Special to the CNJ
HOBBS — Clovis junior Roxanne Luera nearly capped off an improbable comeback, but her 3-pointer just before the buzzer came up just short as Hoibbs held on to beat Clovis 64-61 in te District 4-5A girls basketball tournament championship game Saturday at Ralph Tasker Arena.
Clovis (17-8) trailed by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter before putting a scare into the regular-season champions and the tournament‘s top seed.
“I told my kids that I’ve been coaching 26 years and couldn’t be prouder of our team, the way they battled back in our hostile enviroment at the end and almost into overtime. We hit shots and a lot of great things,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said.
The Lady Eagles (21-3) will host Sandia in the Region B game for a berth into the state tournament. The Lady
Matadors lost 41-39 to La Cueva in the District 2-5A championship game Saturday. Clovis will travel to Albuquerque to face top-ranked La Cueva next weekend.
“We’ve been a pretty good road team. It would be nice to play home but weíll jump on the bus.î ìI wouldn’t be surprised if weíre not down at state,” Watters said.
Paced by 30 points from Adrianne Ross, Hobbs completed a three-game season sweep of the Lady Wildcats, but Clovis didn’t go quietly.
“I thought theyíd kind of be a little beaten, be down after weíd beaten them twice, but they weren’t. They came ready to play,” Hobbs coach Johnny Casaus said.
Junior Monique Walker led Clovis 18 points and Aime Hilburn added 15.
Led by Hilburn, who had 10 in the final quarter, Clovis pulled back to within six, 60-54, with 90 seconds to play.
With eight seconds left, Ross was fouled and, battling cramps and exhaustion, drained a pair of foul shots to make it 64-59. On the inbounds play, Clovis point guard Chelo McElrath let the ball roll up court, avoiding touching it and keeping the clock frozen. When Ross went for the ball she ran into the McElrath and was charged with a foul. McElrath hit a pair of free throws with 6.8 seconds left.
Jessica Nelson was fouled on the inbounds play, but missed both of her free throws. Clovis had one last chance. But Luera’s shot bounced away. It put Hobbs into a regional game, Friday night against Sandia. It will be a difficult challenge.