Lady Cats find home court big advantage
Clovis senior Monique Walker battles Ty Como of Hobbs (front) for a rebound during Monday's playoff game at The Rock. CNJ photo by Rick White.
Clovis coach Miles Watters was in the middle of a timeout when he noticed the eyes of his players start drifting away from him and toward the court.
Behind him, Clovis fan Suzanne Estes was running up and down the Clovis sideline, waving a big purple Wildcat flag.
“It was funny,” Watters said. “I didn’t see it but I knew something was going on.”
Estes is a family friend of sophomore forward Aimee Hilburn.
“She’s great,” Hilburn said. “It’s just great the way she supports the team.”
Estes said she was tired of Hobbs fans intimidating Clovis.
“I just wanted to let Hobbs people know we support our team, too,” Estes said.
Later, when the crowd started chanting “we’re No. 1, we’re No. 1” as Clovis was wrapping up Monday’s hard-fought 43-35 win over Hobbs in a playoff game for the top seed in the District 4-5 tournament, Watters acknowledged the crowd.
“The two times we played Hobbs there’s been plenty of people at the game and they’ve been really vocal,” Watters said. “That’s something we haven’t seen for two years.
“I imagine it’s got to be pretty intimidating coming in here to play now.”
Clovis could play Hobbs a third time in eight days depending on tonight’s district semifinal game between Eldorado and the Lady Eagles in Hobbs.
The winner plays at Clovis in Saturday’s district championship game.
In uncharacteristically unabashed honesty for coaches, Watters said he not only expects but prefers to play Hobbs, which handed the Lady Wildcats (24-3) their only loss in their last 19 games.
“I’m not thinking about anybody but Hobbs,” Watters said. “They’re just too strong and physical inside for (Eldorado.)”
Watters said if Eldorado (17-6) wins, the Lady Cats won’t have to adjust much.
“We still have to defend good posts and stay in front of their guards.”
Clovis sophomore Brittany Blackmon said the crowds, which routinely include a personal cheering section that includes her mom and dad, have been great.
“We really like it when the fans come out and support show their support like that,” Blackmon said.
Saturday night, Hobbs or Eldorado would likely beg to differ after getting an earful of Lady Wildcats supporters.
Eldorado (17-6) at Hobbs (19-8), 5 p.m.
Eldorado-Hobbs winner at Clovis (24-3), 7:30 p.m.