Lady cats happy to play host

Clovis’ Ebony Bunton grabs a rebound away from Portales’ Ashleah Richards during the second half of the Lady Wildcats 51-30 win over Portales Tuesday in Clovis. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

After putting 700 miles on the team’s travel bus last weekend, Clovis girls coach Miles Watters welcomes the role of host this weekend.

“It beats the heck out of going to Amarillo and Alamogordo,” Watters said. “That’s for sure.”

The Lady Wildcats (16-2) welcome Roswell High (9-8), Aztec (8-7), and Rio Rancho (11-5) today and Saturday to Rock Staubus gymnasium for the CHS State Farm Classic.

Clovis plays Aztec at 8 p.m. today and Rio Rancho at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Wildcats’ junior varsity will play its counterpart from Rio Rancho in the early game each night.

“They’re both quality teams,” Watters said of this weekend’s opponents. “Aztec has everybody back from last year. Their record is kind of disappointing, but I know they have a guard who could be D-I, and they’ve got a 6-foot post who is really talented.

“I know they will be a quality team. It just shocks me that they aren’t having a good year.”

Watters said Rio Rancho will present a big challenge as well.

“Rio Rancho may be one of the hottest 5A teams playing right now,” he said. “They knocked off Sandia the other night, and Los Lunas. We were at their tournament, but didn’t play them. They weren’t playing well at the time, but they’ve turned it around since then.”

The Lady Cats beat Portales 51-30 on Tuesday, their third win of the season over the Lady Rams.

Clovis senior guard Tori Quintana said she is looking forward to facing fresh opponents.

“Three times is quite enough, but it’s always fun playing Portales,” she said. “I’m excited because it’s going to give us a chance to play different teams. I’d like to see new teams and try out new things and see where we are.”

Watters said he was happy with the way the Lady Cats played defense against the Lady Rams, but he wants his team to shoot a better percentage from the floor.

“We’re not shooting the ball exceptionally well,” he said. “I think that’s an area of concern. When you shoot the ball well, it takes care of a multitude of sins, so to speak.

“We’ve got a long way to go until the end of the season. You don’t want to be playing your best basketball right now, and we definitely aren’t.”