Clovis survives Goddard

Michael Lewis absorbs contact from Goddard center Peyton Cometti on the way up on a shot in the third quarter of Saturday’s game at Rock Staubus Gym. Lewis was fouled and hit the free-throw for the 3-point play. (CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson)

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

Clovis’ bus didn’t roll into town until 3 a.m. Saturday morning after the Wildcats returned from a victory over Moriarity.

As a result, they were a bit sluggish Saturday night, but the Cats prevailed over Roswell Goddard 83-75 at Rock Staubus Gym.

Junior Jaden Isler led Clovis (13-1) with 20 points and junior Bryce Hill, who was held scoreless in Friday’s win, hit five 3-pointers en route to 17 points.

Goddard junior Brandon Jones led all scorers with 25 points, including two 3-pointers, but the Rockets struggled down the stretch as Clovis increased its defensive pressure in the second half.

“We just decided to come out and play a little harder,” said Clovis junior Manuel Robles, who scored 10 points off the bench. “We just dropped back into a zone, and that worked for us.”

Junior Justin Cooper tallied 18 points and senior Peyton Cometti added 16 points for Goddard (10-8), but Clovis had too many offensive weapons, with five Wildcats scoring in double figures.

Goddard led 44-37 late in the second quarter, but the Wildcats went on a 26-9 run that ran through the third quarter for a 63-53 lead.

“The difference in the game was they’re better,” Goddard coach Kevin Jones said. “You’ve got to play almost perfect, or at least we do.”

Clovis led 69-58 midway through the fourth quarter after Isler fed senior Cody Thornsbury for a jumper in the lane, and Isler knocked down the second of two free throws.

“The biggest thing was we just didn’t feel like we defended well in the first half,” Clovis coach J. D. Isler said. “We’re only giving up about 52 points a game, and we gave up 44 in the first half, so we really wanted to defend better in the halfcourt.”

Goddard cut the Wildcats’ lead to 79-75 with under a minute remaining after Jones sank a jumper and two straight 3-pointers.

However, Jaden Isler clinched the game by knocking down four consecutive free throws as Clovis beat Goddard for the third time this season.

“We played hard and we gave it out best shot,” Kevin Jones said. “We won the first two quarters, but those aren’t the ones that count.”

Goddard built an 18-13 lead in the first quarter, but Hill knocked down two 3-pointers and a layup on a one-on-none fastbreak and the Cats knotted the score 23-23.

“We didn’t feel like we were really attacking them,” J.D. Isler said. “And we were taking a lot of early, quick shots and we wanted to do a better job executing.”