ALBUQUERQUE — Senior point guard Roman Andrade and the Cibola Cougars shot themselves back into the District 4-5A race.
Andrade scored 25 points and Cibola hit 11 3-pointers Friday as the Cougars beat Clovis 73-55.
The Cougars, ranked third in thr Albuquerque Journal Coaches’ Poll, used a dominating third quarter to put Clovis away. Leading by five at halftime, Cibola outscored Clovis 27-14 in the period.
“It was all their guards shooting,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said, pointing out Andrade, Derek Apodaca and Jeff Apodaca. “They just shot the lights.”
Isler said his team had trouble breaking through the Cibola screens, allowing the Cougars (16-3, 1-2) to get open shots.
“I don’t fault our kids’ effort tonight,” Isler said. “We just didn’t play well enough on defense.
“You can’t give up 73 points.”
Clovis (17-3, 3-1) chopped the lead down to eight points in the fourth quarter but a final spurt of 3-pointers and late free throws helped Cibola hold on.
Senior post Tigg Bunton led Clovis with 22 points.
Cibola coach Ray Rodriguez said this game was a must-win for his team, which had lost its first two conference games, to Hobbs and Sandia.
On the flip-side, the Wildcats could have taken a big lead in the district race. However, Isler said he didn’t expect to run away with the district, which the coaches in the district believe is the toughest in the district.
“We knew it was going to be along district race,” Isler said. “You can’t get too low on one district loss and you can’t get too high on one district win.”
Cibola still has to come to Clovis.
“We’ll be ready when they come to our place.”