Clovis’ Dominique Easterlin tries to save the ball from going out-of-bounds over Pampa’s Clayton Hall during the first half of Saturday’s game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Clovis won 60-53 to move to 6-0 on the season. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)
Despite a sluggish performance overall, the Clovis Wildcats were clutch at the end, hitting all six free throw attempts in the final two minutes of the game in a 60-53 win over Pampa.
Tizrick Phillips led the Cats (6-0) with 16 points, including two 3-pointers in the second quarter, when Clovis turned a 16-10 first quarter deficit into a 25-23 halftime lead.
Senior guard Jacob Jones came off the bench to score seven points and provide good defense.
“Those two kids picked it up for us a bit,” Isler said.
Fouls hit Clovis especially hard in the post position, where Dominique Easterlin and Tigg Bunton each had three fouls before halftime.
“The foul situation kind of snowballed on us,” Isler said.
Bunton still ended up with 15 points.
Fouls and free throws littered the game, as the two teams combined to hit 43 of 57 shots from the charity stripe, including 27 of 36 for Pampa.
“Their free throws really kept them in the game,” Isler said.
Not only did the free throws give the Harvesters points, they also gave them a chance to rest. That extra rest allowed Pampa to stay fresh and better deal with Clovis’ up-tempo style.
“They didn’t get tired like they normally would,” Isler said.
Braden Barker scored 12 and Sharod Young 11 for Pampa.
Pampa’s 53 points were 13 more than Clovis had been giving up through the first five games and Isler wasn’t happy about it.
“That’s too many points for us to be giving up,” he said.
Isler said though the effort was there, his team never got into the rhythm, something that has to change in the future.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors on the team, and we have to step up our level of play,” he said.