Clovis girls go 1-2 at Alamogordo


December 29, 2019

ALAMOGORDO — Things didn’t go well for Clovis High’s girls on Saturday, especially after the first quarter.

Trailing 10-8 after the first stanza, the Lady Wildcats were outscored 35-13 over the next two frames and dropped a 58-28 decision to Los Lunas in the fifth-place game of Alamogordo’s Kiwanis Classic.

Senior guard Yolanda Griego hit five of the Lady Tigers’ 10 3-pointers en route to a game-high 16 points. Los Lunas (7-4) also got 14 points from junior guard Mia Guest and 11 from senior forward-guard Dani Ross.

Meantime, only four players scored for the Lady Cats (5-8), and junior post Hanna Nussbaumer accounted for more than half the team’s total with 15 points.

“The first quarter wasn’t too bad,” CHS girls coach Jeff Reed said. “We actually had the lead at one point. They played kind of a soft press in the first half, but they increased it after that. They hurt us a lot with a halfcourt trap.”

Reed said the Lady Cats simply couldn’t find the basket. They had only 10 field goals in the game and shot just 7-for-18 from the foul line, including 4-of-11 in the first two stanzas.

“If we just make some free throws, and make a couple of other shots, we could’ve been in a fairly close game (at halftime),” Reed said. “When we had opportunities, we didn’t put it in the basket. You’ve got to make shots and keep the pressure on them.”

That said, Reed added that the Lady Tigers are a quality team which should do well in Class 4A this season.

“They have a chance to win the 4A championship,” he said. “They have all kinds of girls who can shoot the ball, and they have size. They’re big and long.”

The Lady Cats now have about 10 days to get ready for their next outing, on Jan. 7 at Lovington.

“Obviously, we’ve got to get better at the mental toughness (part of the game), or we’re going to have this happen a lot,” Reed said.

Clovis 53, Valley Union, Ariz. 12 (Friday, consolation semifinals) — The Lady Cats bounced back from Thursday’s one-point quarterfinal round loss to Valencia, holding the Elfrida, Ariz.-based Lady Blue Devils (5-5) to just three field goals.

Clovis led 14-1 at the quarter and played most of the second half with a running clock.

“The girls bounced back against a not-very-good opponent,” Reed said. “The good thing is we didn’t just come out and feel sorry for ourselves.”

Reed said middle-level New Mexico girls teams do a pretty good job of competing when they face out-of-state competition, although this one was simply a total mismatch.

“New Mexico is more of a basketball state,” he said. “The New Mexico teams can usually hang with people from out-of-state.”

Junior guard Hailey Griego (11 points) and junior post Skyler Jordan (10) led CHS in scoring, and each posted personal bests in that department. A total of nine Lady Cats reached the scoring column.

Only three players scored for Valley Union, led by junior forward Lizet Sonke with six points.

Valencia 37, Clovis 36 (Thursday, quarterfinals) — Clovis got off to a disappointing start in the tourney, losing in the final moments to the Lady Jaguars (3-8).

Valencia took a one-point lead on two free throws with under a minute remaining. Clovis maintained possession under its basket after the ball was knocked out of bounds with six seconds left, but Nussbaumer’s 10-footer was off the mark as time expired.

CHS shot 14-of-15 at the free throw line, including 6-for-6 by both Nussbaumer and junior Danielle Acuna. Meantime, Valencia went 16-for-28 for the game.

The Lady Cats managed just 11 field goals in the contest, including no 3-pointers; Valencia had only nine total baskets from the floor.

“We were in foul trouble all night,” Reed said. “The referees were calling everything we did, and we didn’t adjust to it.”

Clovis had its best quarter in the second, outscoring Valencia 14-9 to edge in front 20-18 at halftime. The game stayed tight the rest of the way.

“We built a four or five-point lead (in the second quarter),” Reed said. “We had a chance to start putting it to them, but we couldn’t put the ball in the basket.”

Nussbaumer led the Lady Cats with 14 points. Junior guard Daesha Garcia scored 13 points for the Lady Jaguars, including the game’s only three 3-point baskets.


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