Clovis senior Jaden Isler dribbles around Sante Fe High junior Brian Romero during Thursday’s Milk Cow Classic quarterfinal matchup at The Rock. Isler scored 29 points to help the Wildcats romp to a 91-38 victory over the Demons.
Santa Fe High preferred to have a slower tempo in its boys basketball matchup with Clovis in Thursday’s first round game of the Milk Cow Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.
To an extent, the Demons were successful. Midway through the first quarter, the host Wildcats had only eight points.
But Santa Fe had zero and the longer the game went, the more the spread grew. And, as the Clovis lead increased, the Demons’ patience and execution diminished.
The end result was a 91-38 victory that kept Clovis unbeaten at 7-0. The Cats face Cibola in the semifinals of the eight-team invitational tonight.
Thanks to a 35-point lead by Clovis, a running clock went into effect late in the third quarter.
“We wanted to control the tempo, just like we did in the first two minutes,” Santa Fe coach Lenny Roybal said. “That’s what I wanted to do the rest of the game. But, you know, you have young kids and they want to play basketball.
“Man for man, they were just too strong and too quick. They outjumped and outmanned us at every position. When that happens, you’ve got to take a pea-shooter and then take your shots.”
Jaye Crockett, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, scored three of the first four buckets as Clovis pushed out to a 10-0 advantage. Jaden Isler, the game’s leading scorer with 29, had eight in the first quarter as Clovis moved out to a 21-6 lead.
“It is important (to get a lead), because coach Roybal is a veteran coach and he knows how to manipulate the tempo,” Wildcats coach J.D. Isler said. “We felt we had to get out to a good start, because we didn’t want them to just be able to hold the ball. I felt the tempo got up and that was to our favor.”
Trying to climb back into the game, Santa Fe scored seven straight points in the second quarter to slice the Clovis lead to nine. But the faster-paced game quickly got out of hand as the Demons tried to reduce the deficit further.
An Arthur Calbert basket on a feed from Manuel Robles stopped the Santa Fe mini-streak and, following a turnover, the Cats got another three from Isler to regain control.
“We’ve got a pressing defense and, once we pressed them, they started taking shots,” said Clovis senior Bryce Hill, who finished with 13 points. “We’ve got to put pressure on their guards so they’ll take shots and we can speed up the game and that’s what we did.
“The lead gives them more urgency to score and us a chance to run.”
Layne Strebeck also got into double figures for Clovis, scoring 10 points while also grabbing six rebounds.
Santa Fe, which started four sophomores, was led by Troy Ramos’ 15 points.