Cats’ Lewis scores 12 in South victory

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

Because he was chosen to play in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association’s Class 4A-5A All-Star football and basketball games this week in Albuquerque, Michael Lewis had to make a choice.

Despite the fact that he’ll play football at Eastern New Mexico University this fall, Lewis opted for Thursday’s basketball contest.
“I figured I’d get one more basketball game in,” the 6-foot-4 Lewis said.

Lewis scored 12 points to help the South post a 108-99 win over the North at The Pit In Albuquerque.

In the first half of the doubleheader, the South topped the North 89-73 in the Class 1A-2A contest.

Cody Thornsbury also represented the Wildcats in Thursday’s 4A-5A basketball game, while center Brandon Ayers will represent CHS in tonight’s 4A-5A football clash at UNM Stadium.

Lewis, who will report to ENMU camp on Saturday, said he would have enjoyed playing either sport in college.

“I love basketball, but I had a better deal in football,” he said. “I love football, too.”

Lewis said he chose ENMU, at least in part, because it’s relatively close to home — although his parents moved to Alamogordo shortly after he made his college choice. He said he has a chance to play either tight end or defensive end for the Greyhounds.

“I’m still debating which one I’m going to do,” he said.

Lewis and Thornbury said they’ve enjoyed becoming acquainted with players on the South squad that they competed against in high school.

“We never really talked to them on the court much,” he said. “It’s been cool getting to know them.”

The game will be the last one for Thornsbury, a left-handed 3-point threat who plans to major in athletic training at New Mexico State.

“It’s kind of weird playing against people we’ve played against, but we’re here to have some fun and play some basketball,” he said. “It’s always good to meet people and make friends.”

Thornsbury admitted he had a little trouble this week rediscovering his stroke.

“I’ve been a little sore,” he said. “I played a little (during the summer) trying to get ready, but it’s not the same as competing.”

The 6-foot, 260-pound Ayers ended up being the only one of three CHS players to participate in the football game. Along with Lewis, running back Brian Mead also passed on the contest to get ready for the start of football practice at New Mexico State.

“It would’ve been nice to have other guys from Clovis, but I understand why they chose not to come,” said Ayers, whose family moved to Clovis two years ago from Tennessee. “But I’m having fun here anyway.”

Although he played center at CHS, he said he’ll start at left guard in tonight’s game, and also may see some duty in the defensive line. He said the adjustment from center shouldn’t be hard.

“Until I moved to Clovis I actually was a guard,” he said. “Being a center, you have to know what everyone else (in the line) is doing.”

Ayers also plans to attend ENMU this fall, but won’t play football.

“I just plan on working and focusing on my studies,” he said.