If Hobbs could’ve been granted one wish prior to Saturday’s District 4-5A girls tournament championship game at Rock Staubus Gym, it might have been for Clovis High standout Antiesha Brown to get two fouls inside the first two minutes.
Wish granted. Still, it didn’t do the Lady Eagles any good.
Senior point guard Katharine Cordova, who hadn’t scored in double figures in a game in her high school career, erupted for 21 points — all in the first three quarters — and the Lady Wildcats cruised to a 62-41 victory.
Brown finished with nine points, seven in the final quarter, and was limited to about 10 minutes because of fouls. Her usual sidekick, junior Ashlee Pierson, also had a quiet night with 10 points.
The “supporting cast” was there, though, to save the day.
Seven other Lady Cats scored, including senior guard Amanda Romero with eight points and senior forward Delaney Ware with seven.
“I was so proud of these girls to play as good as they did with Antiesha on the bench,” CHS coach Jeff Reed said. “That’s going to go a long way for us as we get into the playoffs.”
Seedings for the 16-team Class 5A state tournament will be announced today, and the Lady Cats (22-4) are sure to get a first-round home game — probably a No. 5 or No. 6 seed. Reed said they will host the yet-to-be-determined foe on Friday, probably at 7 p.m.
Cordova said she simply thought somebody had to step up.
“I just tried to (do that) with Antiesha on the bench,” she said. “We’ve just got to play as a team when she’s out. We can’t put our heads down.”
Cordova also had three assists and a handful of steals as the Lady Cats broke away from an 8-8 tie with the first eight points of the second quarter and led 28-13 at the half.
“Katharine Cordova really stepped up tonight,” Reed said. “She took over the scoring load with Antiesha out.”
Brown returned at the start of the third quarter, but struggled to get into rhythm. The Lady Cats turned the ball over on their first two possessions trying to get it to her, and she had her shot blocked on the next trip.
Hobbs (15-11) got 3-pointers from Gloria Castillo and Telsa Deberry to pull within nine points. Brown and Pierson, both with three fouls, sat out the final four minutes of the third quarter, but Cordova scored eight points the rest of the period as the lead ballooned to 50-26.
Cordova said the Lady Cats were motivated from the start.
“We just came out ready to go,” she said. “The crowd really pumped us up.”
Clovis’ pressure defense caused problems for the Lady Eagles, whose biggest problem generally comes on the offensive end of the floor.
“Our halfcourt press really gave them trouble tonight,” Reed said. “It caused a lot of turnovers.”
Junior guard Summer Patterson led the Lady Eagles with 10 points.