By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer
The Clovis Wildcats head into the Class 5A playoffs with no fear of higher seeded teams.
After all, they’ve already beaten the tournament’s top-ranked squad, Carlsbad, in district play.
The Cats (11-14) drew the 13th seed and play Saturday at fourth-seeded Cibola (21-4-1) in the tournament’s first round.
“I definitely think we’re a dangerous team,” Clovis coach Shane Shallenberger said. “We know we can beat anyone.”
Winners of four of their last six games, Clovis handed Carlsbad (22-2) its only district loss.
“I figured we’d be in the 12-14 (seed) range,” Shallenberger said. “We’re excited to get Cibola and to be in the playoffs.”
After three-straight playoff appearances — including a trip to the state finals in 2004 — Clovis failed to reach the postseason in 2005.
Clovis finished third behind Carlsbad and Hobbs in District 4-5A, but earned at at-large berth in the state’s new 16-team format.
The Cats host Texico at 5 p.m. today in a playoff tuneup for both teams.
The Clovis Lady Wildcats will make their first postseason appearance in school history.
The Lady Cats squeaked into the playoffs, landing the 16th seed. They play Saturday at top-seeded West Mesa in the first round.
“Hey, we got in,” Clovis coach Brandi Thomas said. “There are teams out there that wish they were in our spot.”
West Mesa (23-2) heads into the postseason with a 13-game win streak.
“We don’t need to worry about what they’re going to do,” Thomas said. “We need to focus on what we’re going to do.”
Clovis (13-13) has won only one of its last eight games.
“We don’t have anything to lose,” Thomas said. “That’s the way I look at it. We’re going to be a thorn in their side, I believe that.”