RIO RANCHO — Clovis High’s girls struggled to get going Tuesday night against rival Portales, but quickly righted the ship.
The Lady Wildcats took control by outscoring PHS 13-2 in the second quarter and went on to a 33-22 win in a championship semifinal matchup of the Mel Otero Invite.
Clovis started the period trailing 7-2, but got eight points in the second segment from junior guard Kirsti Shough, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Clovis (4-2), which has won three in a row, meets Roswell High in today’s 7 p.m. championship game. The Lady Coyotes edged La Cueva 40-37 in the other semifinal matchup.
Portales takes on La Cueva for third place at 5 p.m.
For the most part, the Lady Rams kept the game at the pace they like and didn’t allow the Lady Cats to get out and run.
“They did the same thing to us that they did last year,” CHS coach Jeff Reed said, referring to a 30-28 win over the Lady Rams at Portales. “I was proud the girls were able to fight through it.”
Clovis held the Lady Rams (4-2) to four points in the middle two quarters. The pace picked up in the final period, but the Lady Cats maintained their cushion by outscoring Portales 13-11.
Junior post Paige Gardner scored six of her game high 11 points in that period, and Clovis converted 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
“We missed some shots early that we should’ve made, but they make it tough to get into a rhythm,” Reed said. “They do a great job of playing fundamental defense and don’t give us second shots. They’re so hard to score against.”
Junior Macy Mitchell had nine points for the Lady Rams.