So, here’s what happened.
Brad Crow figured his Lubbock Christian squad would be pretty good, so he called Clovis coach J.D. Isler in the offseason. Crow said his Eagles wouldn’t beat the Class 5A Wildcats, but could use a pre-district challenge.
Between then and Tuesday night, the Eagles lost four of their top seven players through injuries and transfers. And the top-ranked Wildcats had no trouble in posting a 75-31 victory at Rock Staubus Gym in Clovis.
Clovis (16-2) scored the first 12 points of a 30-4 first quarter, then spent the rest of the night trying not to embarrass the private school 3A Eagles.
“It was obvious early they were kind of overmatched,” Isler said. “We were looking to be gracious, but at the same time we wanted to play hard.
“If you make an effort, you can get something good out of every game.”
The Wildcats wanted to get something after seeing their nine-game winning streak end Saturday at Cleveland, and they used Tuesday for practice on offensive sets.
“We wanted to make sure we were executing offensively,” Isler said. “We didn’t feel like we were sharp at Cleveland, so we added some stuff to our sets.”
Clovis emptied its bench four minutes into the game, which led to a balanced scoring night — with the notable exception of Lathan Lieb, who scored 18 of his game-high 27 in the first quarter.
“We were hoping for a cold night,” Crow said of the Wildcats, who led 53-19 at the half, “but (it’s tough) when one guy has 18 in the first.”
Six of Clovis’ seven other scorers posted at least six, and D.J. Blackmon was the only other double-figure scorer with 10.
The Eagles got plenty out of the game too, Crow said, but it was hard to tell at times.
“Here and there, we showed signs of being able to handle their pressure,” Crow said. “Going into district (Friday against Amarillo Arbor), we doubt we’ll see a team with pressure like that.”
The Wildcats didn’t bother pressing, but still forced 26 turnovers with an aggressive half-court defense.
The game went to the 35-point running clock early in the first-half, and also went quickly with only 15 free throws shot on the night.
Post Tanner Pylant led the Eagles with eight points and seven rebounds, while Brock Hooten and Manny Ryan had seven each.
The Wildcats are back in action Saturday night, when they host Goddard.