Lady Cats’ tourney now six-team event

Grand Prairie, Texas-based God's Academy dropped out at the last minute, forcing Clovis High to essentially reformat its annual Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic girls basketball tournament.

As for the Lady Wildcats, though, they're likely playing about the same schedule they would have anyway.

CMI photo: Tony BullocksJunior guard Brandi Gomez scored 10 of her 14 points in the final quarter Friday night to help lift Clovis High's girls past Canyon 52-48 at The Rock. The Lady Wildcats face Albuquerque High at 6 p.m. today in the Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic.

CHS (8-1) will face Albuquerque High, as originally scheduled, at 6 p.m. today in what is now a six-team tournament — the Clovis junior varsity was to have been the eighth team, but now will not participate. The Lady Cats then take on Texico (5-2) at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Lady Wolverines, who now play Gallup at 1:10 p.m. today, probably would've been favored over Andrews (Texas) in a quarterfinal game, likely setting up a semifinal matchup with CHS anyway.

Each team will play tonight and Friday, setting up seeding for three final-round games on Saturday. Rounding out the field is Amarillo Caprock.

God's Academy, which was also to send its boys team, instead pulled out on Wednesday because of road considerations from the recent inclement weather.

"We hate it because we'd have liked to have an eight-team tournament, but there's nothing you can do about it," CHS girls coach Jeff Reed said. "Hopefully, next year we'll (be able to bring in) some better teams."

Albuquerque High (2-3) is off to a slow start and figures to have problems against a Clovis squad coming off a solid win over previously unbeaten Canyon (Texas) last Friday.

"I'm assuming they'll try to play a zone against us," Reed said. "They'll probably either try to pack a zone and hope for the best, or they'll try to get after us and press us.

"If we come out and play our game, we should be all right."

Junior guard Brandi Gomez, who scored 10 of her 14 points in the final quarter against Canyon, doesn't anticipate a letdown by the Lady Cats.

"We had to work really hard (in practice) last week," she said. "It was a hard game, but I knew we would come out (with a win) if we played the way we did."

The team took three days off before returning to practice on Wednesday.

"I thought it helped us recover, since we had really hard practices last week," Gomez said.

Texico hasn't played since beating Farwell on Dec. 14. The Lady Wolverines lost 6-foot-1 senior Shaylee Anderson for the season to a knee injury in a tournament at Farwell earlier this month, forcing them to make a significant adjustment.

Reed, who notched his 100th win in his fifth year at CHS in last Friday's game, said the tournament should still be competitive.

"I think Caprock and Gallup (could get to the finals)," he said. "I'm figuring on seeing Caprock or Gallup in the finals — if we take care of our business."

TOURNEY SCHEDULE

Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic

Thursday's games

Gallup vs. Texico, 1:10 p.m.

Caprock vs. Andrews (Texas), 2:45 p.m.

Albuquerque High vs. Clovis, 6 p.m.

Friday's games

Andrews vs. Albuquerque High, 10 a.m.

Caprock vs. Gallup, 2:45 p.m.

Texico vs. Clovis, 6 p.m.

Saturday's finals

5th place, 10 a.m.

3rd place, 2:45 p.m.

Championship, 6 p.m.

Note: Records will determine final-day matchups. Scores will be used to break ties.

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