CHS BOYS BASKETBALL: Cats play twice this weekend

CNJ staff

It didn’t take the Clovis High boys basketball team long to get back on track.

Three nights after losing a 97-95 overtime heartbreaker to Rio Rancho in the finals of the Milk Cow Classic at Rock Staubus Gym, the Wildcats improved to 11-1 with Tuesday’s 61-49 win at Amarillo High.

The Cats hit the road for a 7 p.m. game today against Moriarty, then host Roswell Goddard at 7 p.m. on Saturday at The Rock.

CHS boys coach J.D. Isler said he wasn’t concerned about his team bouncing back from the loss, although the Cats started a bit slowly on Tuesday.

“We had a hard time getting the ball in the basket, but we did what any championship team does at that point,” he said. “You’d better be able to guard somebody, and we did.

“We played pretty well, especially on defense.”

Isler said the Cats don’t know a whole lot about Moriarty (4-7), except for 6-foot-6 senior forward Daniel Pierce. Isler said Pierce played with several of Clovis’ players during AAU ball over the summer, and is a capable performer who can score inside or out.

“He’s the kind of player who can carry a team,” Isler said. “I’m sure he’ll shoot well at home.”

Clovis struggled to a 79-75 win at Moriarty two years ago, but blew out the Pintos 94-62 last year at the Rock when now-senior guard Cody Thornsbury went 10-for-10 from the field and scored 26 points.

The Cats have already beaten Goddard (9-7) twice this season, but Isler said he’s relatively impressed with the Rockets.

“I really don’t think about (a letdown) with this team,” he said. “It’s a real special group of young men. They love to play and they practice well.

“Other than my first year (2001-02), this has been the most enjoyable group I’ve had since I’ve been here.”

Isler said junior guard Diondre Hunter, who suffered a torn ACL in an early-season football practice, has been practicing with the team for a little over week. He is scheduled to be examined again on Jan. 18, and if all goes well he could be available for the Cats the following night at Rio Rancho.

“He’s athletic and can run,” Isler said. “He just gives us one more guy who can play like we want to play.”

Isler also confirmed the Dec. 19 snowout against Portales will be made up in at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27 at The Rock.