Cats edge Pampa in OT for title

Clovis sophomore Bryce Hill scores two of his 17 points during the first half of the Wildcats’ 89-88 overtime win Friday in the finals of the Milk Cow Classic. (CNJ staff photo: Rick White)

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

The Clovis Wildcats would like to make a late submission for game of the year.

Behind Bryce Hill’s heroics and a career night from junior Rishard Matthews, the Wildcats won its third-straight Milk Cow Classic on Friday with a 89-88 overtime victory over Pampa, Texas.

Down two points in overtime, Hill drove the length of the floor and dished to Matthews for the game-winning layup.
Matthews, a 6-foot-2 junior, finished with a career-high 30 points.

“Rishard Matthews had a really good rebounding and put-back game,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “I’m really happy for him. He’s really starting to figure out how to play.”

Tyler Hau’s last-ditch 3-pointer fell short as the buzzer sounded.

Matthews added a game-high 16 rebounds.

“I just had good passes from our guards,” Matthews said. “It just worked out all good tonight.”

Hill finished with 17 followed by Cody Thornsbury and Devin Sweet with 14 for the Cats (8-3).

Pampa’s 6-foot-8 senior Jarrett Kotara finished with 22 points and nine boards, but was in foul trouble from the first quarter on and finally fouled out in the last minute of regulation.

“He was really good. We weren’t really able to stop him,” Matthews said. “I guess he just messed up. We tried to get him in foul trouble early and we did that.”

Isler said his posts, Sweet and junior Michael Lewis, played well despite giving three our four inches to Kotara.

“Devin Sweet and Michael Lewis both did a good job taking it at him,” Isler said. “They defended him pretty well. We made him take some shots from outside the paint. He didn’t just catch the ball and score on us. I really credit those two guys defensively.”

The Harvesters (13-4) also lost guards Sharod Young and Braydon Barker to fouls. Barker scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half, while the cat-quick Young added 18.

“I wish we could have had all our players,” Pampa coach Dustin Miller said. “That’s everything. Those are our three best players and they were sitting on the bench while we’re trying to win a championship.”

Near the end of regulation, Hill put the Cats up 77-75 when he hit a lay up, got fouled, and hit the free throw.

Pampa senior Ryan Torres sent the game to overtime with a layup with two seconds left, his only field goal of the game.

“That was a tremendous effort by our team,” Isler said. “We have a bunch of guys with big hearts who refuse to quit. It was a really special win because we were really outsized and outmanned, but we scrapped and found a way to win.”

Thornsbury, Hill, and Matthews were named to the all-tournament team, along with Pampa’s Young and Cooper’s Ryan Harp. Kotara was named tournament MVP.

Milk Cow Classic
At Rock Staubus Gym
Friday’s games
Seventh place
St. Michael’s 55, Aztec 37
Fifth place
Rio Rancho 73, Amarillo Tascosa 57
Third place
Abilene Cooper 66, Rio Grande 54
Clovis 89, Pampa 88, OT