CHS teams split at Alamogordo

CNJ STAFF

ALAMOGORDO — Senior Darren Prentice scored 27 points on Saturday night and the Alamogordo Tigers ended the game on a 5-0 run to nip the Clovis High Wildcats 77-72.

Senior Justin Pinckney led the Cats (15-3) with 24 points, while junior Dominique Easterlin added 14 before fouling out on a blocking foul with 3:45 left in the game. Dominique Shells added 18 points — 15 in the first half — and Will Bynum scored 13 for Alamogordo (12-4).

Clovis stayed in the hunt by converting 27-of-30 free throws, including 8-for-8 by Pinckney, 6-for-6 by Elliott Hita and 5-for-6 by Easterlin.

Down by nine with less than two minutes left, the Cats put together a 9-0 run capped by John Props’ two free throws to tie the score 72-72 with 50 seconds remaining. But Alamo’s Will Bynum put the Tigers in front for good five seconds later with a pair of free throws.

Prentice, who on Friday committed verbally to play college basketball at the University of New Mexico, iced the game by driving for a basket with 25 seconds left.

Clovis coach J.D. Isler questioned the disqualifying foul on Easterlin, coming with the Tigers leading by three points. He thought his player was in position for the charge.

“That was a big play,” he said. “But the kids showed a lot of heart. We hit some big shots down the stretch.

“They’re (Tigers) a good team, but they got the bounces tonight. Nothing seemed to go our way at the end.”

The Cats erased a pair of two-point deficits at the start, going up 9-4 on a seven-point run capped by an Easterlin 3-pointer with 3 1/2 minutes gone. Clovis led by seven late in the quarter and did not trail again until Alamo’s Dominique Shells knocked down a 3-pointer for a 31-29 Tigers lead with 3:35 left in the half.

CHS’ Bud Willis tied the score by hitting two free throws with 50 seconds to go, but Prentice’s basket from just inside the 3-point line as time expired put the Tigers in front 40-38 at the intermission.

Alamo didn’t relinquished the lead after that until the Cats’ late surge. Clovis got within two points several times, but with the score 61-59 the Tigers took off on an 11-4 run and seemingly had control of the game.

Willis then made 1-of-2 free throws, with Zac Watters grabbing the missed second shot and Pinckney eventually knocking down the first of his 3-pointers to make it 62-57.
After the Tigers missed two free throws, Pinckney followed with his second 3-pointer. Clovis then forced a turnover, with Props fouled on a drive to the basket to set the stage for his tying free throws.

Clovis shot just 31 percent in the first half, but warmed up with 13-of-24 second-half shooting to finish 21-of-50 overall (42 percent). Alamogordo shot 46 percent for the game on 26-of-57.

Alamogordo 77, Clovis 72
Clovis (15-3) —
Bud Willis 3 3-4 9, Tizrick Phillips 1 1-2 3, Zac Watters 1 2-2 4, Elliott Hita 1 6-6 8, John Props 0 2-2 2, Justin Pinckney 7 8-8 24, Dominique Easterlin 4 5-6 14, Mario Caswell 4 0-0 8. Totals 21 27-30 72.
Alamogordo (13-4) — Anthony Leon 1 0-2 2, Javier Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, John Gilliland 2 0-0 4, Richard Gutierrez 2 0-0 5, Dominique Shells 8 1-2 18, Darren Prentice 9 7-8 25, Tyrell Jordan 1 0-0 2, Josh Manning 3 0-0 6, Shawn Porter 1 0-2 2, Will Bynum 3 5-7 13. Totals 30 13-21 77.
Clovis 17 21 16 18 — 72
Alamogordo 14 26 14 23 — 77
3-pointers — Clovis, Pinckney 2, Easterlin. Alamogordo, Bynum 2, J. Gutierrez, Shells.

Lady Cats triumph
Senior Monique Walker scored 17 points and sophomore Brittany Blackman added 16, leading the Lady Wildcats to an easy 64-30 win over Alamagordo in their final tuneup before the start of District 4-5A action.

Also in double figures for Clovis (16-2) were sophomores Aimee Hilburn and Tori Quintana, each with 11 points. Those four players had all of the Lady Cats’ points until the final seconds of the third period, when freshman Tori Northcutt followed up 3-pointers by Hilburn and Quintana with one of her own, capping an 11-0 run that made it 50-24 with one quarter to go.

“I’m pleased that we came out and had a big third quarter again,” CHS girls coach Miles Watters said. “It’s a good tendency to develop.

“We weren’t as sharp as we normally are, but I was pleased to travel this far and pick up a win.”

Fallon Thomas led the Lady Tigers (8-7) with 10 points.
Walker’s 3-point play in the closing seconds pushed Clovis in front 18-6 at the quarter, and the Lady Cats ran off the first eight points of the second period — the last six by Walker — for an 20-point cushion. CHS led 33-14 at halftime.

Thomas hit a 3-point shot when play resumed, and the Lady Tigers got as close as 15 points twice before the Lady Cats pulled away for good in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the third quarter.

Clovis 64, Alamogordo 30
Clovis (16-2) —
Tori Quintana 4 0-0 11, Melissa Roberts 0 0-0 0, Brittany Blackmon 8 0-2 16, Monique Walker 5 7-7 17, Tori Northcutt 1 0-0 3, Jessica Russell 2 0-0 4, Jessica Hohn 0 0-0 0, Aimee Hilburn 4 2-2 11, Tyisha Brown 1 0-0 2, Vanessa Vaca 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 9-11 64.
Alamogordo (8-7) — Jamie Sayen 1 0-0 2, Fallon Thomas 3 3-6 10, Kenisha Bowman 2 2-4 6, Ashley Badey 1 2-2 4, Suzanne Hinkle 0 0-0 0, Melissas Arnold 0 0-0 0, Brittany Frickey 0 2-2 2, Kayla Paul 3 0-0 6. Totals 10 9-14 30.
Clovis 18 15 17 14 — 64
Alamogordo 6 8 10 6 — 30
3-pointers — Clovis, Quintana 3, Hilburn, Northcutt. Alamogordo, Thomas. JV score — Clovis 58, Alamogordo 30.