Wildcats romp at home

Clovis sophomore Bryce Hill finished with 7 points and 6 assists in Friday’s 94-62 win over Moriarty. (CNJ staff photo: Rick White)

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

Cody Thornsbury wasn’t quite sure when he last had the kind of game he had on Friday night — maybe fifth or sixth grade.

Suffice it to say, though, it wasn’t quite on this level.

Thornsbury, a left-handed junior guard, knocked down 10-of-12 shots from the field, including all five of his 3-point attempts, as Clovis High’s boys ran away to a 94-62 victory over Moriarty in their home opener at Rock Staubus Gym. Thornsbury finished with 26 points.

Spotting up on the left wing, Thornsbury buried a trio of 3-pointers in an 28-point second quarter that helped the Wildcats (3-2) put the fast-paced game out of reach. Thornsbury scored 11 points in the quarter as Clovis opened a 52-30 halftime lead.

“That’s what we like to do,” Thornsbury said of the up-and-down pace. “Fortunately, I had a good game tonight.”

The Pintos (1-3), playing for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks after having games with Clovis (Class 5A) and Aztec (Class 4A) postponed due to state football championship games, went 3-of-3 from long range in the first quarter before a myriad of turnovers helped take them out of it.

“Our defense was very poor,” Moriarty coach Emmett Hunt said. “We figure if we can score 60-65 points we can beat teams, but you have to hold them in that range, too.”

Sophomore guard Jaden Isler added 17 points for Clovis and junior post Michael Lewis went 7-of-7 from the field and finished with 16 points. Sophomore guard Bryce Hill added 11 points and a team-high six assists for the Wildcats.

The Cats shot 58 percent from the field (37-of-64) against the Pintos, including 8-of-15 from 3-point distance.

“We shot really well tonight,” said CHS coach J.D. Isler, whose team plays at Roswell Goddard tonight. “Cody kind of got us off to a good start.

“We’re capable of being a very good shooting team; I’ve said that all along. It looked like we had our legs under us today.”

Clovis scored the first six points and never relinquished the lead, but Moriarty pulled to 18-16 late in the quarter and trailed just 24-18 at the quarter.

The teams traded points for a while in the second period, but Rishard Matthews’ rebound basket and a 3-pointer by Thornsbury pushed the margin to 13. The lead grew to 24 points late in the half.

It just felt natural tonight,” Thornsbury said. “Our team vibe was good, and everybody was having fun.

“They (teammates) just passed it to me, and I was open. It’s really a team win because everybody contributed.”

Coach Isler admitted he was a little surprised the Pintos tried to push the pace with the Cats.

“I really thought their legs got tired in the second quarter when we made that run on them,” he said. “I thought it was a great way to come out in our first home game. All our kids played with a lot of effort tonight.”

Junior post Daniel Pierce led the Pintos with 20 points. Ben Martinez and Juan Torres added 10 apiece, but Moriarty negated 48 percent field goal shooting with 32 turnovers — 20 in the first half.

Hunt said his team played without two starters, one running a fever and another out with injury. He said the Pintos’ lack of size hinders their ability to play a halfcourt game.

“We’ve got to play a 90-foot game and hope we can get some steals,” he said. “We’ve just got to get better on defense, there’s no two ways about it.”