Clovis junior Cody Thornsbury (left) is only 5-foot-6, but he has been a key player for the Wildcats this season. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer
Standing at 5-foot-6 on his tip toes, Clovis junior guard Cody Thornsbury might get mistaken for a towel boy or someone’s little brother when he walks onto the court. And that’s just the way he likes it.
“I don’t think (the opponents) think a lot of me when they see me,” Thornsbury said. “But that’s good because they might leave me open for a 3-pointer.”
This season, Thornsbury is doing a lot more than just hitting open 3s. He is making tough passes, picking pockets, slashing to the basket, and making anyone who puts him on the line pay dearly.
“You look at him and you think, ‘He’s just a little guy,’” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “But he’s definitely a factor in every game.”
When starting point guard Jaden Isler injured his hand in the Milk Cow Classic in December, Thornsbury took over at the point. He and sophomore guard Bryce Hill shared ball-handling duties and lead the Cats past Pampa in the tournament finals.
Jaden Isler has since returned from injury, but is playing below full strength, with Thornsbury moving over to the point when needed.
“I got used to playing the (point) in the Milk Cow,” Thornsbury said. “Sometimes I like it. It’s fun. But sometimes I’d rather not, like when they are pressing.”
Coach Isler said Thorsbury has taken it upon himself to be the Cats’ backcourt leader.
“He’s picked up every aspect of his game,” the Clovis coach said. “He’s been consistent. Every game he’s in double figures.”
The Cats (12-6) go on the road for the third straight game, heading to Artesia to face the Bulldogs (10-8) at 7 p.m. today.
Coach Isler said the key to tonight’s game will be containing Artesia’s 6-5 sophomore post Landry Jones, who is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game.
“We’ve got to do a good job on him,” he said. “And we’ve got to get some scoring out of all our kids; we don’t have a 20 points per game guy.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Wildcats (18-2) will seek their seventh straight win when they host Artesia at 7:30 p.m. today at Rock Staubus Gym.
Clovis coach Miles Watters said he does not know much about the Lady Bulldogs (16-3).
“We’re going in there pretty blind,” Watters said. “We’re concentrating on us, and we’ll make adjustments during the game.”
Watters said his team is prepared for just about anything, having been given a lot of different looks in the past couple of weeks.
“We’ve got a good team, so teams are trying different things to slow us down,” he said. “It’s good for us. I wouldn’t wan to get deep into the playoffs and see something we haven’t seen yet.”