Clovis junior post Arthur Calbert, who got off to a slow start after a broken leg in football season, has emerged as a leader for Clovis' bench.
Clovis junior Arthur Calbert was likely going to be starting for the Wildcat basketball squad, but those plans were derailed when he broke his right leg making a special teams tackle in the second game of the football season.
“I thought it set me back a little bit,” the 6-foot-4, 182-pound forward said, “but now I’m starting to get my rhythm back.”
Calbert is one of the leaders of an effective, if unspectacular, bench that’s helped Clovis (14-0) stay undefeated.
“Our bench has been important all year,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said, “and we tell them they’ll continue to be important. They don’t add a lot of stats to the game, but there’s never a dropoff. To me, that’s the important thing.”
The bench will play a key part when Clovis faces what might be one of its toughest stretches before district play. The Wildcats make two Albuquerque trips this week, tonight at Eldorado (6-8) and Saturday at Valley.
Following that trip, Clovis has a three-game homestand and a road game against Artesia before hosting Hobbs Feb. 8 to start District 4-5A play.
Clovis is averaging 75.9 points per game, with junior post Jaye Crockett and senior guards Bryce Hill and Jaden Isler carrying most of the load (a combined 57.8 points).
Calbert, meanwhile, is the leading scorer off the bench with 3.2 points per night. But 14-0 is the number he cares about.
“I see it as a team thing,” Calbert said, noting the starters play hard enough for the bench to not let them down. “As long as we’re winning, I’m happy with it.”
Calbert and Crockett will share some defensive duties on Eldorado’s Roman Montano, a 6-foot-6 post coach Isler said is a good rebounder.
Only two of the Wildcats’ games have been closer than 10 points, and Clovis’ last three games have been decided by 30 or more. But Isler expects that to change.
“We’ve had some people who play us close for a half, then we kind of impose our will,” Isler said. “It’s a bit of a challenge to go on the road; I’m sure that their kids are going to be up to play us.”