Clovis High’s inexperience caught up to the Lady Wildcats Tuesday night.
Meantime, Lovington rode its top two veterans to a 63-59 victory at Rock Staubus Gym in Clovis’ season opener.
Junior guard Mystika Perez scored 30 points for Lovington (2-0), which opened on Monday night with a 44-42 win at Seminole, Texas. Meantime, senior forward Kenzie Black came alive after a slow start for 18 points, including 15 in the middle two quarters.
“That’s a great win for us,” Lovington coach Rick Black said. “I don’t think we’ve beaten them since 1997.”
Coach Black said Monday’s game was helpful, even though his team struggled to win.
“We had a lot of turnovers (28) and mistakes,” he said. “Clovis, playing their first game, they can’t be polished.”
Senior guard-post Ashlee Pierson scored 27 points for the Lady Cats, but didn’t have a sidekick to really help her out in that area. Junior guard Kirsti Shough finished with 12 points, but got half of them on two 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds as Clovis tried to mount a late rally.
Only Pierson and junior post Paige Gardner had any meaningful varsity experience before this season, and Gardner spent much of the game on the bench in foul trouble. She fouled out with just under six minutes left, having scored five points.
“We’re very inexperienced at the varsity level,” Reed said. “We put up goals every game for defense, offense, rebounding, free throws and turnovers and we didn’t reach any of those goals tonight.”
Coach Black said Kenzie Black, his daughter, and Perez were in foul trouble during much of last year’s game in Lovington, which the Lady Cats won by nearly 30 points.
“Both of them averaged 18 1/2 (points) last year; they’re going to score,” he said. “The rest of our team, we don’t need them in double figures, we just need them to contribute.”
Lovington shot just 2-for-9 in the opening period in falling behind 14-9, but went 20-for-32 (63 percent) the rest of the way. The visitors also finished 17-for-22 from the line — Perez went 10-for-13 and Kenzie Black 4-of-5 — to 12-of-20 for CHS.
“Lovington’s going to be a good (Class) 3A team,” CHS coach Jeff Reed said. “No. 10 (Perez) is one of the best players we’ll see all year.”
The Lady Cats return to action Dec. 1 in the Gallup tournament, facing Cienega High School of Vail, Ariz., in a 6 p.m. quarterfinal matchup.