Lady Cats coast to win

Clovis’ Brittany Blackmon looks as the ball travels out of the reach of Moriarty’s Lomeli Carpio during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Clovis defeated Moriarty 54-35. Blackmon finished the game with 24

By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ staff writer

After Brittany Blackmon single-handily outscored his team in the first half, Moriarty coach Joe Bailey had nothing but praise for the Clovis standout and her top-ranked teammates.

Blackmon finished 24 points and eight rebounds as Clovis coasted past the Moriarty 54-35 Tuesday at Rock Staubus Gym.

Bailey said he was proud of how his team played on the road facing the defending state champs.

“We knew who we were playing today,” he said. “Our goal was to come out and compete and play hard, and we did that. I told my girls, ‘You can’t be afraid of an opportunity like this, it’s a real honor. We may never get a chance to play a team this good again.’”

Blackmon scored 20 points in the first half to 12 for Moriarty.

“We didn’t have an answer for her,” Bailey said. “We were guarding her with very good freshmen, but they were freshmen.”

Clovis coach Miles Watters said Blackmon had a good game, but that is the norm.

“It’s typical Brittany,” Watters said. “When it’s game time she’s ready to roll. Our guards did a good job getting her the basketball. Sometimes they were trying too hard. I thought we passed up some good perimeter shots.”

Aimee Hilburn added 11 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Lady Wildcats (3-0), who stretched their winning streak to 33 games.

With a 30-12 lead at the half, Watters substituted liberally in the final 16 minutes. In the second half, the Lady Cats outscored Moriarty 24-23.

“It’s gonna take some time for them to develop,” Watters said about his reserves. “We’ve got to have patience.”

The only reserve to score for Clovis was sophomore Kanisha Beachum.

Watters said the Lady Pintos (1-1) present a tough matchup.

“They are a team that spreads you out and takes care of the ball,” Watters said. “They are frustrating to play against.”
Kristin Valencia was the leading scorer for the Lady Pintos with 13.

Blackmon said her team did not play as well as they should have.

“I thought that we kind of played at the other team’s momentum — we were kind of slow, they were kind of slow,” she said. “We didn’t play to our best potential.”

In terms of excitement, the varsity game was a distant second to the junior varsity game that preceded it.

Clovis JV defeated Moriarty JV 45-44 in overtime on a free throw with no time left by Calie Rush.

Rush was fouled on a 3-point attempt as time expired. She missed the first, missed the second, and sank the third free throw as the Clovis fans and varsity team let out a sigh of relief.

“It was pretty intense, especially those free throws she had to shoot,” Blackmon said. “I was astounded for a little while there, after the first two, but she did it and that’s all that matters.”