By Greg Price: Freedom Newspapers
CLOVIS — By the end of the first half, the Clovis Wildcats had hit so many 3-pointers the cheerleaders ran out of t-shirts to throw to the crowd.
Clovis set a school record with 16 treys on Saturday night in dominating Portales 82-48 at Rock Staubus Gym.
The Rams (14-9, 6-1) continue District 4-3A action Friday night at Dexter.
Junior Bryce Hill sank six 3-pointers on his way to 22 points. Meantime, junior Jaden Isler added 19 points and senior Cody Thornsbury 15, with each hitting five treys.
The previous record for 3-pointers was 15, set during the 1995-96 season.
Hill said the Cats come out every game hoping to break the record.
“We usually decide every night is the night we’re going to do it, but I guess we just did it tonight,” Hill said. “Cody started it, Jaden was in the middle and I guess I finished it.”
The Cats drained nine 3-pointers in the first half and led 43-25 at the break.
“We don’t talk a lot about records, but that’s kind of a neat record,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “And that’s pretty tough to do. I didn’t know we were that close until one of our assistant coaches told me we were at 14.”
Senior Todd McBroom was the Rams’ lone double-figure scorer, finishing with four 3-pointers and 14 points.
Portales led 11-10 lead with 3:55 remaining in the first quarter as Clovis struggled from the field early.
Senior Michael Lewis scored the Cats’ next six points on three layups. Coach Isler said Lewis, who finished with 12 points, led a strong inside presence which helped set up the Cats’ hot outside shooting.
“It’s really a work ethic. We talk to our kids that you can make yourself a good shooter if you’re willing to get in the gym and shoot,” J.D. Isler said. “But Jaden, Cody and Bryce have spent many hours in the gym.”
Clovis went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter for a 40-19 lead as Jaden Isler and Thornsbury combined for four straight treys. Junior Ky Mitchell responded with consecutive 3-pointers, but the Rams’ deficit was too much to make up.
“Clovis is the best shooting team in the state of New Mexico,” Portales coach Mark Gallegos said. “I told my kids, that stuff just doesn’t happen. It happens because those kids are in the gym playing and shooting.”