Clovis High junior guard Ebony Bunton steals the ball from Portales’ Briana Hernandez in Friday’s game at Portales. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
Clovis junior Ebony Bunton scored 22 points in keeping the Clovis girls undefeated, leading the Wildcats to a 51-34 domination of the Portales Lady Rams Friday night at Portales.
“I felt like we defended very well tonight, and played physical, got after it,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said. “I was a little disappointed in how we threw the ball around the gym. We didn’t take care of the ball very well, but we’re pretty young and inexperienced.”
Meanwhile, Portales head coach Brenda Gomez was disappointed with her girls effort.
“We didn’t compete, we didn’t compete,” Gomez said. “We didn’t play like we’re capable of playing, not even for this time of year. No, we didn’t compete, (our effort) should have been a lot better.”
Portales senior Briana Hernandez got the scoring started with a 3-pointer early in the first quarter, but with just 90 seconds gone in the opening quarter, that was the last time the Lady Rams led.
Bunton got Clovis (3-0) out to a big early lead, scoring nine points in the first quarter, leading the Lady Wildcats to a 11-5 first period advantage.
Clovis freshman Kayla Breedlove nailed a 3-pointer toward the end of the second quarter, and the Lady Cats stretched out their lead to 18-9 at halftime.
The Lady Rams were outscored in the third quarter 14-10, highlighted by several fastbreak points. A Bunton steal and fastbreak lay-up gave Clovis a 32-19 third quarter lead.
Portales (1-1) seemed to hit its stride in the fourth period, as junior Vicki Huber hit a late jumper and drew a foul, to get the lead within 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early Portales mistakes.
Clovis junior Jasmine McDonald had 12 points, followed by senior Tori Northcutt with seven points and sophomore Brittany Johnson with four.
For Portales, Huber led with 10 points, but no one else scored more than five.
Gomez said her girls didn’t seem prepared for Clovis’ brand of pressure defense.
“We hadn’t done some things in practice for four months,” Gomez said. “And then in the first rattle out of the box, we reverted back to last year. They put pressure on us, and we didn’t handle the pressure.”
Watters liked most of what he saw, but saw room for improvement.
“I think it’ll come where we take care of the ball better and make better decisions,” Watters said. “Overall, I was pleased with the effort, just disappointed in how we threw the ball around.”
Clovis and Portales both travel to the Mel Otero Invitational in Rio Rancho starting Thursday.