Clovis High girls basketball coach Jeff Reed knows relatively little about his first-round opponent in this week’s Gallup tournament.
He’s more concerned about getting the Lady Wildcats, 63-59 losers to Lovington in last week’s season opener at Rock Staubus Gym, on track.
Clovis faces Vail, Ariz.-based Cienega in a quarterfinal game at Gallup, set for 6 p.m. Thursday.
“I’m not worried about what Cienega does or doesn’t do,” Reed said Tuesday. “At this point in the season, we’ve got to try to do things right for ourselves.”
Cienega, which was scheduled to open its season on Tuesday, is one of three Arizona schools in the eight-team event.
Last year, Clovis finished second, losing to host Gallup in the championship game.
“This tournament is supposed to be loaded,” Reed said. “Six of the eight teams were in state tournaments in Arizona or New Mexico last season.”
Cienega, a Class 4A Division II school located southeast of Tucson in southeastern Arizona, went 23-7 last year and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the state tournament. The Lady Bobcats’ top returning player is senior guard Alyssa Deal, who averaged 13.1 points last season.
Cienega won a tournament at Alamogordo last year, beating Roswell High (46-33), the host Lady Tigers (52-42) and Hobbs (55-47).
Reed is anxious to see how his team performs this weekend.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the girls rebound from Lovington,” he said. “We’ve really stressed defense this week, and just trying to get better.”
He said he’s looking for junior post Paige Gardner to step into key role for the team. Hampered by foul trouble, Gardner managed five points against Lovington before fouling out early in the final stanza.
“We’re expecting big things from Paige; she needs to be a big-time player for us,” Reed said. “And we’re going to need some other players to step up.”