Senior Antiesha Brown and junior Ashlee Pierson were a two-pronged attack for Clovis High’s girls Monday night.
It worked for a win, but Lady Wildcats coach Jeff Reed knows it won’t happen that often.
Brown poured in 23 points and Pierson added 18 as the Lady Cats led virtually wire-to-wire in a 49-47 quarterfinal victory over Shiprock in the quarterfinal round of the Plateau Holiday Classic at Rock Staubus Gym.
Pierson made a crucial steal and took it in for a layup with 1:09 left, giving Clovis (7-1) a 48-45 lead and just enough margin to hold on. Shiprock’s Courntey Benally missed a potential tying layup shot off an inbounds pass as time expired.
“We played for three quarters; in the fourth quarter we just stopped playing,” said Reed, whose team faces La Cueva (6-3) in a 6 p.m. semifinal matchup today. “Hey, if we play another minute, we might’ve lost that game.
“Nobody else stepped up offensively tonight. We’ll have to have some others step up.”
In a game of runs, Clovis managed to build leads of 13 points in the first half and 14 points in the third quarter. But the Lady Cats were outscored 14-7 by Shiprock (7-3) in the final stanza, and Pierson’s late basket after a long Lady Chieftains possession accounted for their only field goal of the period.
“I was a little frustrated,” Pierson said. “Coach D (assistant Regina Downing) told us (during a timeout), ‘If your man gets the ball, then you’re the weak link.’ I just went for it.”
Clovis built a 26-13 lead with the first nine points of the second quarter, but the Lady Chieftains closed to 30-26 early in the third period. The Lady Cats then ran off the next 10 points and appeared to be in good shape before Shiprock, ranked third in Class 4A, began the final period with a 9-0 run to pull to 42-37.
Shiprock finally tied the score on Benally’s follow shot with 2:40 left. Brown then hit a free throw 12 seconds later, and senior guard Amanda Romero’s free throw with 49 seconds left made it a four-point game.
“We were kind of hyped up at the beginning,” Pierson said. “We kind of struggled a little (at times), but our crowd really helped us.”
Sophomore guard Christina Yazzie scored 11 points and junior post Haley Taliman added 10 for the Lady Chieftains, who take on Portales (4-3) in a 4 p.m. consolation semifinal today.