Lady Cats dominate

Dave Wagner

Suffice it to say, it wasn’t Carlsbad’s night.
The Cavegirls knew they had their work cut out trying to win in Rock Staubus Gym. Then one of their top players, senior forward Monique Rodriguez, did not play for disciplinary reasons, and they lost standout sophomore point guard Katie Hellebust with a knee injury in the first quarter.

Even with those two players it might not have made much difference the way the Clovis Lady Wildcats played.

Clovis pressed the Cavegirls into submission and dominated almost from the get-go, scoring 25 consecutive points after falling behind 3-0 early in a 77-38 District 4-5A blowout as the Lady Wildcats won for the ninth time in 10 games.

The Lady Wildcats led 60-18 before being outscored 20-17 in the final stanza.

Clovis coach Miles Watters said that the injury to Hellebust “was devastating to (the Cavegirls); their two leaders were out. But that’s part of the game. We’re just thankful and blessed that we haven’t had to deal with (major) injuries.”

Hellebust was around long enough to drain a 3-pointer on Carlsbad’s second shot of the game.

“She’s our quarterback and takes care of the ball for us,” Carlsbad coach Steve Garza said. “She kind of wanted to go back in, but we’ll have a doctor look at it when we get back home and go from there.”

By the time her sister, Anne Hellebust, scored the Cavegirls’ next field goal nearly three minutes into the third quarter, Clovis (12-5, 3-0) had a 45-10 bulge. It ended an 0 for 16 streak from the field for Carlsbad, which also committed 23 of its 32 turnovers in the first half.

Watters said he was pleased his team continued to play at a relatively high level, despite the score.

“Everybody did a pretty good job,” Watters said. “I thought we took them completely out of their game.

“We told the kids we can’t worry about what the other team is doing. We have to continue to come out and play hard.”

Clovis faces its toughest district challenge in its next outing on Tuesday when it host Hobbs.

“Right now we’re where we need to be,” Watters said.

“We’ve got a big game next Tuesday, but every game from here on out is big.”

Junior Monique Walker, whose 14 points led a balanced attack – seven players scored at least seven points – said the Lady Cats are ready to take on Hobbs.

“I think they have a strong team,” Walker said. “We’ll have to play the (kind of) defense we know how to play and be able to make shots,” Carlsbad coach Steve Garza was hopeful after the game that Hellebust’s injury was just a strain.

Also in double figures for Clovis, with 10 points each, were junior Jessica Hohn, sophomore Roxanne Luera and freshman Aimee Hilburn, the latter celebrating her 15th birthday.

Anne Hellebust, a junior, finished 7 for 8 from the line and led Carlsbad (12-3, 0-2) with 11 points.