Cats thump Carlsbad

Clovis High’s Manuel Robles, right, pries a rebound away from Carlsbad forward Jose Cruz Lopez during Tuesday’s game at Rock Staubus Gym. Clovis routed Car0lsbad 72-34 for its first 4-5A victory. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

In the first quarter, Clovis’ shots just weren’t falling, coach J.D. Isler said.

That all changed in the third quarter, helping Clovis (18-3, 1-1) dominate Carlsbad 72-34 for its first victory in District 4-5A play Tuesday night.

The Wildcats switched to a full-court press at halftime and outscored the Cavemen (10-13, 0-2) 30-6 in the third period.

“It seemed like no one could score early, and we struggled a little bit,” Isler said. “I challenged the kids at halftime that we could play a lot better and a lot more aggressive.”

Clovis junior Jaden Isler led all scorers with 19 points, including three 3-pointers, and junior Cody Thornsbury sunk four 3-pointers on his way to 14 points on the night.

Carlsbad’s Jose Cruz Lopez scored 15 points, but most of those baskets came in the first half when the Cats were struggling from the field.

“In the second half, we finally came out and found our rhythm,” Thornsbury said. “It’s nice to have this one win under our belt, and now we have to go down and beat them (in Carlsbad).”

Early in the the third quarter on a give-and-go Thornsbury fired a pass to senior Michael Lewis for a layup and the foul. After Lewis sunk the free throw, Clovis was ahead 43-23 with 5:21 to go in the third.

The Cats sealed matters with a 20-4 tear, highlighted by two consecutive 3-pointers from Jaden Isler. The officials kept a running clock at the end of the third quarter and all the way through the fourth.

Clovis led by as much as 42 late in the fourth.

“I thought Clovis came out with great intensity in the second half and we just couldn’t match that intensity,” Carlsbad coach Chris Cerny. “They have fantastic shooters and we just didn’t defend them very well.”