Even when they trailed 2-1 in the first minute, there wasn’t much double about the outcome.
The Clovis Lady Wildcats made sure of it, though, scoring the next 20 points and blowing out winless Abilene Cooper 66-21 on Tuesday night in the Plateau Wireless Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.
The Lady Cats (6-4), idle since a 17-point loss to unbeaten Canyon on Dec. 21, should find the level of competition going up again over the next two days. They face Manzano (3-6) today, then with a win would take on the winner of El Paso Coronado (16-2) and Amarillo Caprock (11-5) in the championship game on Thursday.
All 14 players in uniform saw extended action for Clovis. Senior guard-post Ashlee Pierson scored 21 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the floor, while junior post Paige Gardner added 14 points — all in the first three quarters — and a team-high eight rebounds.
Gardner acknowledged the Lady Cats had Cooper well outmanned.
“But you still have to go out there and work hard on the little things,” she said. “(A game like this) lets everyone have playing time.”
The Lady Cats held Cooper to 21 percent shooting from the field on 7-of-34. No one had more than one field goal for the Lady Coogs (0-17).
“It was good for everybody to get to play, but it goes so quick,” CHS coach Jeff Reed said, noting a running clock was in effect for about the final 10 minutes. “You don’t get to work on what you need to work on.
“But it’s nice to come back from the break and get our legs under us a little bit.”
Clovis’ pressure defense turned the Lady Coogs over 31 times. Meantime, shooting free and easy, Clovis finished at 50 percent from the field on 27-of-54.
“We had some good moments,” Reed said. “It was hard to get into a flow with all the substitutions.
“Ashlee and Paige got some good steals for us. I told the girls our defense could be a good offense for us in this game.”
Despite their struggles, nine of the 10 Lady Coogs managed to break into the scoring column, although the high scorer was junior forward Kayla Barnes with just four points.
Gardner realizes the competition will get tougher.
“Manzano will be a hard game,” she said. “I think Coronado (would) be tough, too. We’ll just have to go out and do things right.”