having fun, the Wildcats may have also sent an emphatic message to La Cueva, who they'll see again in the first round of district tournament play Tuesday night at LaCueva High in Albuquerque.

If Saturday night was any indication, the 'Cats may be primed for a successful tournament run.

It started like so many prior district games have for Clovis, in a hole, this time a 5-0 hole. Then it was 8-2 La Cueva, 11-4 Bears. Another district game, another district loss.

Not so fast.

By quarter's end, Clovis had drawn to within 15-14. Early in the second, sophomore post Bryce Cabeldue gave the Wildcats their first lead of the night when his turnaround jumper rattled home. Few likely could have guessed at the time that Cabeldue had given his team the lead for good.

But so it went. A steal by Wynn began a possession that ended with Wynn leaning back for a short jumper to make it 18-15. After David Rosemond missed a long one from the left corner, his teammate Ro Morgan picked him up by reaching high for the offensive rebound and putting in the follow to give Clovis a 20-15 edge.

A feathery jumper from Wynn soon made it 22-15. And Wynn finished Clovis' next trip down the floor with a fast-break layup, putting the Wildcats ahead by nine.

La Cueva went on an 8-1 run to close within 25-23, but the 'Cats closed the half on a 6-0 run — with three points from Rosemond, two from Morgan and one from Dominick Urioste - which became a 14-0 run that spilled into the third quarter. Clovis kept it going in the third when a Rosemond steal led to a pair of Romero free throws; a Cabeldue steal led to a Rosemond tip-in after Cabeldue's fast-break layup wouldn't go; a coast-to-coast layup from Wynn after he came up with a steal; and a Cabeldue tip-in after a Dawson miss.

It was a run that included a lot of unanswered points and a lot of teammates picking each other up. When it was over, Clovis was up 39-23 and had control of the game.

Now, the Wildcats look to keep their momentum going into Tuesday night.

"I think," Wynn said, "we can get all the way to the district championship."


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017