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

Lady Cats' man-to-man defense stymies Loboettes

 


Clovis senior Monique Walker is fouled by Levelland’s Nicole Jones as she releases as shot during the second quarter of Tuesday’s game against Levelland at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. CNJ photo by Eric Kluth.

Clovis coach Miles Watters thought it was going to take his team a year to grasp the intricacies of playing man-to-man defense.

He might have to adjust the time line after the way the Lady Wildcats manhandled Levelland, Texas, in a 57-34 win on Tuesday at Rock Staubus Gym.

Brittany Blackmon led a balanced attack with 11 points and Aimee Hilburn added 10 as the Lady Wildcats (5-0) remained unbeaten.

How good was Clovis on defense?

The Lady Wildcats held the Loboettes scoreless from more than 11 minutes in the second half while stretching a four-point halftime lead to 49-26 with a little more than three minutes left in the game.

“We played great defense in the second half,” Watters said. “A lot of it was our posts. They came out and bumped the screeners and just played a lot more physical. And the guards did a good job of rotating.

“I was really nervous before the game because Levelland is so fundamentally sound, and I didn’t know if we were sound enough on defense to handle them,” Watters said. “If they get ahead of you they can milk the clock.”

The Loboettes (7-4) came into the game with momentum after winning their own tournament over the weekend, but got flustered in the second half, Levelland coach Terri White said.

“We got some good looks, but we had a couple bounce out and we got our heads down a little bit. We’ve got to learn to play through things like that.”

Kayla Gertesberger led the Loboettes with 13 points, including eight points in the final three minutes of the game.

“We talked about Clovis’ pressure defense, but we didn’t do a very good job of creating passing lanes and they didn’t give us any second shots,” White said.

Clovis took the lead for good with an 11-2 run midway through the second quarter.

Senior post Monqiue Walker and sophomore point guard Tori Quintana sparked the spurt. Walker worked the offensive boards for six points and Quintana hit the first of her two 3-pointers.

Levelland, which had success isolating its posts out of its motion offense, closed to within 28-24 at the halftime behind the play of 6-foot sophomore Erin Methvin and Chelsea Brashear, who combined for 13 points in the opening two quarters.

“We had a chance to blow them out in the first half, but we missed some easy shots and we got a little hesitant,” said Watters, who called an early timeout to refocus his team. “I told them that things happen, but if we play good defense we can ride it out.”

Blackmon and Hilburn shouldered the scoring load for Clovis early in the second half, combining for the Lady Wildcats’ first 12 points before Quintana rained in a long 3-pointer to put Clovis up 43-26 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.

 
 

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