Clovis Christian close to gaining NMAA eligibility

By Dave Wagner

AFTER THREE YEARS OF trying, Clovis Christian is finally set to become a full-fledged member of the New Mexico Activities Association in 2004-05.

Well, almost — the school’s accreditation process was completed in November, but still has to be approved by Veronica Garcia, New Mexico’s secretary of state, before becoming official.

Accreditation would make CCS teams eligible for NMAA postseason play beginning next fall. Last year, the senior-laden CCS boys swept through their District 4-1A schedule, including two wins over eventual Class 1A state runnerup Logan, but the lack of accreditation kept the Eagles out of the playoffs.

“We’ve done everything we can do; we’re just waiting on (the state),” said CCS girls basketball coach Max Kralicek, who coached the boys program for four years before switching to the girls this season. “There’s no reason it shouldn’t be accepted.”

Kralicek believes his team last year would have had the ability to compete at the state level.

“I really think we had a good shot,” he said. “We had beaten Logan twice, and they ended up going to the finals. We were playing really well at the end of the year.”

FARWELL’S GIRLS CAME CLOSE to pulling off what some think would have been a first on Tuesday night — beating the rival Sudan Hornettes.

But the Lady Blue could never quite get over the top, losing in overtime 48-44 at Sudan in a battle for the District 3-1A lead.

“We just needed a few bounces to go our way,” Farwell girls coach Doug Boyd said. “I really think we can beat them, especially when they come to our house (Feb. 6).”

Farwell (11-12, 3-1 district) was down by 10 points in the third quarter, and still trailed by eight with 3 1/2 minutes left before pulling into a tie in the final minute of regulation.

The Hornettes (19-4, 4-0), who also beat Farwell by eight points in a tournament earlier this season, were able to spread the court and salt the game away with free throws.

Senior guard Tara Schilling scored a career-high 10 points off the bench for Farwell, hitting 2-of-3 shots from 3-point range and 4-of-5 field goals overall.

“She played a great game; she really stepped up,” Boyd said. “I’ve been challenging the girls to do that.”

The schedule should be in the team’s favor for a while now. Four of the next five games are at home, capped by the rematch with Sudan.

FORMER TEXICO STANDOUT Justin Steward, a junior at NCAA Division III Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, was named the American Southwest Conference co-player of the week after scoring 40 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in two road wins for the Lobos.

Steward had 22 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in Thursday’s 87-84 win at Schriner, and collected 18 points, eight boards and two blocks to help SRSU nip Texas Lutheran 80-75 on Saturday. For the season, he’s averaging 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds, with an 18.7 scoring average over his last six games.

The Lobos are coached by former Eastern New Mexico University assistant Doug Davalos.

CNJ sports writer Dave Wagner can be reached at dave_wagner@link.freedom.com.