Clovis High’s girls are ready for their third shot at the Hobbs Lady Eagles in today’s 9:45 a.m. Class 5A state quarterfinal matchup at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
On paper, the odds may actually favor the seventh-seeded Lady Wildcats (19-9) over their District 4-5A rival. After all, Hobbs (21-7) won both district regular-season contests by a combined three points.
Unlike sometimes, when a team from this side of the state draws an Albuquerque-area school, the travel part of it shouldn’t have an impact.
“It’s a good thing and a bad thing,” CHS girls coach Jeff Reed said of the matchup. “We know a lot about them, but they know a lot about us.
“The whole thing about ‘it’s hard to beat a good team three times’ could come into play. We had our chances both times; we just didn’t execute.”
Hobbs won both matchups despite having no player in double figures in a 45-44 victory at The Rock, and only one player in double figures in a 49-47 triumph at Hobbs.
“They don’t have anybody that really stands out,” Reed said. “They have a lot of girls that play tough and get after it.”
Reed is hoping experience at state pays some dividends for the Lady Cats.
“We’ve got an advantage in that we have some experience (at state),” Reed said. “For (senior) Ashlee (Pierson), it’s her fourth game at the Star Center, and for (junior Paige Gardner her second game.”
The third member of District 4-5, Carlsbad, takes an 11th seed against third-seeded Mayfield in a 6 p.m. tipoff. The two winners play at 3 p.m. on Thursday at the Star Center.
The championship game is set 4 p.m. on Saturday at The Pit in Albuquerque.
Hobbs (21-7) vs. Clovis (19-9)
When: 9:45 a.m. today
Where: At Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho, in a Class 5A girls quarterfinal matchup.
Hobbs players to watch: Summer Patterson, Sr., 5-7, G; Shalyn Payne, Sr., F, 5-11.
Up next: Winner gets either Mayfield or Carlsbad in a 3 p.m. semifinal on Thursday at the Star Center.
— Compiled by Dave Wagner