Lady Cats fall short in 2 OTs
Hobbs’ Ty Como tries to block Clovis senior Jessica Hohn’s shot during Tuesday’s game at Tasker Arena. Hobbs News-Sun photo by Kimberly Ryan.
HOBBS — As they do after every home game, the Hobbs girls basketball team players invited Clovis on Tuesday into a postgame huddle where the participants all hold hands and say a short prayer.
It may be the toughest thing the Lady Wildcats have to do all year long.
Once concluded, the victorious Lady Eagles — having just survived a 46-44 double-overtime win — broke into celebration and the Clovis players broke into tears.
Hobbs (16-6, 4-0 in 4-5A) extended a recent streak of close victories over the Lady Cats to seven straight when senior Jessica Nelson tossed in a rebound of her own shot as the buzzer sounded to end the second extra period.
Nelson had missed an attempt with seven seconds remaining, but won a physical scramble for the ball.
Falling to the floor, she heaved up the game-winner — which banked in for the win.
“They’ve got a good club, I’m telling you right now,” said Hobbs coach Johnny Casaus, a Clovis assistant for 10 years. “I’m not taking anything away from them. We just fought and we were lucky to come out with a victory.”
Clovis (19-3, 3-1) had two chances to break a 38-38 tie at the end of the first overtime. But two of the players most instrumental in leading the team down the stretch, Monique Walker and Melissa Roberts, each missed free throws in the last minute — Roberts’ coming with only a second remaining.
Walker scored Clovis’ four points in the first overtime, while Roberts swiped the ball from the Eagles as Hobbs tried to break a 34-34 tie at the end of regulation.
“I felt like the kids left it all on the floor and really played hard,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said. “We had a lot of easy shots and free throws we didn’t make — and that came back to haunt us.”
Tori Quintana, who scored nine of her team’s first 11 points, led the Lady Cats with 14 while Brittany Blackmon and Walker added 11 and 10, respectively. Blackmon fouled out with 5:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.
A low-scoring first quarter, which ended with Hobbs leading 10-8, set the pace for the game.
The Lady Cats appeared to take command after reeling off 11 straight points at the end of the second quarter to turn an 18-11 deficit into a 22-18 halftime lead. But they were unable to extend the lead any wider that six points in the third quarter.
In the fourth period, Hobbs trimmed the deficit to one after starting the quarter with a 6-1 run. Clovis attempted to freeze the ball with 4:30 remaining — an attempt that ended when the Lady Eagles stole a pass with two minutes to go. Hobbs’ Ashley Jackson then hit one free throw with 1:05 left to give the Lady Eagles their first tie since the second period.
“We had some good chances and, in a double-overtime, you usually get those chances,” Watters said. “We just didn’t get it done.”
Hobbs 46, Clovis 44
Clovis (19-3, 3-1) — Tori Quintana 5 0-0 14, Brittany Blackmon 5 1-2 11, Monique Walker 4 2-5 10, Aimee Hilburn 2 1-1 5, Tori Northcutt 0 2-2 2, Melissa Roberts 1 0-1 2. Totals 17 6-11 44.
Hobbs (16-6, 4-0) — Jessica Nelson 6 6-8 21, Ty Como 51-2 11, Lezlie Varner 1 2-4 4, Emily Holmes 1 1-2 3, Ashley Jackson 1 1-2 3, Chantelle Hinojos 1 0-0 2, Blanca Rojo 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 11-18 46.
Clovis 8 14 11 1 4 6 — 44
Hobbs 10 8 9 7 4 8 — 46
3-pointers — Clovis, Quintana 4. Hobbs, Nelson 3. Total fouls — clovis 16, Hobbs 17. Fouled out — Blackmon, Varner. JV score — Hobbs 45, Clovis 37.