AMARILLO — The Clovis girls went to Amarillo and got a win, but they had to fight for every point.
Close from the tipoff, the Lady Wildcats endured a tough defensive effort from Amarillo High before coming away with a 33-31 win.
“It seemed like every possession was a battle,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said. “It took a lot out of us.”
Senior Jessica Russell found herself at the free throw line late in a close game for the second time this week and again delivered.
Russell hit two free throws, her only points of the game, with seven seconds remaining to put the Lady Cats ahead.
“She’s been in two tough situations, and she’s done a good job,” Watters said “She doesn’t get a lot of credit because she’s a role player. What people don’t see is the great passes and her defense.”
Russell nailed down a win against Canyon on Monday with two free throws.
The Lady Cats (14-2) were lead by Aimee Hilburn with 13 points and Brittany Blackmon with 12.
Watters said Amarillo’s in-your-face defense forced a lot of Lady Cats turnovers.
“They were an extremely physical team,” Watters said. “We had a hard time running our offense, we were throwing the ball all over the gym.”
The closest Clovis came to pulling away came when Hilburn hit three consecutive shots in the third quarter.
“We got up about six or seven and I thought, ‘OK, here we go,’” Watters said. “But they got right back in it. We didn’t play well, but we executed when we were down.”
The Lady Cats had a short stay at home Friday night, then hopped back on the road to play at Alamogordo.
Watters said he expects his team to be fatigued for the game tonight.
“It took a lot out of us,” he said. “I told our kids, ‘We’ll be playing 10 or 11 kids (tonight).’”