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

By Peter Stein
Staff writer 

Clovis teams set to start district play


January 27, 2019

CLOVIS — Though it may seem like high school basketball practice just started, it’s district time already.

The games have counted for two months, but now is when they start counting even more, meaning even more.

Clovis’ boys basketball team will open District 4-5A play at home, when Carlsbad visits Rock Staubus Gymnasium on Tuesday, tipping off at 7 p.m.

The Clovis girls make their district debut at Carlsbad, also at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

It’s huge for both teams, but perhaps even more so for the Lady Wildcats, whose state-tournament hopes are riding on a successful district run.

“Yeah, it’s here,” Clovis girls coach Jeff Reed said of the all-important district slate. “And the sad thing is, Carlsbad beat Artesia by almost 50 in one game and beat Artesia another time they played by almost 30.”

And by more than 20 the time after that. And Clovis lost to Artesia by seven last Tuesday, which is the cause for Reed’s concern. “It’s not a good sign for us,” he said.

Carlsbad entered the weekend’s action at 16-2 and on an 11-game winning streak, including those two blowout victories over Artesia and a double-digit win over defending state 4A champ Portales.

The Cavegirls also have length, including four players on their roster that are at least 5-10 — freshman center Jaelee Bourque (5-10), freshman forward Morgan Boatwright (5-11), junior center Kaliyah Montoya (6-0) and senior center Jordan Boatwright (6-1).

And then there’s Carsyn Boswell, who’s 5-9, has been playing varsity since eighth grade and committed last October to Division I Idaho State.

“They’re big,” Reed said. “Their guard (Boswell) is as big as our post. ... They’re good. ... They’re just fundamentally sound. They get real big in the 2-3 zone and it’s very difficult to score against them. They don’t turn the ball over. They shoot the ball well. ... They will press if they think they can press you, so they’ll probably try to press us. We’ve got to be able to handle the pressure.

“We’ll go to the drawing board and see what we can do.”

Rock steady?

When the Clovis boys begin district play Tuesday at the friendly confines of the Rock, they will do so with a winning record, coming in at 14-6 following this past week’s home victories over Goddard and Artesia.

The Wildcats will stay home for this week, too, with Hobbs due in Friday after Carlsbad visits Tuesday. Big games indeed, a big district stretch.

“It’s going to be a wild one, man. Everybody’s playing pretty good right now,” Clovis boys coach Jaden Isler said. “Hobbs is playing good ... Roswell High’s playing good. ... All of our records are very, very similar. So I think everybody’s pretty evenly matched. Last week three of the four (district) teams were in the (state) top ten and right next to each other. ... So I think we’re pretty similar teams. All those teams I think could beat a lot of people in the state, and also if you don’t play well, you could lose games. So I think our district’s going to be a battle.”

But first up is Carlsbad Tuesday night.

“We saw them this summer,” Isler said. “Carlsbad is a really good team.”

A team that’s battled injuries, according to Isler, playing above the 11-7 mark they had posted heading into this past weekend’s games.

“That’s not a tell of what they really are when they’re at full strength,” Isler said. “So, they’re dangerous, they’re dangerous. And we have to take every game like that because all those teams in our district are going to be right with each other and they’re going to be pretty similar talent-wise. So you’ve got to play good every night in our district. You’re not going to be able to take a night off.”


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