Clovis High girls basketball coach Jeff Reed has seen film of West Mesa, and doesn’t want to believe what he’s seen.
Reed’s Lady Wildcats take the No. 3 seed in the 16-team Class 5A state tournament into today’s 7 p.m. first-round game against 14th-seeded West Mesa (12-15) at Rock Staubus Gym, and he expects the Mustangs to be better than their record.
“On film they don’t look that good, but that doesn’t mean anything,” said Reed, whose squad brings a 14-game winning streak into the contest.
The film the Lady Cats saw was of a game at Alamogordo on Dec. 11, won by the Lady Tigers 66-35. The Lady Cats, meantime, own two comfortable wins over Alamo, both at The Rock.
West Mesa can look good at times, not so good at other times — witness the fact the Mustangs have eight losses this season by at least 19 points. They also have a 3-1 record against district rival Gallup, including two wins in Gallup, and played top-ranked Rio Rancho to within five points on Feb. 13.
“They didn’t handle the press real good against Alamogordo, so we’ll try to press them,” Reed said. “They’re going to come in here and play hard; they know it’s do or die.”
Senior guard Jadee Isler said the Lady Cats are focused on closing out a perfect home season and getting to next week’s quarterfinals at The Pit in Albuquerque.
“I’m just really excited,” said Isler, who averages just under seven points a game. “I think all the seniors are wanting to finish the season strong and leave our legacy.”
West Mesa’s roster includes eight seniors and three juniors, but the Mustangs are somewhat vertically challenged — they have only one player listed over 5-foot-7.
Their best player is considered to be senior guard Latisha Adams.
“They’ve lost to some good teams up in Albuquerque, like Rio Rancho three times and Cibola three times,” Isler said. “Hopefully, we’ll get after it from the beginning.”
Reed also pointed out that the Mustangs don’t generally travel far away from Albuquerque, so that could play into the Lady Cats’ favor.
“It’ll be good for us to have the homecourt advantage,” he said.
Tonight’s winner advances to a 9:45 a.m. quarterfinal on Tuesday against either sixth-seeded Las Cruces High or No. 11 Cibola, who meet tonight in Las Cruces.
CHS GIRLS CAPSULE
What: West Mesa at Clovis in a first-round Class 5A state tournament game
When: 7 p.m. today at The Rock
Radio: KCLV-FM 99.1.
At stake: Trip to The Pit in Albuquerque for a 9:45 a.m. Tuesday 5A state quarterfinal against either Las Cruces High or Cibola.