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

Clovis boys win season opener

Take control in second half to beat Canyon

 

December 5, 2018



CANYON, Texas – A season opener doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it ends with a victory.

By Clovis boys basketball head coach Jaden Isler’s own admission, Tuesday night’s season opener on the road against Canyon High School was not a work of art. The Wildcats are still piecing things together, finding their way. But they did get that victory, rallying to beat Canyon 54-46 to start the season off right.

1-0 is 1-0.

“You gotta grind out wins at the beginning of the season,” Isler said. “These are the games that early in the season aren’t going to be pretty … You’ve got to find a way to win games. … This is what we’re going to have to do for a while until we can get comfortable.”

Clovis trailed 11-8 after one quarter, 26-23 at halftime. But the Wildcats took control in the second half, outscoring the Eagles 14-6 in the third quarter and 17-14 in the fourth to notch the victory.

“We hung together and found a way to get it done,” Isler said. “And we really did it by committee.”

Clovis’ Anthony Gutierrez led all scorers with 12 points. Jacob Moon added 11 for the Wildcats and Josiah Lombrana chipped in with eight. Lombrana, Gutierrez and Dominick Urioste each hit three-pointers for Clovis.

Early rust and all, the Wildcats took that first critical step into their season.

“It felt good,” Isler said. “You just don’t know where you’re at until you get some live action. We didn’t have a great game, but we defended well all night. … We really did a good job, aside from putting them at the line a little bit.”

Clovis’ defense didn’t allow any Canyon players to score in double figures, and also held the Eagles to just those six points in the third quarter.

The Wildcats will visit Cleveland on Friday before playing their first home game of the season on Saturday against former District 2-6A rival La Cueva. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. tip-offs.

And both should be challenging, especially the one in Cleveland.

“I think they’re the No. 1 team in our classification,” Isler said, “so we’ll have a tough one there.”

 

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