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

By Kevin Wilson

CHS grounds Rockets


January 9, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Clovis guard Annabelle Martinez tries to keep the ball away from Goddard defender Bailey Beene in the second quarter of Saturday's game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.

CLOVIS - The Clovis girls basketball team has largely suffered its 10 losses this season due to offensive lulls where they either can't find easy shots or don't hit them when available.

The Wildcats found plenty of easy shots Saturday, but turned things into a blowout with a few hard ones too.

A rejuvenated third-quarter defense put Goddard off balance, and the Lady Cats never trailed in the second half of Saturday's 59-45 victory at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.

The win snapped a two-game skid for Clovis (5-10), which was due to face Lovington Tuesday night before visiting Trinity Christian Friday.

"It feels pretty good," senior guard Tajvionna Johnson said of the win, which saw Clovis lead by as many as 18 despite an early 7-2 deficit. "We're trying to turn things around and make the playoffs. We need to beat good teams to do it."

Johnson said the renewed defensive effort came after a halftime talk from coach Jeff Reed, who had three simple requests: "Don't surrender, don't give up, no excuses."

The Clovis defense forced turnover after turnover against the visiting Rockets (9-6), and found momentum early in the third not on layups by on back-to-back treys by Annabelle Martinez early in the third.

The second gave Clovis a 29-22 lead, but that would soon balloon to 42-24 on a 21-4 run to open the third quarter.

"When she hit those back to back, that was huge," Reed said. " Scouting them, we felt like we could get them to turn the ball over against our press. It worked, but what also helped was we were able to score. It's amazing what happens when you can score the ball."

Sophomore Mikyla Harkley scored 15 points and Madison Tolbert 11, largely by finding scoring lanes in transition off either steals or long Rocket rebounds.

"We gave up too many transition buckets," Goddard coach Jared Neighbors said. "We're much more comfortable playing in a half-court game, and they got us into a full-court game."

Bailey Beene had a game-high 17 for Goddard (9-5), which recovered to beat Andrews Monda and hosts St. Pius X on Thursday. But she didn't have much help, with nobody else scoring more than seven.


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