Cats ousted at Carlsbad in tourney

CNJ staff

CARLSBAD — Clovis High’s boys weren’t able to break through Carlsbad’s homecourt mystique on Thursday night.

The Cavemen improved to 12-0 on their home floor this season, pulling away in the fourth quarter for 59-50 win over the Wildcats in the District 4-5A tournament semifinal.

Carlsbad (19-9) plays at top-seeded Hobbs in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship game. Meantime, the Cats (12-15), 5A runnersup a year ago after earning a No. 4 seed, will have to wait and see about their fate when the NMAA makes its selections for the 16-team Class 5A state field on Sunday.

“If we get in, we’ll be the 15th or 16th seed,” CHS coach Matt King said. “We’ve had some good wins. We’ll just see what the committee decides.”

Carlsbad rode its big men, 6-foot-7 senior forward Brandon Boatwright (19 points) and 6-5 senior forward Joshua Miller (14) to the victory. The Cavemen led all the way except for two ties.

Carlsbad opened a nine-point lead in the second quarter, but the Cats pulled even 26-26 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Willie McCray with about 30 seconds left in the half. After an exchange of turnovers, Boatwright was able to score inside in the closing seconds of the half to give the Cavemen the lead for good.

Carlsbad had a couple of 3-pointers early in the third quarter to extend to an eight-point margin, but managed only two points the rest of the period. Clovis, though, couldn’t take advantage, scoring just five points in the quarter and only four in the first four minutes of the final stanza to trail 46-35.

Clovis, which has lost six in a row, got two 3-pointers and 18 points from McCray and three 3s and 12 points from junior guard Marquese Gaither. Both teams had 17 field goals, but the Cavemen went 19-for-28 from the free throw line while the Cats were 9-of-16.

SUMMARY
District 4-5A tournament
Carlsbad 59, Clovis 50
Clovis (12-14) — Marquese Gaither 4 1-2 12, Kamal Cass 2 0-0 4 , D.D. Egbert 1 0-0 2, Willie McCray 5 6-9 18, Kaine Bender 1 0-1 2, Justin Henderson 2 1-2 7, Roland Chavez 1 1-2 3, Tomas Acuna 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 9-16 50.
Carlsbad (19-9) — Cody Boswell 1 0-0 2, Trevin Ramirez 1 3-4 5, Elijah McCoy 0 2-2 2, Ryan Dudley 2 0-0 5, Tobias Pirtle 1 2-3 5, Shakur Smith 2 3-4 7, Joshua Miller 4 6-12 14, Brenden Boatwright 8 3-3 19. Totals 19 19-28 59.
Clovis    10    16    5    19    —    50
Carlsbad    16    12    8    23    —    59
3-pointers — Clovis, Gaither 3, Henderson 2, McCray 2. Carlsbad, Dudley, Pirtle.