Clovis High girls coach Jeff Reed gave the order to his players preceding a contest with Roswell Goddard on Saturday night.
Despite what they might have seen the previous night while watching from the stands, when the Lady Rockets were losing by 30 to Rio Rancho, the Lady Wildcats were to regard Goddard at a much higher level.
“I told my girls to pretend they were playing Hobbs tonight,” Reed said. “I didn”t want them to be complacent, because we can’t come out and mess around with teams.”
The Lady Cats didn’t as the Milk Cow Classic came to a close. In a 67-37 defeat over the Lady Rockets, Clovis (15-4) almost replicated the 66-36 victory that top-ranked Rio Rancho had on Friday. Clovis has now won 11 of its last 12 games.
In the other game Saturday, Rio Rancho held on at the end for a 33-31 victory over Roswell High.
“Goddard’s hurting a little bit, with seven or eight players,” Reed said. “They’re struggling and just don’t have that many girls, so we were just able to flat out get after them.”
Halfway through the first quarter, Goddard (4-14) was down only 7-6. But the Lady Cats, who pounded the boards in the opening half, got a rebound and bucket from Antiesha Brown — the third offensive rebound by Clovis in the same sequence — to go up by three points.
That started an 11-2 run for Clovis which included a pair of field goals from Ashlee Pierson.
As was the case one night before against Rio Rancho, Goddard almost completely collapsed as the second quarter started. Clovis, leading 18-10 after one period, scored nine straight points to open the stanza.
When Tiffany Nichols hit a shot with 24 seconds before intermission, the Lady Cats had opened a whopping 45-13 advantage.
“Our second quarter seems to be our nemesis right now,” said Goddard coach Jori Flom, who had only eight players in uniform.
Brown scored 24 points to pace Clovis, while Brittany Johnson added 13 and Pierson also got into double figures with 10. Goddard’s scoring leader was Briane Garza with 11.
Clovis will next play next Friday in a road contest at Artesia, a team that just defeated Hobbs by nine points on Friday.
“It’s going to be tough for us, because we've gotten nice and cozy here at home,” Reed said. “At the beginning of the year, it was all road games, and we were use to that — but we haven’t been on the road for awhile.
“We’ve got to work hard and do things right, or it could be a tough, tough game,” he added.
In a junior varsity preliminary to Saturday’s games, the Lady Cats edged Rio Rancho 52-51 as Kayla Ware hit a shot from the lane as time expired. Rio Rancho had taken a one-point lead seconds earlier on a 3-pointer.
Rio Rancho 33, Roswell High 31 — Senior Megan Muniz hit two free throws with 22 seconds left, giving the Rams (17-1) a four-point lead and seemingly ensuring the win. But sophomore guard Shanice Steenholt scored for the Lady Coyotes (14-5), then intercepted the inbounds pass on the baseline but couldn’t get a potential tying shot to go down.
Tracy Fosterling led Rio Rancho with 11 points while Muniz, who had a pair of 3-pointers, had 10. Steenholt (18) and senior post Chantale Riddle (nine) scored all but four of Roswell High’s points.