The Clovis Wildcats now have a loss on the court, and a loss off it.
Days after the New Mexico Activities Association pulled a season-opening win over Portales, Canyon Randall dealt the Clovis Wildcats a loss the old-fashioned way — with an aggressive offense and patient defense in a 66-50 victory Monday night at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.
Joseph Scott, a 6-foot-7 senior, had a game-high 19 points for a Raiders squad that led by as many as 17 and held the host Wildcats without a field goal for a pivotal 6:02 stretch in the third and fourth quarters.
Clovis (3-2) struggled most of the night against a Randall team that forced 19 turnovers, slowed the tempo and capitalized on the offensive glass in the second half.
“That’s mostly our style,” Raiders coach Leslie Broadhurst said. “We’re a zone team. Clovis did a good job of getting the ball in to (senior post Logan) Turnbow. We just wanted to make them work to get perimeter shots, and that helped.”
Also key, Clovis coach J.D. Isler said, was a 16-of-31 night from the free-throw line when they couldn’t get much going other than Turnbow’s 18-point performance in the post.
“Right now, our free throw shooting is just killing us,” Isler said. “We hit 70 percent of our free throws, the whole complexion of the game changes. It puts a lot of pressure on your half-court offense. You’ve got to be nearly perfect.”
Scott scored seven of his points for Randall (7-5) during Clovis’ basket-less stretch, which started after a 3-point play by freshman guard D.J. Blackmon with 1:53 left in the third.
The Wildcats spent the next six minutes turning the ball over or missing free throws — 3-of-8 during the stretch that saw the Raiders lead grow to 56-39 on a Scott putback with four minutes left.
“We really wanted to get the tempo going up and down,” Isler said. “I think they handled our press well and controlled the tempo.
“We knew they would (play zone), that’s all they play. Right now, we’re not getting enough perimeter scoring. It all kind of works together.”
Junior guard Deven Crockett played in the Wildcats’ opener, but he was not ineligible under transfer rules, Isler said.
Isler said he didn’t think of Crockett as a transfer because he had lived in Clovis previously before leaving to attend school in Texas last year.
Crockett, the younger brother of former Cats standout Jaye Crockett, will be eligible to play Friday when the Wildcats visit Plainview on Friday.
Isler said he’s received no word on the eligibility status of junior guard Lathan Lieb, who transferred from Dora over the summer.