Even sluggish first halves can’t seem to deter Clovis High’s girls these days.
The Lady Wlldcats struggled badly shooting the ball in the first half on Friday night. Leading scorer Danni Williams didn’t get in the book for the first 13 minutes and had just one field goal through three quarters.
Williams got going late, though, finishing with 16 points, and the Lady Cats eventually pulled away to a 55-27 win over Class 4A No. 2 Roswell High at The Rock.
Junior guard Brandi Gomez added 12 points and sophomore post Shelby Jones 10 as the Lady Cats (23-1), ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, won their 17th game in a row.
Still, it was struggle for a while. Despite a last-second stickback by Jones, the Lady Coyotes (17-7) were within 19-10 at halftime.
“We just couldn’t finish early,” said Jones, who unofficially had 10 rebounds and created a number of turnovers with her aggressive defense. “We just needed to get tough. Like our coaches said, it’s not going to get any easier.”
Lady Coyotes coach Joe Carpenter bemoaned his team’s early missed opportunity.
“We played pretty good defense, and they were missing some easy ones,” he said of the first half. “But we couldn’t capitalize. We just missed more than they did.”
The Lady Cats eventually extended their halfcourt trapping defense to fullcourt pressure, and Roswell High didn’t have the answers.
Carpenter said the Lady Cats have a chance to do some big things.
“They’re a real long team, heady and well-coached,” he said. “It’s not all about scoring with them; they share the ball well.
“Someone’s going to have to play really well to beat them.”
The Lady Cats forced Roswell High into a whopping 31 turnovers, although they were guilty of 20 of their own.
“We just stayed with it long enough that we could build that lead at halftime,” CHS coach Jeff Reed said. “We had a great second half; our offense was a lot better.
“Even though we couldn’t get on that run we wanted in the first half, we still played good defense.”
It was the second game in a row the Lady Cats have struggled a bit early, although in both cases they dominated the final two periods.
“We knew we needed to go out the second half and just put it on them,” Jones said. “But we really need to start doing it throughout the game instead of waiting so long.”
No one managed more than five points for the Lady Coyotes, who had just three field goals in the opening half and nine for the game,