The Clovis Lady Wildcats are pleased, but not ecstatic, about their performance at Gallup to open the season.
Now, going into their second tournament in as many weekends, the Lady Cats (2-1) are confident but not convinced they’ll be moving on to the second round of the Mel Otero Invitational in Rio Rancho.
Clovis faces Rio Rancho Cleveland on Thursday, five days removed from a championship game loss to host Gallup at last week’s Gallup Invitational.
The Lady Cats moved up one spot at Gallup from their third-place 2008 showing. But moving up two places would have pleased coach Jeff Reed a little more.
“That was our main goal, to face Gallup,” Reed said. “Of course, another goal was to beat Gallup.
“We had a lot of opportunities to win that game. They just overcame us.”
Senior guard Amanda Romero said watching game film from Saturday reinforced the many ways the Lady Cats could have avoided the 70-66 road loss.
“We learned we need to settle down and run our offense, and be disciplined,” Romero said. “And we need to play disciplined defense.”
Now, the focus is on Cleveland, which faces Clovis in a 5 p.m. quarterfinal Thursday. The Storm has gotten off to a 3-1 start.
“They’re pretty young,” Reed said of the Storm, who lost 54-43 to Espanola Valley in Saturday’s Lady Jaguar Invitational title game at Santa Fe Capital High. “They’re good, but they’re young. I’m not looking past them on Thursday.”
Cleveland was expected to struggle coming this season, but already owns a win over defending 5A champ La Cueva.
“We handled Cleveland pretty well this summer,” Romero said, “but we don’t want to use that as an excuse to look past them.”
In the semifinal round, Clovis will face either Portales or Montrose, Colo., who play in the opposite quarterfinal. The consolation game will be at 3 p.m. Friday, while the championship semifinal will be 5 p.m. Friday.
Reed is hopeful Clovis will face Portales, because he doesn’t know anything about Montrose and there’s some familiarity against the Lady Rams.
Mel Otero Invitational
At Rio Rancho H.S.
Manzano vs. Rio Rancho, 1 p.m.
Mayfield vs. Aztec, 3 p.m.
Rio Rancho Cleveland vs. Clovis, 5 p.m.
Portales vs. Montrose, Colo., 7 p.m.
Mayfield-Aztec loser vs. Manzano-Rio Rancho loser, 1 p.m.
Portales-Montrose loser vs. Cleveland-Clovis loser, 3 p.m.
Portales-Montrose winner vs. Cleveland-Clovis winner, 5 p.m.
Mayfield-Aztec winner vs. Manzano-Rio Rancho winner, 7 p.m.
7th place, 1 p.m.
5th place, 3 p.m.
3rd place, 5 p.m.
Championship, 7 p.m.