Lady Cats set for date with Canyon

CNJ staff

Miles Watters believes one of the biggest wins during the 2004-05 season for his Clovis High girls basketball team was a 48-38 victory at perennial class 3A Texas power Canyon.

The teams hook up again Monday night in a 7 p.m. start at Rock Staubus Gym.

“That was a huge win for us,” Watters said Saturday in looking ahead to the rematch. “It was no doubt one of the biggest wins for our program to beat them at their place.”

The Lady Wildcats (12-2) expect to see another formidable team when the two-time 3A champion Lady Eagles make the return trip to Rock Staubus.

“I feel their ranked No. 2 in the state right now,” Watters said. “No doubt, they’ll want to avenge that loss.”

Longtime Canyon coach Joe Lombard won his 900th career game during last year’s run by Canyon to the state championship. Watters said the Lady Eagles rely heavily on defense.

“They’ll throw a lot of looks at you,” he said. “They defend so well, it’s hard to get good looks (at the basket) against them.”

Clovis relied heavily on then-juniors Aimee Hilburn and Brittany Blackmon in last year’s matchup. The Lady Eagles collapsed their defense around Blackmon inside, and Hilburn took advantage to nail three 3-pointers and score 20 points.

Despite their defensive presence, Blackmon still managed to add 15 tallies.

Clovis erased a 31-30 deficit with a 10-2 run to start the final period, then put the game away late from the free throw line.

The Lady Cats lost on Tuesday to Las Cruces Mayfield 56-50 in a rematch of the last two Class 5A state championship games, including last year’s matchup of unbeatens. Clovis rebounded on Thursday night for a 61-30 victory at Roswell Goddard behind 18 points from Blackmon and four 3-pointers and 14 points from senior point guard Tori Quintana.

Watters noted that his team is heading into a difficult stretch of games. The Lady Cats travel to Amarillo High on Friday night and Alamogordo on Saturday night before hosting rival Portales next Tuesday.

He said they will likely continue playing Canyon in the future.

“We want to play the best people we possibly can,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll help us later on in district play.

“Canyon will definitely be one of the most talented and disciplined teams we’ll play all year.”