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Lady Cats cruise past Moriarty

The Clovis High Lady Wildcats never gave Moriarty a chance Friday night.

Playing suffocating defense, especially early, the Lady Cats roared to a 40-20 halftime lead and cruised to a 60-41 victory over the Lady Pintos at Rock Staubus Gym, improving to 3-0 heading into Saturday night’s clash at rival Portales.

Sophomore post Brittany Blackmon led a balanced Clovis attack with 14 points. Junior Roxanne Luera and sophomore Aimee Hilburn each chipped in 10 tallies.

Texico transfer Melissa Roberts contributed a pair of 3-pointers to a dominating 22-8 second-quarter run after Moriarty (2-2) closed to 18-12 with the final six points of the opening stanza.

“That was by far the best 16 minutes of basketball we’ve played,” CHS girls coach Miles Watters said of the first-half domination. “Our defensive intensity was right in their face the first two quarters.”

The Lady Cats substituted liberally in the second half, but extended their lead to 29 points (52-23) with less than 2 1/2 minutes left in the third period. They opened the half with a pair of six-point runs around a 3-pointer by the Lady Pintos’ Tricia Lentz.

“The second half we played a lot of people and we got out of sync,” Watters said. “We’re trying to (become) more physical, but we put them on the line way too much tonight.”

Moriarty shot 15 of 21 on free throws, including 9 of 10 by junior Jennelle Spradley and 6 of 10 by senior Scarlett McKenzie. Meantime, it hardly mattered that the Lady Pintos were called for just five fouls in the contest, sending Clovis to the line only once.

Watters was encouraged by the play of the 5-foot-11 Hilburn, who had struggled on offense in the team’s first two games, and the 5-10 Blackmon.

“Aimee’s been pressing offensively, but she did some good things tonight,” he said. “Brittany Blackmon was huge on the boards tonight. We’ve got to get all our posts playing as tough as she does.”

Spradley was the lone double-figure scorer for Moriarty with 19 points. Only five Lady Pintos scored, including three in the first half.

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