Cruces turns back Cats

CNJ staff

LAS CRUCES — If the Clovis boys basketball team goes on a winning streak to close the season, the foundation may come from this current losing streak.

The Wildcats dropped their second game in two nights on Saturday, falling 61-51 to defending 5A champion Las Cruces High to wrap up a tough eight-day stretch.

Malik Woods had 15 points to lead the Bulldogs, including a 3-point play with 1:29 left to seal the contest for an impressive back-to-back. The Bulldawgs (5-5) also defeated Hobbs 60-53 Friday night, and will likely go into next week with a much different stature than the 3-5 team that started the weekend.

“They started out 3-5 last year,” Clovis coach Matt King said of the Bulldawgs “They can beat anybody in the state, there’s no question about that.”

For right now, Clovis has proved that it can compete with anybody in the state, but only has a losing skid against Sandia, 4A power Centennial and the Bulldawgs to show for it.

The Hawks defeated Clovis 59-53 Friday night. In all three losses, the Wildcats led in the fourth quarter only to see the opponent snatch victory late.

“It’s just the same deal,” King said. “ It doesn’t matter who we play. If games are close in the fourth quarter, we’ve got to make big plays.

“I think we learned a lot this weekend. We had a chance to win both games; you’ve got to learn how to finish them. Hopefully, we’ll grow and be better off because of it.”

Willie McCray, saddled with foul trouble for most of the night, hit five of Clovis’ seven 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 17 point. Senior Kamal Cass added six, but nobody else had more than six for the Wildcats.

Each team had six players contribute in the scoring category, but three Bulldawgs were in double figures, while two others had at least eight points.

Las Cruces High 61, Clovis 51
Clovis (6-5) — Kamal Cass 6 2-3 14, D.D. Egbert 3 0-0 6, Willie McCray 5 2-2 17, Kaine Bender 1 3-6 5, Justin Henderson 2 0-0 6, Roland Chavez 1 1-1 3. Totals 11 7 8-12 51.
Las Cruces High (5-5) — Anthony Collins 3 6-6 12, Mike Uribe 2 4-4 8, J.T. Romney 2 5-7 9, Malik Woods 6 3-4 15, Bobby Spedalieri 2 0-0 5, Cody Murillo 5 2-3 12. Totals 20 20-24 61.
Clovis    7    10    23    11    —    51
Las Cruces High    7    17    18    19    —    61
3-pointers — Clovis, McCray 5, Henderson 2. Las Cruces High, Spedalieri. Junior varsity — Las Cruces High 61, Clovis 57.