Lady Cats not satisfied with effort

Clovis’ Tori Northcutt, left, and Cibola’s Holli Ward hit the floor over a loose ball during the second half of Friday’s game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Clovis defeated Cibola 64-46. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer

Clovis coach Miles Watters’ voice was laced with annoyance.

He produced a laundry list of concerns that included missed layups and poor passing. But what bothered him most was a general lack of effort in the top-ranked Lady Wildcats victory against Cibola 64-46 in a Friday district contest.

“That was a terrible performance by us. We didn’t play with much heart or much effort,” he said.

“You win by 18 points and you’re disappointed,” Watters said. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

Junior point guard Tori Quintana helped pick up the slack for Clovis on a night when the Lady Wildcats struggled to score inside.

Quintana converted all five of her 3-pointers en route to a season-high 15 points as Clovis (21-0, 3-0 district) stayed perfect on the season.

Junior post Aimee Hilburn was mystified by her team’s performance.

“Bottom line, we didn’t play our best game,” she said. “It was one of those days where you just don’t show up.”

Free throws were a curiosity for the typically good free-throw shooting team, where the Lady Cats were just 7 of 18.

“It was bad, very bad,” said Hilburn, who was only 1 of 6 from the free-throw line. However, she did finish with 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, six steals and three blocks.

Meanwhile, Cibola coach Doug Dorame was proud his team didn’t let the game get away in the second half with his team trailing by 17 at halftime against what he believes is the best team in the state.

“I thought we played them pretty even in the second half,” he said.

Seniors Holli Ward and Nikohl Martinez combined for five 3-pointers for the Cougars, who have lived and died by the 3-pointer all year.

Ward, a guard, scored a team-high 12 points and Martinez, a forward, had 11. Senior guard Stefani Vallejos also scored 11. All three had been averaging double-digit points this season.

Despite height advantage for Clovis, which sports 5-11 Hilburn and 5-11 Blackmon, Cibola outrebounded Clovis 32-30.

“I was saddened that we didn’t destroy them inside,” Watters said.

Watters said a possible reason for the off-night could have been coming off district road wins at Hobbs and Sandia.

He said things will be different Tuesday when Clovis hosts Carlsbad.

“I guarantee they’ll give a better effort,” he said.