Though both have concerns with their first-round opponents, Clovis High’s basketball coaches are OK with where the state seeding committee placed them Sunday afternoon.
Clovis’ girls squad will start off the Class 5A tournament’s first round as the No. 5 seed with a 7 p.m. Friday home game against Rio Rancho Cleveland, while the boys are seeded sixth and have a 6 p.m. Saturday home date with Gadsden.
Girls coach Jeff Reed, who had his 22-4 squad penciled in at No. 5, is happy with the way the rest of the 16-team field was set up.
“It’s really a good deal,” Reed said. “On our side of the bracket, we’ve played everybody but (top seed) Eldorado. We have film on everybody, we know what to expect from everybody.”
That is, if Clovis can get past Cleveland (16-12). The teams have split a pair of games in Rio Rancho — a 48-38 Clovis win in the Mel Otero Invitational and a 51-49 Storm win at Cleveland.
“We’ve played Cleveland,” Reed said. “We know who they are. But on the flip side, they know who we are.”
The winner will face the winner of Friday’s game between No. 4 Gallup and No. 13 Manzano Tuesday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
Reed said another advantage for Clovis was that, with the exception of Cleveland, which has 6-foot-3 sophomore post Sarah Hattis, there’s not much height on the teams on the Lady Wildcats’ side of the bracket.
“We don’t have a true post,” Reed said, “so it helps us to play teams who are shorter.”
All three District 4-5A teams made the field, with Hobbs at No. 10 and Carlsbad at No. 14.
The Clovis boys, District 4-5A regular-season and tournament champs, finished with a 14-10 mark.
“There was a little bit of change at the top, and a little bit of change at the bottom,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “As far as we’re concerned, we fell in where we thought. We helped ourselves out a little by winning the district tournament.”
Isler said last week there is a lot of parity in Class 5A, and specifically mentioned the Panthers (16-10) as a tough first-round matchup.
“It concerns me a little bit because they’re a really guard-oriented team,” Isler said, “and sometimes we struggle with those smaller teams.”
The winner will take on either No. 3 Valley or 14th-seeded Rio Rancho in a Wednesday semifinal at The Pit. Eldorado (22-5) is the top seed, followed by Mayfield (22-4) and Valley (19-9).
Hobbs (20-8) is seeded eighth, and hosts Rio Grande. Carlsbad received the No. 13 seed and plays at No. 4 Manzano.
In other tournament matchups involving local teams:
• The Portales girls, 16-8 with a 7-0 mark in Class 3A, are the top seed and host Las Vegas Robertson in a 7 p.m. Friday matchup. The Portales boys, seeded 12th, head to Santa Fe on Saturday for a 7 p.m. game against fifth-seeded St. Michael’s in a rematch of last season’s Class 3A semifinals.
• The Class 1A and 2A tournaments will not be seeded until Sunday, following first-round games based on district finishes.
Friday’s girls games involve Evangel Christian at Dora (6 p.m.), Cimarron at Grady (6 p.m.) and Floyd against Desert Academy (5 p.m. at New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe).
Three small-school boys games are set for Saturday, with 6 p.m. tipoffs at Melrose (hosting Evangel Christian) and defending 2A champ Texico (hosting Tularosa). Defending 1A champion Fort Sumner travels to face Santa Fe Waldorf at 3 p.m., with the site to be announced.