Wildcats trying to overcome slow start


Clovis coach J.D. Isler said the Wildcats are still trying to play catchup after starting the season late after an extended football season.

Take for example, the Cats’ 61-51 loss to Alamogordo on Tuesday.

“It was a tough game,” Clovis coach J.D Isler said. “They were just a little bit better than us at that point.”

One factor in the loss could have been the fact Alamogordo (9-3) started the season on time and has played five more games than Clovis.

“We’re just trying to get over the hump,” Isler said. “Unfortunately the competition is getting tougher and tougher.”

A chance to catch up is just around the corner — Christmas break.

“This break is important for us,” Isler said. “We have a chance to get some practice under us.”

Before the Cats (4-3) get to the break, they have to deal with Lubbock Coronado at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Rock Staubus.

“They will pressure you hard,” Isler said. “They are very physical in the post.”

Isler said the Cats will need strong play down low from senior Devin Sweet and junior Michael Lewis. Lewis has been nursing an ankle injury all season.

“We need Devin and Mike to step up,” he said. “Mike is jumping better, but he says (the ankle is) just weak. There is no pain, it’s just weak. So, he’s gotten to the point where he can play pain-free. We think that’s a good sign.”

Another post with an ankle injury, senior Chris Finch, is expected to play after seeing limited minutes Wednesday.
Isler said he needs the 6-foot-4 Finch to have a productive game.

“He’ll play,” the Clovis coach said. “And we’ll need his physicality (tonight).”

Outside the post, Isler said his guards have started to play better, but they still have work to do.

“I really feel like our guard play has come around,” he said. “But we had 21 turnovers (on Wednesday). So, in one respect they’re shooting the ball well, but they have to take care of the ball better.”