Jeff Reed would rather his Clovis girls aim high and miss the mark than aim low and hit it.
But missing the mark wasn’t a picnic either.
Clovis got the 39-32 win Saturday at Rock Staubus Gym, but started slow and withstood a Roswell High rally in the fourth to stave off the upset.
“We messed around, couldn’t hit a simple inside shot,” Reed said, less than 24 hours after Clovis’ 48-33 win at District 4-5A rival Hobbs. “We gave them hope when we really could have set a tone.”
The Lady Wildcats (17-4) never trailed, but could never get a transition game going as an efficient Roswell High halfcourt attack had little trouble with Clovis’ pressure defense.
Without easy layups off the press, Clovis finished 16-of-42 from the floor.
“Our defense isn’t the problem, it’s our offense,” Reed said. “But it does go back to defense. If we can’t get anything off our press, then that’s a big chunk of our offense.”
Clovis had a 2-of-13 first quarter, and barely stayed in front thanks to a huge night on the offensive boards. The Lady Cats had six offensive rebounds on their first possession, which ended with an Amanda Romero 3-pointer, and had 13 of their 23 boards on the offensive side.
Roswell High (13-8) was mostly held off the offensive glass, with just eight on the night, but got an efficient 17 points from Shanice Steenholdt, including eight in the third quarter.
Antiesha Brown scored six of her 11 points in the fourth for CHS, and Ashlee Pierson hit a pair of free throws with 26 seconds left after the Lady Coyotes cut the margin to 35-32. Reed said the offense has to get more from Brown, who had 32 points against Hobbs the previous night, and Pierson.
“She can’t just turn it on and off like that,” Reed said of Brown.
Roswell High coach Joe Carpenter said Clovis’ other players contributed enough to prevent the Lady Coyotes from the upset, but he still liked his chances late.
“They established a cushion on us, but we always feel if we’re within six or eight points, we have a chance,” he said. “Once we settled down and relaxed, we found we could be at their level. It’s still to be seen if we can beat a team like that.”
That’s what worries Reed. The teams face off again Friday in Roswell, and the Lady Coyotes have confidence after Saturday’s meeting.
“I’ve got high expectations, and high demands,” Reed said. “I could lower the demands and be happy with a seven-point win over a (Class) 4A team. But as a player, I’d take that as an insult.”
Both teams return to district play Tuesday, with Clovis hosting Carlsbad, while Roswell High travels to Artesia.