Clovis (14-1) at Highland (10-5), 7 p.m. today, and at Rio Rancho Cleveland (7-6), 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Radio: KCLV-AM 1240, KTQM-FM 99.9.
Situation: The Wildcats are ranked first in the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Class 5A poll, while Highland is eighth and Cleveland 10th. It’s the Wildcats’ second-straight weekend back-to-back.
Last time out: Clovis has been idle since Saturday, when it held off a late charge to claim its eighth-straight win, 74-60 over Sandia. The Hornets routed Rio Rancho 58-38 Wedensday. The Storm faced Gallup Thursday night.
Last meetings: The Cats did the back-to-back at home last January against the same teams. They lost to Highland 60-52, then defeated Cleveland 65-51.
Hornets players to watch: Darrell Lampkin, 6-0, Sr., G; Larry Rhodes, 5-8, Jr., G.
Keys against Highland: Clovis coach J.D. Isler said the Hornets are similar to Clovis and Onate, the only team that has beaten the Wildcats this season.
“They’re guard-oriented, very athletic,” Isler said. “They don’t really have one guy to key on. They’re kind of a hard team to match up against.
“We’ve got to go in there and do what we do. It’s a little bit of a concern playing back-to-back.”
Storm players to watch: P.J. Horgan, 6-8, Jr., P; Kyle Quintana, 6-1, Jr., G; Cole Gautsche, 6-3, So., F.
Keys against Cleveland: Isler said the Cats will need to force the tempo, but could fall into the trap of playing a slower tempo because they’ll be tired from Friday and that’s how the Storm want to play, anyway.
Horgan, Isler said, compares favorably to Chris Strong of Eldorado, who was a tough matchup for the Wildcats.
“They’ve got a nice shooter on the perimeter (with Quintana),” Isler said. “They’ve got a nice balance inside and outside. (Horgan’s) a pretty agile 6-8. He’s going to be a handful.”
Clovis (9-5) vs. Alamogordo (4-12), 7 p.m. today, and vs. Rio Rancho Cleveland (7-7), 7 p.m. Saturday at Rock Staubus Gym.
Radio: KCLV-FM 99.1.
Last time out: The Lady Wildcats blasted Class 3A Pojoaque 51-25 on Saturday at Portales. Alamogordo lost at home to Carlsbad 42-30 on Tuesday. Cleveland played at Class 3A No. 1 Santa Fe Indian on Thursday.
Last meeting: Clovis won at Alamogordo 60-36 last January. The Lady Cats played Cleveland three times last season — winning 48-38 in the Mel Otero Invite at Rio Rancho, losing 51-49 on a last-second basket at Cleveland and then eliminating the Storm 57-42 in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament at The Rock.
Players to watch: Alamogordo, Vivis Montes, 5-1, Jr., G. Cleveland, Sarah Hattis, 6-4, Jr., C.
Of note: Montes scored 11 points in the loss to Carlsbad, but Alamogordo is clearly struggling. In addition to Tuesday’s loss, the Lady Tigers were thumped by the other member of District 4-5A, a 57-10 drubbing against Hobbs in November. … Cleveland finished seventh in the Gallup tournament Dec. 2-4, losing to Winslow, Ariz., and Miyamura before beating Cienega, Ariz., in the final round. The Lady Cats were third in that event. … Hattis scored 59 points in the three games against Clovis last season, but freshman G Courtnie Latham — whose last-second basket won the game at Cleveland — has since moved to Houston. … Both opponents are relatively young — Alamo has three seniors on its roster, Cleveland two.
Outlook: Reed wants his team get on a roll during January when most of the games are at home. He expects Cleveland to be formidable. “They want to beat us — we knocked them out of the playoffs last year,” he said. “They’ll be a lot better team now than what we saw at Gallup.”
— Compiled by Kevin Wilson and Dave Wagner
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