Clovis captures 5A title

Marichia Floyd hugs teammate Aimee Hilburn as Clovis celebrates a49-46 win over Mayfield in the Class 5A championship Saturday at The Pit in Albuquerque. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Eric Butler: CNJ Correspondent

ALBUQUERQUE — More than four months of hard work and sacrifice and a year’s worth of frustration exploded into a wild post-game celebration when the last of three Mayfield 3-point attempts fell short

The Clovis Lady Wildcats had won the coveted Class 5A state title, outlasting Mayfield 49-46 Saturday at The Pit in an epic battle of unbeaten teams.

Some of the Clovis girls basketball players admitted the postgame celebration was a bit of a blur.

“I don’t remember,” said Clovis junior Brittany Blackmon, less than an hour after Clovis avenged a 57-49 loss to Mayfield in last year’s state title game. “I just know it was great. I’m loving it.”

Clovis players rushed onto the court as soon as the buzzer at the legendary Pit trumpeted in a new champion.

“I think I tackled Aimee (Hilburn) and hurt her for awhile there. When she was down on the ground and started crying from excitement, I thought I had hurt her,” Clovis senior Melissa Roberts said. “We were just praying the whole time there, holding hands. When the clock finally ran out, we all just hugged and hugged.”

Before the Clovis players could meet with family and friends in the parking lot, the Lady Wildcats faced the press.

During a 10-minute question-and-answer session, neither sophomore Tori Northcutt nor junior Tori Quintana could stop their legs from bouncing up-and-down from bottled up adrenaline.

“It’s so exciting. We were just ecstatic, we couldn’t sit still,” Northcutt said. “Our emotions were so high. We wanted to cry, but it was like we couldn’t.”

In the parking lot, Northcutt received hugs from family and friends as well as an unexpected one from Mayfield’s Madison Spence — Northcutt had accidentally bloodied Spence’s nose late in the game with her elbow.

“You know what, it’s a rivalry, but you have to get along,” Northcutt said. “You can’t just go at each other all the time.”