Last season, Roswell had a strong team, beating both Clovis High and Hobbs twice. Alamogordo also dropped the Cats in their one meeting last year.
Clovis High coach J.D. Isler said the Wildcats remember those losses and look forward to repaying Roswell and Alamogordo. The Cats (6-0) square off with the Coyotes at 7 p.m. today and match up with Alamogordo at 7 p.m. Friday night in games at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.
“We’re got a lot to play for,” Isler said. “We feel we have to redeem ourselves a little.”
Clovis is riding high with its fast start, but Isler said Roswell (6-2) and Alamo (4-4) will pose tough, physical challenges for the Cats.
Roswell boasts senior post Bryant Thomas, who stands 6-foot-5 and gave Clovis problems in the paint last season. But Isler points to the Cats’ team chemistry as a counter to the Coyotes’ size advantage.
“We have a bunch of guys that play well together,” he said. “I think these kids have an attitude that we’ll play anybody, anywhere.”
Junior post Matt Peeler, also 6-5, is Alamogordo’s main inside threat. The Tigers also have junior posts Seth Pyett and junior guard Tremaine McClellan, who both stand 6-4.
Alamogordo is an athletic, quick team, similar to the Cats. But Isler said his squad’s deep guard rotation, led by senior Cody Thornsbury and juniors Jaden Isler and Bryce Hill, is difficult to match up with for any team.
Senior post Michael Lewis and junior post Layne Strebeck represent the Cats’ interior presence. Lewis scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Saturday’s victory over Roswell Goddard, while Strebeck pulled down 12 boards.
“We feel we’re hard to match up with because we can shoot from the perimeter,” Isler said. “I’ll be surprised if they can press us.”
Roswell at Clovis
When: 7 p.m. today.
Where: Rock Staubus Gymnasium.
Roswell key players to watch: Michael Nelson, 5-6, 150-lbs. Jr., G; Bryant Thomas, 6-5, 180-lbs., Sr., P.
Keys to the game: Roswell will have an obvious size advantage over Clovis, but senior Michael Lewis and junior Layne Strebeck are providing the Cats with a solid inside presence, coach J. D. Isler said.
Quotable: “Our inside players are starting play well every game.” — Clovis coach J. D. Isler