Clovis High’s Jasmine McDonald and Amarillo High's Joni Unruh, left, jump for the tip off at Rock Staubus Gym on Tuesday,
The good news for the Clovis High girls basketball team is that it may not see a better team this season than Amarillo High.
It took them a while to gain control, but their pressure eventually proved to be too much for Clovis as the Lady Sandies pulled away to a 64-36 victory on Tuesday night at Rock Staubus Gym.
Senior Jodi Unruh scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half for Amarillo High (11-4), leading three players in double figures.
“We got it handed to us by a pretty talented Texas team,” CHS girls coach Miles Watters said. “That’s their 15th game, and they looked in midseason form.
“We played with them for about a quarter and a half, and then we went through a stretch where we couldn’t score.”
The Lady Cats (5-2), playing without junior guard Ebony Bunton due to a school suspension, led 10-6 late in the first quarter. But Amarillo High went on a 17-2 run that covered most of the second quarter, and took a 29-18 lead into halftime.
The Lady Sandies finished off Clovis by hitting 9-of-11 shots in the final quarter and outscoring the Lady Cats 22-7.
Amarillo High girls coach Jeff Williams had only nine players at his disposal, noting that junior backup post Megan Maas sat out with an injury.
“I liked how our kids played tonight,” Williams said. “In the absence of Megan, I was impressed with how our kids came through that don’t usually play a lot.”
Senior post Shadley Hawkins added 13 points, including eight in the Lady Sandies’ second-quarter run, while junior guard Michelle Brister delivered 11 points off the bench.
“We were able to pressure their guards all the way up the floor,” Williams said. “When we came in with some fresh legs, it seemed like we were able to get some turnovers.”
Freshman forward Antiesha Brown finished with a team-high 11 points for the Lady Cats, who placed third in last weekend’s Mel Otero Rio Rancho Invite. Senior guard Tori Northcutt, forced to handle the ball extensively against Amarillo High’s pressure, added 10 points.
“Tori was probably trying a little too hard tonight,” Watters said. “She was trying to carry the whole team, but I was proud of her effort.
“We’re young and inexperienced. We don’t match up very well against a team like that.”
Amarillo High committed 14 turnovers — only eight after the first quarter — while forcing the Lady Cats into 23 floor errors. Clovis managed just 32 shots from the field, hitting 10 for 31 percent, and went 0-for-5 from 3-point distance.