Hobbs eliminates Wildcats in OT

Clovis senior Bud Willis finished with 22 points in Friday’s 96-90 overtime loss at Hobbs. Photo courtesy of the Hobbs News-Sun.

CNJ staff

HOBBS — Ervin Youmans scored 26 points and substitute Matt Davis had a back-breaking three-point play late in overtime as Hobbs outlasted foul-plagued Clovis 96-90 in the semifinals of the District 4-5A boys basketball tournament Friday at Ralph Tasker Arena.

Justin Pinckney and Bud Willis scored 22 points each for Clovis, which will miss the state playoffs for the first time in five years.

With six players fouling out in the fourth quarter and overtime, Clovis (21-7) was down to five eligible players by the time the game ended.

“We’ve got some pretty good depth, but when you’re down to five (players) it’s pretty tough,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “Our effort was really geat tonight. Our character was good because we could’ve quit a couple of times.

“I know we’re one of the top five teams in (Class 5A); I’ve known it all year. But that’s why they play the playoffs.”

Willis sent the game into overtime tied at 84 by hitting a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation time.

Clovis scored the first four points of overtime, but Hobbs answered with a 7-0 run, including Jesse Nelson’s three-point play that put Hobbs for good at 89-88 with two minutes left.

After a pair of Jacob Jones free throws cut the Hobbs lead to one, Davis’ basket in the paint and subsequent free throw made it 94-90 with 35 seconds left. Youmans added a pair of insurance free throws in the final seconds.

The Wildcats, who led by 10 points late in the third quarter, were undone by uncharacteristically poor free throw shooting.

Clovis was able to convert only 23-of-49 free throws.

Unofficially, the teams combined for a state record 114 free throws.

Hobbs (22-5) plays at top-seeded Eldorado Saturday in the tournament title game. Both teams advance to next week’s state playoffs.

“It’s going to be difficult (traveling to Eldorado),” Hobbs coach Russ Gilmore said. “We played our hearts out tonight.

“Both teams laid it on the line and showed heart and character tonight. Both teams got after it defensively.”

District 4-5A
Semifinals
Hobbs 96, Clovis 90
Clovis (21-7) —
Bud Willis 8-18 4-4 22, Tizrick Phillips 3-5 0-3 8, Zac Watters 0-3 1-5 1, Jacob Jones 1-1 2-2 4, Elliott Hita 6-10 2-6 14, John Props 0-1 0-0 0, Justin Pinckney 7-20 7-13 22, Dustin Sweet 0-0 0-0 0, Dominique Easterlin 1-2 2-4 4, Mario Caswell 5-7 5-10 15, Jeff Epps 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 31-68 23-49 90.
Hobbs (22-5) — Jesse Nelson 1 1-4 3, Daniel Ramos 0 0-0 0, Benny Baeza 4 16-22 24, Ervin Youmans 9 7-10 27, Mike Floyd 5 5-10 17, DeShawn Sanders 0 0-2 0, Rob Clarke 2 3-6 7, Jesse Molina 0 0-0 0, B.J. Meredith 3 1-3 7, Phillip Wheat 1 1-1 3, Duncan Fabri 1 0-4 2, Matt Davis 2 2-3 6. Totals 28-73 36-65 96.
Clovis 19 13 29 23 6 — 90
Hobbs 20 11 26 27 12 — 96
3-pointers — Clovis 5-16 (Phillips 2-4, Willis 2-6, Pinckney 1-4, Hita 0-1, Props 0-1), Hobbs 4-13 (Floyd 2, Youmans 2). Rebounds — Clovis 46 (Caswell 11), Hobbs 46. Assists — Clovis 16 (Willis 7), Hobbs n/a. Total fouls — Clovis 45, Hobbs 34. Fouled out — Phillips, Watters, Hita, Props, Easterlin, Caswell, Baeza, Clarke, Wheat.