Coaches surprised by seedings

The Clovis Wildcats were seeded No. 5 by the New Mexico Activities Association selection committee Sunday. The Lady Cats earned a No. 2 seed as well. (CNJ staff photo: Rick White)

By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer

After the New Mexico Activities Association released the seedings for the round of 16 in the state basketball tournament Sunday, Clovis boys coach J.D. Isler was shocked to see his team seeded No. 5.

On the other hand, Clovis girls coach Miles Watters was glad to see his team take the No. 2 seed.

Rio Rancho took the No. 1 seed for the boys, while Mayfield earned the No. 1 spot in the girls bracket.

Isler said politics, not merit or lack thereof, put his team as the No. 5 seed in the round of 16.

The Wildcats (22-5) host No. 12 Mayfield (12-13) at 7 p.m. Saturday with the winner advancing to the state tournament in Albuquerque.

Isler said he didn’t understand why La Cueva was named the No. 4 seed when its losses came to lower ranked opponents.

“Quite honestly, I don’t think they’re accurate,” Isler said. “La Cueva has more losses than we have, and their losses are to teams ranked seventh and eighth.”

Clovis’ five losses in the season came against Rio Rancho and Hobbs, the top two teams in New Mexico, according to polls. But the Cats have also lost three of their last five games — all to Hobbs.

Of the six members of the New Mexico Activities Association selection committee for the Class 5A, two are from Albuquerque, one each is from Las Cruces, Clovis and Gallup, and one is from the New Mexico Sports Authority.

While Watters was happy his team earned the No. 2 seed, he said no matter who the Lady Wildcats (19-5) play, they will have to be on top of their game.

Clovis hosts No. 15 Manzano (6-18) at 6 p.m. Friday.

“We told the kids we still have work to do,” Watters said. “I can guarantee you every coach respects everyone this time of year. Each team got this far in the season for a reason.”

Watters also described the boys No. 5 seed as a travesty.

“I’m shocked at the boys seed,” he said. “But I guess when you have human beings involved, politics will be involved.”