While Landyn Snipes watched some of Clovis’ most important games of the season, he said it made him a better and more appreciative player.
“It made me realize I didn’t have that much time left,” said Snipes, a senior who is now on heart medication. “I really wanted to step up these last few games for state.”
That starts Saturday night, when the Clovis boys and girls teams look to make a final statement to the Class 5A seeding committees. Each team faces Hobbs — the girls in a 6 p.m. match, the boys in a 7:30 p.m. affair.
Both Clovis coaches figure their teams are in the fifth or sixth seed, but they feel they’re in different positions.
“If we can win, it would help our case, because then we’re a regular season and district champ,” Clovis boys coach J.D. Isler said.
The Wildcats (13-10) lost at Hobbs 78-69 last Friday, the first game Isler coached after a federal judge reinstated him as Clovis coach.
The girls, meanwhile, probably have the fifth or sixth seed with a win, coach Jeff Reed said. Eldorado, Sandia and Las Cruces are the top three teams in his mind, and Gallup may beat Clovis (21-4) out because of a head-to-head win at the Gallup Invitational in December.
A loss to Hobbs (15-10, 2-3), however, and the Lady Wildcats could end up seventh. Reed said he’s not concerned with the defensive effort for Saturday, but scoring 92 points in two games against the Lady Eagles concerns him.
“We need four or five of them to have big nights scoring,” said Reed, who hopes for Antiesha Brown and Ashlee Pierson to score 15 to 25 apiece and three others to score eight to 10 points each. “I know Hobbs is going to come in here hungry.”
In the boys contest, Isler said the focus will be stopping Hobbs in transition. The Eagles (20-7, 3-2) scored 32 transition points in the last Hobbs-Clovis affair, and Isler said you want to keep an opponent under double digits in that category.
Isler wants the highest seed possible, because even a tough team like Carlsbad, which beat Hobbs once and led with less than a minute to go Thursday night, might not make the cut for the 16-team field.
“I think Carlsbad deserves to get in,” Isler said. “Looking around the state, there are a lot of teams around .500.”
Hobbs (20-7, 3-2) at Clovis (13-10, 3-1)
District 4-5A boys championship
7:30 p.m. Saturday
Radio: 1240 KCLV AM, KRMQ 101.5 FM, KTQM 99.9.
Coaches: Hobbs, Russ Gilmore, 12th season. Clovis, J.D. Isler, 9th.
Coming in: The Eagles defeated Carlsbad 72-70 in Thursday’s district tournament semifinal game. The Wildcats have been idle since last Friday’s loss at Hobbs.
Hobbs players to watch: Jordan Lee, Sr., G, 6-0, 165; Shelby Reeves, Sr., G, 6-1, 175; Brandon Marinovich, Sr., F, 6-5, 190.
Hobbs (15-10, 2-3) at Clovis (21-4, 3-0)
District 4-5A girls championship
6 p.m. Saturday
Radio: 99.1 KCLV-FM
Coaches: Hobbs, Johnny Casaus. Clovis, Jeff Reed, 2nd season.
Coming in: The Eagles defeated Carlsbad 49-29 in Thursday’s district tournament semifinal game. The Wildcats have been idle since last Friday’s 44-33 home win over Hobbs.
Hobbs players to watch: Jayde Burrell, Sr., G, 5-10; Shallyn Payne, P, Jr., 5-11.