ARTESIA — The Clovis Wildcats hoped to leave Artesia injury-free, and with a win. Check to both, as the Wildcats headed home Tuesday night with an 88-52 win over the Bulldogs.
Lathan Lieb scored 15 of his game-high 35 points in a 27-8 first quarter, and the Wildcats (18-2) never looked back en route to their third-straight victory. Clovis isn’t back in action until Tuesday, when it faces Lovington on the road.
D.J. Blackmon added 22 points, mostly on putbacks, and John Dawson scored 12 for Clovis.
“I felt like we were a little sluggish mentally (the last few games, but) we were really sharp tonight,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “D.J., Lincoln and Craig (Cook) were all over the glass. Lathan shot great, and John-John (Dawson) did a great job passing the ball around.”
Lieb hit five of the Wildcats’ eight 3-pointers, and got plenty of open looks.
“John-John penetrated well,” Isler said, “and they collapsed (their defense).”
Sophomore guard Zeke Montoya scored 16 to lead the Bulldogs (15-7), but only Matt Navarette joined him in double figures with 10 points — all at the free-throw line.
Isler hates to take so much time off with the team playing well. Still, he noted the Wildcats are going through some sickness, and rest beats momentum right now.
“We wanted to try to be sharper, and I thought we did that,” Isler said. “I think we’re playing well, but I am glad we’ve got a little bit of time to get our legs under us.”