GALLUP — The Clovis Lady Wildcats were positioned to win the Gallup Invitational on Saturday night. They just weren’t able to hold on late against the Lady Bengals.
Justina Prairie Chief and Paulette Coffey scored 15 points each and the Lady Bengals rallied last to beat Clovis 70-66 for the title.
The Lady Cats (2-1) built a 10-point lead in the second quarter and managed to hold off Gallup challenges until the final few minutes.
Second-year CHS coach Jeff Reed said his team played well, but he was disappointed not to be able to finish it off.
“It wasn’t a bad (start to the season),” he said. “I really wanted us to win this game, though.
“We couldn’t handle their pressure (at the end), and we missed some shots we should’ve made.”
Senior post Antiesha Brown scored 35 points for Clovis en route to a spot on the 10-player all-tournament team. Junior Ashley Pierson was also named to the all-tourney squad.
Senior guard Katharine Cordova added 10 points for the Lady Cats, while senior guard Amanda Romero had nine.
Also in double figures for the Lady Bengals (6-0) was Jeryn Wilson with 11 points. Clovis had a 27-19 edge in field goals for the game, but Gallup posted six 3-pointers to two for Clovis and connected on 26-of-33 free throws.
The Lady Cats will be back in action on Thursday in the Mel Otero Invite at Rio Rancho. They face first-year program Rio Rancho Cleveland in the quarterfinal round.