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

By Peter Stein
Staff writer 

Tournament hopes high

 

February 20, 2019

Kevin Wilson

Clovis guard Annabelle Martinez drives through a pair of Roswell defenders during their matchup earlier this month at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. The Clovis girls can get a home tournament game with a win Friday at Roswell.

CLOVIS - Think you've seen the last of Clovis' girls basketball team at Rock Staubus Gymnasium?

Think the Lady Wildcats will fall short of a state tournament appearance?

Think again. At least according to Clovis head coach Jeff Reed.

Friday night at the Rock, there was a ceremony honoring seniors Tajvionna Johnson, Antanishwa Molett and Kaydee Weaver on the occasion of their last home game. The Lady 'Cats went on to lose that game to Hobbs - MaxPreps' second-ranked 5A team in the state - dropping to 8-17 overall, 1-4 in District 4-5A.

Still, Reed thought it likely that the occasion was actually the seniors' last regular-season home game, not last home game, period. A win over Roswell this coming Friday could well mean the Lady Wildcats will be home again for a first-round district tournament game against the same Roswell team four days later.

And though it's unlikely they could host a state playoff game, Reed thinks they might at least take part in the tournament.

So Reed was looking forward to quite a bit after his team's 47-41 loss to Hobbs last Friday.

"There's still plenty to play for this year," he said. "We've got to go beat Roswell at Roswell because if we don't, we're having to go to Roswell for the district tournament first-round game. And we don't want to go there (again). So if we beat Roswell at Roswell, they'd have to come here that next Tuesday. If we beat them (in the first-round game), we'd get to go to Carlsbad (for the next round)."

Clovis should be able to beat Roswell in Friday night's 7 p.m. regular-season finale at Roswell High. The Lady Wildcats took their home matchup with the Lady Coyotes, 45-32, on Feb. 8. And as of now, Roswell has still yet to win a district game in five tries, while posting an overall 6-18 record.

But Reed knows his team must avoid the trap of overconfidence.

"I told our girls that we can't be lackadaisical, feeling all great and whatever after playing this close against Hobbs," Reed said. "We've got to get focused, get ready. We've got to go beat Roswell."

That would be the first step. The second step would be winning the rematch against Roswell at Staubus Gym on Feb. 26.

Next up would be a road trip to Carlsbad later in the week. Despite going 0-2 against the Cavegirls this season, Reed thinks his team could topple them in a district game.

"We can beat somebody like Carlsbad if we put it all together," Reed said. "I said (to the players), 'Consistency, guys. We've done some things good, but if we could be consistent, put it together, we could beat anybody like that. And if we do that, beat Carlsbad, we could be in the district championship with Hobbs.'"

And if they do that?

"Maybe we proved enough to be able to get into the state tournament," Reed said. "So there's still a ton to play for this year and hopefully, the consistency will come. If we can start putting it all together, make that run at the right time, anything can happen."

 
 

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