Ranked No. 2 in Texas in Class 4A, the Canyon Eagles don’t need a lot of mistakes to capitalize, even on the road. It’s safe to say Clovis made more than enough.
Nicole Hampton scored 16 points and nearly outscored Clovis by herself in the third quarter to lead a balanced effort, as Canyon claimed a 53-38 win Tuesday night.
In their first game since a buzzer-beating 49-47 loss to then No. 2 Mansfield Timberview, a loss that flipped the 4A rankings, Canyon (21-1) used a menacing halfcourt defense that forced Clovis into 18 turnovers and 11-of-35 shooting.
“Clovis really has an outstanding team,” Canyon coach Joe Lombard said. “We wanted to play a lot of help defense so they didn’t get it to the basket too much.”
The Eagles, who led by as many as 18, posted an 8-0 run to start the third quarter and never looked back. Hampton had eight points in the quarter, and would have outscored the Wildcats if not for a pair of Antiesha Brown free throws on a loose ball foul called at the quarter buzzer.
Before a small run at the end of the first half for a 25-19 Canyon lead, the game featured a pair of ties and four lead changes.
“Last year, we did the same exact thing, except in a different quarter,” Clovis coach Jeff Reed said. “They had that one quarter where they made a run, and we were done.”
Casey Land was the only other Eagle in double figures with 11, as eight Canyon players entered the scorebook on the night.
“We got a great team effort,” Lombard said. “On the negative side, we were sloppy with the ball and defensively, we probably fouled too much.”
The Wildcats, meanwhile, had Brown lead three players in double figures with 14. Ashlee Pierson added 10 and Delaney Ware had a season-high 10 for — but only one other Wildcat scored — sophomore Paige Gardner with three points.
“We’ve got to have more scorers, and more variety,” Reed said.
Clovis stays home for the weekend New Mexico/Arizona Challenge. The Wildcats face Monument Valley in a 4:30 p.m. Friday game, then face Pinnacle on Saturday.
“They do all the fundamentals and the little stuff right,” Reed said of Canyon. “That’s what we’ve got to if we want to beat the good teams. And we’ve got some good teams coming in.
Canyon 53, Clovis 38
Canyon (21-1) — Nicole Hampton 4 8-8 16, Casey Land 4 2-2 11, Jordan Vessels 3 2-2 8, Kelsey Smith 2 0-0 6, Taryn Borchardt 1 3-4 5, Ashley Pedigo 1 1-2 3, Macy Myrick 1 0-0 2, Taylor Sullivan 0 2-2 2. Totals 16 18-20 53.
Clovis (9-3) — Antiesha Brown 4 5-8 14, Ashlee Pierson 3 3-5 11, Delaney Ware 3 3-4 10, Paige Gardner 1 1-2 3. Totals 11 12-19 38.
Canyon 14 11 17 11 — 53
Clovis 11 8 9 10 — 38
3-pointers — Canyon, Smith 2, Land. Clovis, Pierson 2, Brown, Ware. Junior varsity — Canyon 39, Clovis 37.