Clovis sophomore Antiesha Brown, left, goes against senior guard Britni Montague in practice Monday at the Rock Staubus Gym. Clovis coach Miles Watters said Amarillo has a strong inside-outisde game. (CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks)
By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
Coming off solid performances in three-day tournaments, Clovis hosts Amarillo in a boys-girls basketball doubleheader tonight at Rock Staubus Gym.
The Wildcats (3-0) breezed to the Artesia Invitational title, outscoring their three opponents by an average of 23.6 points.
The Wildcats were at their best in Saturday’s title game, jumping out to a 38-7 first quarter against the host Artesia while making 15-of-18 shots.
“We kind of gelled as a team,” Clovis coach J. D. Isler said of his team’s tournament performance. “Each night we shot a little better than before.”
Amarillo comes in with eight games under its belt and Isler said that extra experience worries him.
“They’re going to come in more seasoned and had time to work out their kinks,” Isler said. “But the kids are excited to play them.”
Rebounding will be the key for Clovis, Isler said, and stopping the Sandies halfcourt game.
“They play tough halfcourt man-to-man and deny the ball to the wing well,” he said. “They also play the passing lanes well.”
Another of Isler’s concerns is turnovers.
“I think we can cut down on our turnovers,” Isler said. “Our goal is to average 12 or less a game, and right now we’re at about 14.”
The Lady Wildcats (5-1) placed third at the Mel Otero Invitational in Rio Rancho to take on an Amarillo team with a solid inside-outside game.
Traditionally one of the top 5A teams in the Texas Panhandle, the Sandies are off to a 10-4 start.
“It’ll have to be a great team effort,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said. “I don’t know if they have many weaknesses.”
Clovis’ only loss is to top-ranked Sandia in semifinals of Mel Otero tournament. Watters attributed the loss at least in part to a huge rebounding deficit.
“We played well against some quality teams,” Watters said. “But we have to do a better job blocking out and doing well on the boards.
“It’s a lack of focus. We’re not a very physical team and (Amarillo) is, so we have to learn to put a body on someone.”