Clovis sophomore Aimee Hilburn goes hard to the hold during Tuesday’s game in Hereford. Hilburn finished with five points. Photo by Rick White
By Rick White
HEREFORD — There have been two constants this season for the Clovis Lady Wildcats.
Sophomore point guard Tori Quintana is carrying the offense with her 3-point shooting and the Lady Wildcats are playing good defense.
Quintana hit four of her five 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 19 points and the Lady Wildcats played suffocating defense down the stretch Tuesday en route to a 49-34 win over Hereford.
Energetic sophomore Brittany Blackmon added 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Lady Wildcats improved to 2-0.
Senior post Carlie Henson supplied most of the offense for Hereford (2-1), snaking her way in and around the lane for 18 points.
With four new starters, Clovis looks about as comfortable on offense as Snoop Dog dancing a polka. But the offense will come, Clovis coach Miles Watters said.
“They did a good job of doubling our posts and we couldn’t hit any outside shots,” Watters said. “Tori started to hit a few shots in the second half and that kind of loosened them up.”
‘We have a lot of tools. I just have to figure out how to use them,” Watters said.
Watters thinks the Lady Wildcats are pressing on offense, especially sophomore 5-foot-11 sophomore standout Aimee Hilburn, who is making the transition from post to wing.
“We’ve got her playing in a different spot,” he said. “She does so many things well; passing, rebounding. She’s got a great all-around game. The scoring will come.”
Hilburn finished with five points, including a three-point play off a steal by Roxanne Luera that gave Clovis a 42-33 lead with three minutes left after Hereford had sliced a double-digit lead in half.
“I finally got one to go,” said Hilburn, who missed a couple of bunnies earlier.
“We just have to slow things down,” Hilburn said of the Lady Wildcats’ schizophrenic offensive play. “Especially me.”
Luera was a defensive catalyst for the Lady Wildcats, deflecting at least a half-dozen Hereford passes as Clovis picked up the pressure as the second half wore on.
“I haven’t done a good job on defense lately,” Luera said. “I finally got my hands on a few balls.”
Watters called a timeout midway through the third quarter and challenged his team.
“I told them that I don’t care if we win or lose the game, we’re going to learn how to play man-to-man defense.
“And the good thing was that we got tougher as the game wore on.”
The Lady Wildcats held Hereford to a point over the final 3:41 of the game.
After a frantic first quarter, Clovis took the lead for good at 15-13 on Hilburn’s free-throw jumper. Monqiue Walker’s fastbreak bucket on a feed from Quintana and Blackmon’s two-footer made it 19-13 with 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.
But Clovis got sloppy with the ball, allowing Hereford to creep within 20-17 at halftime.