Lady Cats clip Eagles

Clovis freshman Tori Northcutt drives past Eldorado’s Kristen Johnson during Saturday’s District 4-5A tournament title game. CNJ photo by Eric Kluth.

By Dave Wagner

Sophomore post Brittany Blackmon was unstoppable Saturday night.

Blackmon poured in a season-best 30 points on 13-of-15 field goal shooting as Clovis High’s girls claimed the District 4-5A girls tournament championship with a 60-41 win over Eldorado at Rock Staubus Gym.

The Lady Wildcats (25-3) host District 3-5A runnerup Los Lunas a regional game on Friday or Saturday night. Eldorado will travel to play the Mayfield. Mayfield beat Los Lunas 55-42 Saturday.

Clovis, which routed the Lady Eagles (18-7) in both regular-season meetings, came out a bit flat. In the end, though, the Lady Cats won going away, outscoring Eldorado 37-21 in the second half.

“We didn’t play our A-plus game,” said Blackmon, who also grabbed five rebounds. “I guess we thought we’d blown out Eldorado before, but they put up some competition this time.”

CHS girls coach Miles Watters said he challenged Blackmon before the game.

“What an effort by Brittany,” he said. “I told her before the game that she needed to get us 20 points and 10 rebounds.
“I think we’re going to have to start challenging her every night.”

Sophomore Aimee Hilburn added 11 of her 15 points in the second half and played a solid all-around game, also contributing five rebounds and six assists.

The Lady Eagles, who advanced to the finals with an overtime win in Hobbs on Friday night, forced four turnovers on Clovis’ first five possessions and jumped to a 5-0 lead. But sophomore guard Tori Quintana hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get CHS back in the game.

The teams then traded the lead until early in the third quarter when Quintana buried another long trey to break the game’s final tie. Freshman guard Tori Northcutt followed with another one as Clovis began to pull away.

The Lady Cats shot 55 percent for the game on 22-of-39.
“I thought we played well defensively, but when it’s one shot and out for you it makes it tough,” Eldorado coach Michael Huston said, referring to CHS’ 24-16 advantage on the boards.

“We played our hearts out last night, and we put a lot into the first half tonight. I’m not satisfied, but we’re getting to the playoffs and that’s what we came out here for.”

Meantime, Clovis held Eldorado to 39 percent from the field.
“Eldorado’s a very athletic team; they came in and played with a lot of heart,” Watters said. “I was pleased we were able to withstand their early run.

“Quintana kind of got us going early, and kind of got the crowd into it.”

Clovis 60, Eldorado 41
Eldorado (18-7) —
Caitlin Demarest 2 2-4 6, Kristen Johnson 4 0-0 9, Chelsea Mowrer 0 0-2 0, Jessi Mons 0 0-0 0, Sara Shoemate 0 0-0 0, Ali Hickila 2 0-0 4, Jackie Konitzer 2 4-6 9, Megan Hines 3 2-4 8, Vanessa Frangos 0 3-4 3, Elise Alexander 0 0-0 0, Brianna Duran 1 0-0 2. Totals 14-36 11-20 41.
Clovis (25-3) — Stacey Corley 0-1 0-0 0, Tori Quintana 3-5 0-0 9, Melissa Roberts 0-1 0-0 0, Brittany Blackmon 13-15 4-8 30, Monique Walker 0-1 1-2 1, Vanessa O’Neal 1-1 0-0 2, Tori Northcutt 1-3 0-0 3, Jessica Russell 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Hohn 0-2 0-0 0, Aimee Hilburn 4-10 7-8 15, Tyisha Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Vanessa Vaca 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-39 12-18 60.
Eldorado 11 9 11 10 — 41
Clovis 13 10 20 17 — 60
3-pointers — Eldorado 2-5 (Johnson, Konitzer), Clovis 4-7 (Quintana 3-4, Northcutt 1-1, Hilburn 0-1, Roberts 0-1). Rebounds — Eldorado 16, Clovis 24 (Walker 6). Assists — Eldorado n/a, Clovis 16 (Hilburn 6). Total fouls — Eldorado 19, Clovis 14. Fouled out — none.