It’s getting a little easier for Clovis guard Bryan Pierson to know where his teammates are best suited on the court to help win ballgames.
“We know Jaye (Crockett) likes getting the ball in the paint, and we know Dexter (Correll) likes to shoot 3s,” said Pierson, one of many seniors in their first year on the Clovis varsity. “We know Arthur (Calbert) is a slipper and he gets in the paint a lot, too.”
The knowledge is great, Clovis coach J.D. Isler said, but the biggest problem for the Wildcats (5-3) so far has been a lack of communication on the floor imparting that knowledge. Some days, Isler feels they’re the most cohesive unit he’s ever coached; other days, it feels like the players met each other that morning.
Once they get to the point where they’re talking all the time, the eighth-year Clovis coach said, “We’re going to jump to a whole other level.”
Right now, the Wildcats’ level has them facing a tough field in the Southwest Dairy Classic, which runs Monday through Wednesday at Rock Staubus Gymnasium. Clovis opens matters against Santa Fe High.
The Wildcats crushed the Demons 93-38 in last year’s opening round, but Isler isn’t predicting a blowout this time, or for most of the remaining season.
“We haven’t seen much man-to-man defense; we’ve only faced man twice, and that wasn’t the whole game,” Isler said. “We feel like Santa Fe is going to man us.”
Win or lose, Clovis plays in the 7:30 p.m. slot each night. Tuesday’s matchup will be against either Abilene Cooper or Valley High.
Isler said Valley was scheduled because a potential second-round tilt could show where the Wildcats stand for state tournament seeding purposes. It was the same reason Clovis scheduled Cibola in last year’s tournament, but the 73-70 win over the Cougars didn’t have much impact with the Wildcats sporting a 25-1 mark before the seeding committee met.
This season, Isler said, everybody’s got a few losses and one game may move a team dramatically among the top 16.
“(Valley) would be a good game for us to play, because you’ve got to play those kinds of games for the seeding process,” Isler said. “What you don’t want is to be an 8 or 9 seed. Those teams are going to have to see a tough play-in game.”
SOUTHWEST DAIRY CLASSIC
At Rock Staubus Gym
Amarillo Tascosa vs. St. Michael’s, 11:35 a.m.
Los Lunas vs. Bowie, Texas, 1:10 p.m.
Abilene Cooper vs. Valley, 4:20 p.m.
Santa Fe High vs. Clovis, 7:30 p.m.