Clovis stays perfect with win over Portales

By Dave Wagner

CMI sports writer

dwagner@cnjonline.com

CLOVIS — In little more than the blink of an eye, Danni Williams took Clovis High’s girls out of danger Tuesday night.

Leading by one point early in the second period, the junior guard scored the final 11 points in a 17-0 run over a a span of four-plus minutes and the Lady Wildcats never looked back, posting a 63-43 win over Portales in a duel of top-ranked teams at Rock Staubus Gym.

TONY BULLOCKS: CMI photo Portales junior McKenzie Bucksath leans into Clovis junior Shelby Jones before getting off a shot attempt in the first half of Tuesday night’s game at Rock Staubus  Gymnasium.

TONY BULLOCKS: CMI photo
Portales junior McKenzie Bucksath leans into Clovis junior Shelby Jones before getting off a shot attempt in the first half of Tuesday night’s game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.

Williams finished with 30 points for the Class 5A No. 1 Lady Cats (17-0), who extended their winning streak to 23 games dating to last season’s state championship run.

The Lady Rams (14-2), No. 1 in Class 3A, got 15 points and nine rebounds from sophomore forward Kambrey Blakey, but couldn’t overcome foul problems which plagued both teams throughout the game.

Clovis outscored PHS 26-13 in the second quarter to build a 15-point halftime cushion, and the Lady Rams were unable to get closer than 12 the rest of the way.

“That was the story of the game,” first-year PHS coach Wade Fraze said. “That, and we missed 17 free throws that we don’t normally miss.”

Both teams, in fact struggled mightily from the free throw line — even Williams, an 85 percent shooter who missed six of her 11 attempts. Portales finished 11-of-28, Clovis 12-of-27.

The Lady Cats, though, shot 59 percent from the field (23-of-39) while holding Portales to 30 percent (15-of-50).

Despite the margin, CHS coach Jeff Reed said his team could have played much better.

“I’m glad Danni went off and had a great game, but we can’t rely on that,” he said. “If Danni doesn’t go off, it could’ve been a different game.

“We have to play better as a team.”

The game was tied once, at 2-2, but Portales hung around into the second quarter. Two free throws by sophomore Brooke Lopez and another by Blakey pulled the Lady Rams to 15-14, but senior guard Carrie Sharp counted with two free throws and a basket before Williams got hot.

She made a free throw and a basket, then hit back-to-back 3-pointers before capping the run with a medium-range pullup to make it 32-14 with under three minutes left in the half.

Fraze said he thought at times the Lady Rams were in position to get calls on Williams’ drives that they didn’t get.

“You can’t do any better than being in position,” he said.

TONY BULLOCKS: CMI photo Portales sophomore Kambrey Blakey works her way around Clovis senior Kyleigh Guthals in the first half of Tuesday night’s game at the Rock.

TONY BULLOCKS: CMI photo
Portales sophomore Kambrey Blakey works her way around Clovis senior Kyleigh Guthals in the first half of Tuesday night’s game at the Rock.

He added, though, that the game will make his team better in the long run.

“We just want to get better every day, no matter who we play,” Fraze said. “The end (of the season, and the state tournament) is what we’re shooting for.”

Junior reserve McKenzie Bucksath played a solid game inside for the Lady Rams, narrowly missing a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

Meantime, senior guard Brandi Gomez added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Lady Cats, who were without junior starting guard Nichele Hyman for a third consecutive game due to a broken nose and concussion symptoms.

“Portales got after us and played hard; they didn’t lay down for us,” Reed said. “But we have to get better. There’s teams out there that are good enough to beat us.”

 

Tuesday

Girls

Clovis 63, Portales 43

Portales (14-2) — Francis Armijo 2-10 0-0 5, Bailey Rowley 3-4 0-4 7, Sheraya Cox 2-7 0-4 4, Brooke Lopez 0-2 2-2 2, Kambrey Blakey 5-15 6-10 16, Simone Laurenz 0-0 0-0 0, Savannah Vincent 0-4 0-2 0, McKenzie Bucksath 3-8 3-6 9. Totals 15-50 11-28 43.

Clovis (17-0) — Brandi Gomez 6-8 2-6 14, Danni Williams 10-18 5-11 30, Ashley Gallagher 1-2 0-0 2, Kyleigh Guthals 2-3 0-0 4, Carrie Sharp 2-2 2-2 6, Dee Briggins 0-1 0-2 0, Shelby Jones 1-3 2-4 4, Lakeyia Wilkins 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 23-39 12-27 63.

Portales 11 13 11 8 — 43

Clovis 13 26 10 14 — 63

3-pointers — Portales 2-9 (Rowley 1-1, Armijo 1-4, Cox 0-1, Lopez 0-1, Blakey 0-2), Clovis 5-8 (Williams 5-7, Gomez 0-1). Rebounds — Portales 31 (Blakey, Bucksath 9), Clovis 30 (Wilkins, Williams 7). Assists — Portales 3 (three tied with 1), Clovis 9 (Jones, Williams 3). Total fouls — Portales 19, Clovis 22. Fouled out — Cox, Gomez, Guthals. Junior varsity — Clovis 69, Portales 51.

 

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