Jaye Crockett moved up one place on the school’s all-time scoring list, and the Clovis Wildcats moved on to Albuquerque with a 80-69 win over Alamogordo on Saturday in the first-round of the Class 5A state basketball playoffs at Rock Staubus Gym.
Crockett, a 6-foot-7 senior, scored 36 points to move past Jaden Isler. He is 32 points behind Bubba Jennings’ school record.
Crockett’s big night helped offset a 33-point performance by Alamogordo senior guard Travis Geiger.
“I thought if we could step up and win this game here, it would be easy selling the rest of the way,” Alamogordo coach John Madden said. “I felt like Clovis and Manzano are the two best teams
“I felt if we got over this hump, we wouldn’t have to worry about anything until Manzano.”
But the fifth-seeded Wildcats (20-9) grabbed the lead early and, although small at times in the first half, never relinquished the advantage.
A one-point margin late in the first quarter was extended when Crockett sprung loose on the baseline and popped in a 3-pointer. As the second quarter started, the Texas Tech recruit drained another trey from the top of the key for a 19-12 Clovis lead.
“If it’s just a guy you have to put on the box, leave down low, well they’re a lot easier to guard,” Wildcats coach J.D. Isler said of Crockett. “Fortunately for us, Jaye can play inside or outside, moves good without the ball and can shoot the jump shot.”
Alamo finished the season with an 18-10 record.
“Tonight, when we took Crockett away, the surrounding cast stepped up their game and knocked down some shots,” Madden said. “When you have a guy like Crockett who demands so much attention, you’ve got to pick your poison.”
The Cats increased the lead with a 10-2 run in the second quarter — a stretched marked by a pair of 3-pointers by substitute Tanner Adams.
“All the film we watched, they had never shot like that before,” said Alamo senior Marcus Oakley, who finished with six points. “They shot real well tonight from three-point range.”
A 14-point lead, the largest of the game, was attained by Clovis at the start of the fourth when Wildcats guard Bryan Pierson — who finished with 19 points — converted a three-point play.
Geiger, however, scored nine points in a two-minute stretch as the No. 12-seeded Tigers made the score 74-67 with two minutes to go.
Then Crockett kicked off a 6-2 run in the last stages by throwing an assist to himself. On a fastbreak, the Clovis senior tossed the ball off the backboard and jammed it into the basket.
“This was my last game here, so I had a lot of adrenaline,” Crockett said. “That was my last dunk I was going to get at The Rock, so I had to make it special.”