Clovis High’s girls have beaten Portales twice this season, but in both games the Lady Rams made them play their style.
Lady Wildcats coach Jeff Reed hopes the homecourt advantage at Rock Staubus Gym will help his team break out in today’s 5:30 p.m. contest.
“It’s Portales again,” Reed said. “The thing is I know they really want to beat us. Hopefully, playing at home, we can shoot the ball better.”
Clovis beat the Lady Rams 33-22 in the semifinals of the Mel Otero Invite at Rio Rancho in early December, then pulled out a 41-38 overtime win at PHS a few days later.
Portales plays a more deliberate style than the Lady Cats, who like to pressure opponents and get out on the run. Both teams enter the game with records of 11-5.
“We see each other a lot,” Portales coach Clay Stout said. “They seem to be playing pretty well, even though they’ve lost one of their kids for a while.”
Junior guard Kirsti Shough fractured the thumb on her right hand in Friday’s 81-42 win over Alamogordo, and could be out up to three weeks. The Lady Cats hardly missed a beat on Saturday night, pounding Rio Rancho Cleveland 65-42.
Both teams are trying to build toward the start of district play in a couple of weeks.
“We need to get some momentum going into district,” Reed said. “We need to get as many wins as we can (to help) our playoff seeding.”
The Class 3A Lady Rams have some tough games remaining before district play begins, Stout noted.
“They’ve got a really nice team,” he said of the Lady Cats. “I think it’ll be a good game for both of us.”
Lubbock Christian (4-11) at Clovis (15-2)
7 p.m. today, Rock Staubus Gym
Radio: KCLV-AM 1240, KTQM-FM 99.9.
Last time out: Clovis split back-to-back road games, with a pair of 10-point decisions, a 77-67 win over Highland on Friday and a 62-52 loss to Rio Rancho Cleveland Saturday. The Lions dropped a 52-47 decision to Texico at home on Friday.
Last meeting: The teams have never met.
“They wanted to play some bigger schools, get some better competition,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “I don’t know anything about them.”
Lions players to watch: Taylor Brown, Sr., G.
Quotable: “We’re kind of frustrated after looking at our loss on film. We realized we didn’t play well and didn’t hit shots we normally hit. Going into the Lubbock Christian and Goddard games, I’m really more concerned with us.” — Isler, whose teams hosts Goddard on Saturday night.
— Compiled by Kevin Wilson