Title or not, the Clovis Wildcats expect to be tested every time they stop on the court this weekend in the Southwest Dairy Farmer's Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.
"There are no cupcakes in the tournament," Clovis coach Matt King said.
The Wildcats (5-2) open against El Paso Harmony Science in the 7:30 p.m. game, and will be in the 7:30 p.m. slot for the tournament regardless of how they do in the bracket.
"We don't know a lot about them, to be completely honest," King said. "They came to the tournament very late. We know they're a really good team, and we're excited about the challenge."
The tournament was won last year by Cibola over God's Academy. The Cougars were not on the tournament list this year and God's Academy, which defeated Clovis in last year's semifinals, pulled out of the tournament on both the boys and girls side with concerns over travel in the inclement weather.
n Albuquerque High comes into the tournament at 5-0, and "playing as good or better than anybody in the state," King said.
The Bulldogs are led by senior point guard Mahlik Sims. The 5-foot-10 Sims led Class 5A in assists last season, and is averaging 23.2 points and 8.0 assists per night.
They face Hereford in a 4:30 p.m. game, with the winner facing the Clovis-Harmony winner. The Whitefaces are only 6-6, but have won four of their last five, including a 44-41 win over Canyon.
n On the other side of the bracket, Trent Internationale, out of Sugar Land, Texas, is 4-4 and will receive a first-round bye after losing God's Academy on the bracket.
"Very big, very tough," King said of Trent, "They beat Hobbs earlier this year."
Trent's size should provide plenty of trouble inside for either St. Michael's or Cathedral, who open the boys tournament at 11:35 a.m. Four players for Trent are at least 6-foot-5, including junior center Justin Hollins at senior power forward Xavier Dupree, each at 6-9.
SW Dairy Farmers Classic
At Rock Staubus Gym
St. Michael's vs. El Paso Cathedral, 11:35 a.m.
Sugar Land (Texas) Trent Internationale, first-round bye
Albuquerque High vs. Hereford, 4:20 p.m.
El Paso Harmony Science vs. Clovis, 7:30 p.m.
St. Michael's-Cathedral loser vs. Clovis JV, 11:35 a.m.
Albuquerque High-Hereford vs. Harmony Science-Clovis loser, 1:10 or 7:30 p.m.
St. Michael's-Cathedral winner vs. Trent Internationale, 4:20 p.m.
Albuquerque High-Hereford winner vs. Harmony Science-Clovis winner, 1:10 or 7:30 p.m.
7th place, 11:35 a.m.
5th place, 1:10 p.m.
3rd place, 4:20 p.m.
Championship, 7:30 p.m.