Cats seek bounce-back effort against Goddard

CNJ staff

Clovis High boys basketball coach J.D. Isler is looking for a bounce-back effort tonight.

Never mind that the opponent is Roswell Goddard, a team the Wildcats have handled comfortably twice this season, in a 7 p.m. tipoff at Rock Staubus Gym.

“We’re coming off a game where we didn’t play very well defensively and we turned the ball over too much,” Isler said of Tuesday’s 81-68 loss to Frenship at home. “It doesn’t matter who we play — we’ve got to do a better job (in those areas).”

The Cats (8-4) beat Goddard 65-49 in the third-place game of the City of Champions Classic in Artesia on Dec. 10, then opened a 40-8 second-quarter lead in a 62-45 win over the Rockets a week later in Roswell.

“Like I told our kids, it’s difficult to play a team three times,” Isler said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re not taking anything for granted.

“I’m sure they’re going to make a few adjustments for us. We’ll have to match their intensity early.”

He said the Cats simply got off to a fast start in the second meeting, but couldn’t sustain it.

“We shot well early and we were playing in a good rhythm,” Isler said. “In the third quarter, we kind of let them back in it.”

Clovis has been adjusting to playing without the coach’s son, sophomore guard Jaden Isler, who has missed the last three games with a broken bone in his hand. He’s likely to be out at least three more weeks, his father said.

He said players like Bryce Hill and Cody Thornsbury have picked up a lot of the slack.

“Our guards have had to do some things they haven’t had to do before,” Isler said. “I think that’s all going to pay off for us in the long run.”

The Cats have also been without senior post Chris Finch for the past four games. He has been away visiting family in California, but returned to practice a couple of days ago and should see some action tonight, Isler said.