Jeff Reed didn’t want to see another nail-biter Tuesday night.
Behind senior Ashlee Pierson and junior Kirsti Shough, Clovis High’s girls made sure they put themselves in position for a chance to win the District 4-5A title Friday night at Hobbs.
Pierson scored 11 of Clovis’ 14 first-quarter points, Shough hit four first-half 3-pointers and the Lady Wildcats subdued Carlsbad 63-42 at Rock Staubus Gym, three nights after sweating out a four-point win in Carlsbad.
The Lady Cats (18-7, 2-1 district) assured themselves a home game in next week’s district tournament. They can force a playoff at a neutral site for the district regular-season title with a win at Hobbs (18-7, 3-0).
“It was nice to be able to execute and put them away right from the beginning,” Reed said. “Everybody stepped up and played good.”
Shough had a 3-pointer in the opening period, then hit two more early in the second stanza as the Lady Cats built a 25-11 lead. It was 31-15 at halftime and the Cavegirls (16-10, 0-4), who lost their fifth in a row, never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.
Pierson also had team highs of 10 rebounds and five assists.
“I was just trying to step up,” she said. “The last three games I wasn’t playing to my potential.”
Shough finished with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, all in the first half.
Pierson had primary defensive responsibility on Cavegirls junior Taylor Edmondson on Saturday. This time, she split that chore with senior guard Chelsea Wallace, and the Lady Cats held Edmondson to 15 points — nine less than she had at Carlsbad.
“It really helps,” Pierson said of the switch in strategy by Reed. “It gives each of us a chance to get a breather.”
Reed said Edmondson didn’t play nearly as well in this one.
“She was off tonight,” he said. “It’s hard for Carlsbad to score if she’s not on. We did a better job of helping on her tonight.”
Clovis shot 52 percent from the floor in the opening half. After only seven fouls were called in the first two quarters, the teams combined for 28 fouls the rest of the way and three players fouled out.
Pierson, junior backup guard Latasha Moon (nine rebounds) and junior post Gardner (seven) combined to help the Lady Cats dominate the boards 36-22. Gardner finished with nine points, hitting 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Pierson is anxious for Friday’s rematch with the Lady Eagles, who won 45-44 here on Feb. 4.
“We just want to go out there and play our hearts out,” she said. “We just have to play our game.”