Cats roll past Artesia to take tourney title
Published: Sunday, December 16th, 2007
ARTESIA — To this point, it doesn’t look like their lack of practice has hurt the Clovis High Wildcats. Clovis, only a week away from playing for the Class 5A state football championship, is already off to a 4-0 start in basketball after routing host Artesia 74-52 Saturday night to successfully defend their City of Champions Classic tournament championship. Senior guard Jaden Isler scored 27 points for the Cats en route to tournament MVP honors. Senior guard Bryce Hill and junior forward Jaye Crockett also represented Clovis on the all-tournament team. “I’m very proud of the boys for beating the kind of teams we’ve beaten with just two days of practice,” CHS coach J.D. Isler said. “It wasn’t easy on them.” Artesia (3-1) advanced to the finals by edging Carlsbad 54-53 in the semifinals. The Associated Press had erroneously reversed the score in its report on Friday night. The Bulldogs stayed close for most of the first quarter, but the Cats led 20-12 by the end of the period and continued to pull away from there. “I thought this was the first game where we got in a good rhythm,” coach Isler said. “We were playing the tempo we wanted. “It just seemed like we had a little better legs tonight.” Clovis used its pressure defense to get the game at a relatively quick pace, although Artesia also attempted to apply pressure. “Jaden was really active tonight,” coach Isler said of his son. “He got to the basket a lot tonight. But everybody contributed to the win — it was a good team effort.” Hill was the only other player in double figures for Clovis, finishing with 14 points, but five others contributed at least six points. Derek Montoya led Artesia with 16 points, but no one else had more than six points for the Bulldogs. In other final-round matchups, Deming defeated El Paso Burges 63-52 for seventh place, Roswell Goddard had no trouble with Lovington 63-42 to take fifth and Denver Lincoln took the measure of Carlsbad 68-53 for third place. Clovis, which completed an opening stretch of four games in five nights on Saturday, returns to action on Tuesday when it plays at Portales. The Cats are then scheduled to entertain Goddard on Saturday night at Rock Staubus Gym.
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