The Clovis Lady Wildcats have attained one of coach Jeff Reed’s goals this week — reach the finals of their holiday tournament.
After two easy wins, though, they figure to have their hands full when they face El Paso Coronado (17-2) in today’s 6 p.m. championship game of the Plateau Wireless Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.
The Lady Cats (7-4) certainly haven’t been pushed in the first two rounds of the event, blowing out winless Abilene Cooper on Tuesday and following that up with a 70-39 drubbing of Manzano on Wednesday.
Their active, fullcourt style has overwhelmed both opponents, but in Coronado (17-2) they’ll face a team which is comfortable in that type of game.
“We’re going to have to make adjustments,” Lady Cats coach Jeff Reed said. “The two teams we’ve faced have run zone (defenses), but this team will press us and play man-to-man.”
Manzano (3-7) took a 2-0 lead, but turned the ball over on its next five possessions. With the score 9-5, the Lady Cats went on a 32-6 run that carried into the final minute of the half.
The Lady Monarchs shot 54 percent from the field, but managed only 28 attempts. The Lady Cats forced them into 36 turnovers, including 22 in the first half.
“We just pressed the dog out of them,” Reed said. “We shot the ball decent and we got after them. The girls did a good job of causing a lot of steals.”
Senior Ashlee Pierson scored 21 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for Clovis, while junior guard Kirsti Shough added a season-best 17 points, including four 3-pointers.
Shough hit her first 3-pointer, then missed several in a row before getting on track. She went 4-of-11 for the game from long range.
“I always try to keep shooting,” she said. “I know my shots will eventually start to fall.”
Shough said she thinks it’ll take a solid effort to beat Coronado, which has beat Texico and Amarillo Caprock in the first two rounds.
“They play a lot of man and they’ll press us,” she said. “We have to work hard and handle their pressure.”
Freshman Caroline Lantor had nine of the Manzano’s 15 field goals and finished with 20 points.