Lady Cats knock off Coronado

Clovis High senior Britni Montague tries to pass the ball against a Lubbock Coronado defender during Saturday’s game at Rock Staubus Gym.

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

Freshman Antiesha Brown capped a 21-point performance with a game-clinching layup off an inbounds pass with 12.7 seconds remaining Saturday night, helping Clovis High’s girls defeat a scrappy Lubbock Coronado team 67-62 at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.

Junior guard Ebony Bunton added 18 points and controlled the Clovis offense down the stretch for the Lady Wildcats. The 5-foot-10 junior also connected on four 3-pointers.

Senior forward Bailey St. Clair led the Lady Mustangs with 14 points. Senior post Krystal Hardwell added 14 points inside for Coronado.

“We bent and we bent, but at least we didn’t break,” Clovis coach Miles Watters said. “Ebony had her best performance, by distributing the ball, as well as her scoring.”

Clovis (6-3) was coming off a tough 55-52 loss Friday to Aztec.

Clovis led by as much as 14 late in the first half, but Coronado made a big push in the fourth quarter.

Junior guard Mallory McEndree’s rare four-point play — a 3-pointer and a free throw when she was fouled shooting — with 4:09 remaining in the game cut Clovis’ lead to 61-56.

Coronado kept up the pressure, cutting the lead to 64-62 off a steal and layup by St. Clair with 1:43 left in the game.

Folliwing a Lady Wildcats’ turnover, the Lady Mustangs (14-6) had a chance to pull even, but St. Clair’s driving shot rimmed out.

Senior guard Tori Northcutt connected on the second of two free throws, and Brown finished off the Lady Mustangs with her point-blank layup.

“It was a different play that was drawn up,” Brown said. “I was just open and called for it.”

Brown said the Lady Cats were playing above their normal game speed.

“Fouls and not enough rebounds,” Brown said when asked what led to Coronado’s comeback. “We were just trying to play fast a little bit.”

The Lady Mustangs outscored Clovis 32-27 in the second half. Watters attributed his team’s struggles to inexperience and rebounding.

“We’re so young and inexperienced that when it (got) tight like that we made a few mistakes,” he said.