For all of the flair that the Friday Clovis-Hobbs game brings with it, it probably won’t do much to change the postseason direction for either team, with Clovis wrapping up the regular season District 4-5A title Tuesday night in Carlsbad.
Wildcat coach Matt King thinks the contest will have little impact on seeding, making only the germane details that a win doesn’t hurt seeding and a loss never helps.
“I honestly don’t know how much I care,” King said Thursday night about postseason seeding. “I care about how we’re playing going into the state tournament. We want to make sure we get ourselves a home game, and I think we’ve done that.”
In the state’s current 16-team format, King said, Clovis (18-6, 3-0) must secure one of the state’s top eight seeds. King noted that Clovis must be seeded ahead of Hobbs (19-6, 1-2) in the bracket by virtue of the regular season district title. And he thinks Hobbs has more than earned a top-eight seed themselves, because he’s hard-pressed to imagine a 19-win team losing out such a spot to other teams around the state with a dozen or more losses.
Instead, King says he’s concerned with what he and the Wildcats can control. For Friday, it’s about fine-tuning.
“The key for us, especially in these games,” King said, “are making sure we take of the ball and making sure we’re really good defensive. And we’ve got to rebound well. We’ve got to do those three things ... and it doesn’t hurt to make some shots.”
The Eagles, since losing to Clovis, have been a much different team, with comfortable wins over Carlsbad (88-50) and Las Cruces (78-60).
Hobbs (19-6, 1-2)
at Clovis (18-6, 3-0)
7 p.m. Friday
On the air: KCLV-AM 1240, KTQM-99.9
Last time out: Clovis wrapped up the District 4-5A regular season title, and homecourt advantage in the March 2 district championship game, with a 68-53 win at Carlsbad. The Eagles defeated Carlsbad 88-50 at Ralph Tasker Arena on Friday.
Last meeting: Feb. 8, the Wildcats escaped Hobbs with a 61-59 win when guard Dane Pannell’s desperation 3-pointer was long as time expired.