SANTA FE — Senior Lathan Lieb made sure Clovis High wouldn’t get off to another slow start Saturday night.
Lieb hit three of his five 3-pointers in the first quarter, keeping the Wildcats even with Santa Fe High, and they took off from there for a 62-48 win over the Demons in the championship game of the Capital City Invitational.
Lieb finished with 21 points for the Cats (5-0) en route to tournament MVP honors. He was also the high-point individual with 77 points in three games.
Assistant coach Scott Robinson said it was the best game of the three days for the Cats, who fell behind by significant margins early in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.
“I think we played more relaxed this game than we had been,” Robinson said. “We came out more aggressive tonight than we had been, and we were kind of able to keep the (home) crowd out of it.”
Sophomore guard D.J. Blackmon scored 13 points and senior post Lincoln Nora added 12 for the Cats. Both were named to the all-tournament team.
“He did some good things,” Robinson said of Nora. “He rebounded the ball well throughout the tournament.”
Santa Fe High (3-5) led by five points in the first quarter, but the Cats took the lead for good early in the second period and stretched it out the rest of the way.
“Offensively, we were probably the most aggressive we’ve been in this tournament,” Robinson said. “D.J. did a good job of attacking the basket, and Lathan shot the ball well.”
Orlando Echave had 12 points and Nick Martinez 10 for the Demons, who advanced with a last-second win over city rival St. Michael’s in Friday’s semifinals.
Clovis was also accorded the tournament’s sportsmanship award.
“It was a good way for us to finish the tournament,” Robinson said. “This was by far our best game of the tournament.”
Clovis returns to action on Monday with a 7 p.m. contest against Dumas, Texas, at Rock Staubus Gym.