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Clovis basketball capsules - Feb. 17


February 17, 2018

Clovis girls (15-10, 6-3) at La Cueva (13-10, 6-3)

6:30 p.m. today, La Cueva High School, Albuquerque

Last time out: In their last regular-season home game against Sandia Tuesday night, the Lady Wildcats opened the first quarter on a 6-0 run and the second quarter with an 8-1 spurt, building a 20-10 lead. Yet they found themselves tied 22-all early in the third quarter and had to embark on another 8-1 run to construct a 30-23 lead, then stayed in control from there, going on to win 51-39 and clinch at least third place in District 2-6A.

La Cueva had a dandy against first-place Eldorado on the road Tuesday, going to overtime before losing 58-54.

Last meeting: Jan. 30, Clovis 46-38.

The lowdown: Both teams are tied at 6-3 behind undefeated Eldorado, who at 9-0 has first place sewn up. The second-place team will be whoever finishes 7-3, and third will be whoever finishes 6-4.

The teams' last matchup in late January was kind of wild, with each staging its own big run in the first half, the game getting close in the second half, and then Clovis finally gaining some separation toward the end.

One thing that was constant throughout — La Cueva's defense that harangued Clovis ball handlers all night. It seemed for a while that on almost every play, the Lady 'Cats were fighting not to lose the dribble against La Cueva defenders, or they were having trouble inbounding the ball in the first place.

They found enough ways to beat that pressure, though, including a couple of touchdown bombs from Brittni Chavez to Teya Morris, who worked herself wide open near midcourt while La Cueva players swarmed close to Clovis' end.

Expect more defensive pressure, more big shots and a good one to end the regular season. The Lady Wildcats hope it's a game that ends with them as a 7-3 second-place, second-seeded district team.

La Cueva (15-8, 6-3) at Clovis boys (8-16, 0-9)

6:30 p.m. today, Rock Staubus Gymnasium

Last time out: The Wildcats were hoping to get one on the road, visiting Sandia in Albuquerque Tuesday night. But, it was 21-14 Sandia after the first period, and the Matadors led after every other quarter, too, including the final one, 63-51.

La Cueva — despite playing the state's top-ranked 6A team, Eldorado, on the road Tuesday — rallied to make a game of it, so much so that some of the highlights made it onto Albuquerque's NBC affiliate sportscast that night. It was 13-5 Eldorado after one, but only a 23-20 Eagles lead by halftime, and a tie game (42-all) by the third quarter's end. Eldorado, though, dominated the fourth and won 67-57.

Last meeting: Jan. 30. Clovis was in it for quite awhile at La Cueva High, actually leading 18-17 after the first quarter and 33-28 by halftime.

But, the Bears poured in 27 third-quarter points while holding the Wildcats to 15, allowing themselves to carry a 55-48 lead into the fourth. And in that period, La Cueva's momentum continued. In all, the Bears outscored the Wildcats 46-26 during the second half, resulting in a 74-59 La Cueva win.

The lowdown: Tonight will bring about some 'lasts' for the Clovis boys basketball team, but could also bring some 'firsts', too.

It will be the Wildcats' last home game, their last regular-season game.

But, they also have a chance for their first district win, their first overall win since Jan. 9, and their first home victory of 2018. They haven't won at Rock Staubus Gym since defeating Belen 64-61 in their Dec. 30 holiday tournament championship game.

For La Cueva there is more on the line. The Bears are still vying for the No. 2 seed in next week's district tournament. Manzano's 'magic number' for the seed is 1, needing either a win or a La Cueva loss to earn that second seed. Manzano and La Cueva split their head-to-head meetings during the regular season, but the Monarchs win the point-differential tiebreaker, having lost 70-65 (-5) and won 82-76 (+6).

The Wildcats are the No. 6 seed regardless, but can factor into which team they visit in next week's first round — La Cueva or Manzano — or in other words, which direction the bus goes once it gets to Albuquerque.


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