Lady Cats top Gallup for title

Clovis High's girls finally got tested Saturday night — at least for a little while.

Tournament MVP Danni Williams set a career-high with 31 points and the Lady Wildcats broke the game open with a half-ending 23-6 run that started late in the first quarter in beating Gallup 74-37 in the finals of the Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.

CMI photo: Kevin WilsonClovis guard Brandi Gomez goes up for a layup during the first half of Saturday's Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic championship game at Rock Staubus Gym. Gomez scored 12 points as the Lady Wildcats thumped Gallup 74-37 for the title.

The Lady Cats (11-1) outscored their three opponents in the tournament 208-58.

Gallup (9-2), losing for the second time to Clovis, pulled to 14-13 late in the first quarter on a basket by Kaylee Tsinginie, but Williams hit a 3-pointer and Aubrey Turner added a basket in the final minute to give the Lady Cats command.

CMI photo: Kevin WilsonClovis forward Shelby Jones gets underneath for a shot attempt as Gallup's Rachelle Blackgoat attempts to defend during the first half of Saturday's Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic championship game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.

Williams said having already played the Lady Bengals — Clovis beat Gallup 66-42 on Dec. 8 in the finals of Gallup's tournament — was beneficial.

"We knew their personnel; we knew No. 23 (senior Shanelle Begay) was their best player," she said. "I think when we can get in transition, we're at our best."

Begay, though, was saddled with foul trouble. Early in the third quarter Gallup had just five fouls for the g game, but Begay went to the bench because she had four of them.

She finished the night with nine points, tying Tilea Reyna and Cheyenne Livingston for team honors.

"Shanelle got in foul trouble, and I think we just got tired," Lady Bengals coach Kamau Turner said. "Without eight seniors on the team (as they had last season), we're just not as deep."

Clovis had 20 turnovers to 21 for the Lady Bengals, but converted a bunch of Gallup's miscues into points.

CMI photo: Kevin WilsonClovis forward Meagan Brady fights for a loose ball against Gallup's Tilea Reyna during the second half of Saturday's Plateau Wireless Holiday Classic championship game at The Rock. The Lady Cats improved to 11-1 by beating the Lady Bengals 74-37.

"Clovis is tough, (especially) at their place," Turner said. "At the same time, we got three pretty good games in this tournament, and that's going to help us moving forward."

The Lady Cats dominated Albuquerque High and Texico in the opening stanza of their first two games in the tourney, and looked to be on their way again after building a 6-0 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes. The Lady Bengals, though, pulled even 8-8 on a 3-pointer by Tsinginie, but they couldn't keep up the pace for long.

"We got pushed a little bit," CHS coach Jeff Reed said. "Gallup is going to be fine in (Class) 4A. They're still a good team."

Eleven players scored for the Lady Cats, with junior guard Brandi Gomez also reaching double figures with 12 points. Junior Carrie Sharp, who scored a personal-best 16 points in the win at Gallup, finished with eight in this one.

"Carrie Sharp had another nice game against them," Reed said. "Overall, it was another good team effort."

Gomez and teammate Shelby Jones were selected to the all-tournament team, along with Begay and Tsinginie for Gallup.

PLATEAU WIRELESS HOLIDAY CLASSIC

Thursday's games

Gallup 50, Texico 23

Amarillo Caprock 62, Andrews (Texas) 42

Clovis 77, Albuquerque High 9

Friday's games

Andrews 60, Albuquerque High 52

Gallup 56, Caprock 47

Clovis 57, Texico 12

Saturday's finals

Texico 41, Andrews 39 (5th)

Caprock 58, Albuquerque High 43 (3rd)

Clovis 74, Gallup 37 (championship)

All tournament: Danni Williams, Clovis (MVP); Brianna Reyna, Texico; Brooklyn Artis, Caprock; Jennifer Perez, Caprock, Kaylee Tsinginie Gallup; Shanelle Begay, Gallup; Brandi Gomez, Clovis; Shelby Jones, Clovis.

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