Clovis-Moriarty boys basketball capsule

CNJ staff

Clovis (18-3) at Moriarty (4-14)
6 p.m. Saturday

Last game: Clovis beat Carlsbad 70-64 on Tuesday. Moriarty beat Artesia 67-64 in overtime on Tuesday.

At stake: The Wildcats are trying to keep sharp after going 3-1 over the first half of district play. The Class 4A Pintos want to continue their recent good play and perhaps spring an upset.

Scouting report: After starting the season 2-11, the Pintos have won two of their last three games and first-year head coach Emmett Hunt credits a greater tenacity on defense with the improvement. Hunt said his team can’t match Clovis’ big men Tigg Bunton (6-8) and Dominique Easterlin (6-4), so the Pintos will try and outrun the Wildcats.
Senior Daniel Pierce averages 20 points a game to lead the Pintos, while Josh Weiss comes off the bench to score 10.
Clovis coach J.D. Isler said he’s concerned about his team’s perimeter defense, which has allowed 17 3-pointers in the past two games. Isler said the Cats will extend the defense and play tighter on perimeter shooters in preparation for a rematch with Cibola, which is Tuesday at Rock Staubus Gym.

Moriarty players to watch: Daniel Pierce, F, 6-4, Sr; Josh Weiss, G, 6-1, Sr.

Notable: Junior F Jonathan Sweet will not play Saturday after bruising his knee in practice on Wednesday. He was on crutches at practice Thursday … Senior PG Tizrick Phillips will play Saturday after sitting Tuesday’s game at Carlsbad for disciplinary reasons. Isler said the situation is resolved … Clovis dropped to third in the Albuquerque Journal Class 5A coaches poll after losing to Cibola.

Quotable: “There’s a point that you’re comfortable they’re not going to shoot, but the past two games we’ve had teams that have shot it and made it anyway.” — Isler on teams making 17 3-pointers in the past two games.

By the numbers: Dominique Easterlin’s 25 points against Carlsbad were a season-high. Isler said coaches have wanted Easterlin to be more aggressive on offense and take more shots.

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer John Eisel