ALBUQUERQUE — The Clovis High boys weren’t able to knock off another No. 1 team Friday night.
The Wildcats started slowly, then recovered to make a game of it for a while but couldn’t get all the way back in a 68-46 loss to Highland Friday night.
The Hornets (15-1), winners of 10 in a row, extended a 24-9 lead at the quarter to 28-11 early in the second period. Clovis (10-6) sliced the margin to 35-25 at halftime and got within eight in the third quarter, but couldn’t generate enough offense to finish off a comeback.
“We got off to a bad start, but then we fought back and played right with them until late in the game,” CHS coach J.D. Isler said. “They’re a good defensive team. They’re real deep and athletic, and they kept running guys at Jaye (Crockett).”
Clovis’ 6-foot-7 inch senior finished with 16 points, about 12 under his average, but no one else managed more than six points for the Cats.
Meantime, Clovis held Highland’s top scorer, 6-foot-6 senior forward Chad Adams, to five points. But Marcus Franco, a 5-8 senior guard, had three 3-pointers en route to 19 points while 6-7 senior Jordan Howard added 11.
Highland collected seven 3-pointers to one for Clovis.
Senior forward Arthur Calbert got two quick fouls and eventually fouled out for the Cats. In limited playing time, he finished with six points.
“He probably didn’t play but about eight minutes tonight, and that hurt us,” Isler said. “He helps keep the pressure off Jaye.”
Isler said the Cats got some good minutes off the bench from 6-8 junior Logan Turnbow and 6-5 senior Dustin Williams, who combined for 10 points.
The coach added that the game was a good one for the Cats to play.
“We needed to play Highland,” he said. “We’re playing all the top teams in the state. I’d rather have a good look at them now than not see them until (postseason).”
Clovis faces Lubbock Trinity Christian in a 7 p.m. tipoff on Tuesday at Rock Staubus Gym.a