RIO RANCHO — Roswell High’s Shanice Steenholdt was too much for Clovis High’s girls Saturday night.
The 6-foot senior post scored 16 points and dominated the paint en route to MVP honors as the Lady Coyotes beat Clovis 43-31 for the championship of the Mel Otero Invite.
With Sheenholdt patrolling the middle, Roswell High (5-1) shut down the Lady Wildcats in building a 20-8 halftime lead.
“The first half, we didn’t go up strong against her,” Lady Cats coach Jeff Reed said. “We tried to go up easy, and she threw (blocked) it out of bounds a couple of times.
“She was the big difference in the game.”
The Lady Cats (4-3) made a strong run when play resumed, pulling to 30-25 late in the third quarter. But they were unable to sustain it.
“We had some opportunities,” Reed said. “We just didn’t put it in the (basket).”
Senior Ashlee Pierson led the Lady Cats with 15 points, including six during their third-quarter run. Pierson and junior Paige Gardner (nine points) were chosen to the all-tournament team.
“We had slow starts in the first two games (of the tournament), but we were playing a really good opponent (in Saturday’s finale),” Reed said. “We missed a ton of easy shots; I counted 10 misses from the paint in the first half.”
Steenholdt was one of three Lady Coyotes to make the all-tourney squad.
Clovis, which had won three games in a row before Saturday, returns to action on Thursday with a 7 p.m. tipoff at Portales in a game which was originally scheduled for Friday.