Clovis senior Manuel Robles fights with Los Lunas’ Colten Chavez for space during Saturday’s Milk Cow Classic championship game at The Rock.
Los Lunas coach Albert Aragon had to ask after the game if Clovis guard Bryce Hill missed anything.
“Every time I saw him shoot, it looked like it was going in,” Aragon said of Hill’s 30-point effort.
Between Hill’s shooting night and a solid game from the bench, the Wildcats jumped out early and never let up in posting a 87-72 victory in the Milk Cow Classic championship Saturday night at Rock Staubus Gym.
Clovis ends the 2007 portion of its season with a 9-0 mark, and opens the 2008 portion Tuesday night at Amarillo High.
Hill did miss a few shots — eight, in fact — in a 12-of-20 performance from the field to go with five rebounds and four assists. His biggest miss, however, was one he didn’t mind — missing out on the tournament MVP trophy as his teammate, point guard Jaden Isler, took the honor instead.
“He’s an all-around player; I play in spurts,” Hill said. “I can’t get mad at him for that.”
Isler never found his shooting touch, going 4-of-12, but scored 19 thanks to an 11-of-11 night at the line as the Tigers were forced to foul with a 43-25 halftime deficit.
“I think if we hit a couple of shots that we’re very capable of making (in the first half), it’s a different game,” Aragon said. “Instead of 18, it’s 10 and you’ve got a half to go.”
The Tigers (8-4), who take on Farmington in the first round of this week’s holiday tournament at Gallup, created many matchup problems with guards Matt Billups (24 points on 10-of-17 shooting) and Kevin Klein (18 points, 8-of-14). But Aragon said Clovis was simply better in the transition game, and that made the difference.
Clovis coach J.D. Isler was concerned about the transition game for the Wildcats, because he felt the team’s 90-point pace on three consecutive nights was bound to fatigue the players.
“I think the bench was the real difference in the game,” Isler said. “They all played good minutes and everybody contributed. When you play our tempo, you’ve got to get that from your bench.”
Jaye Crockett, who joined Hill and Jaden Isler on the all-tournament team, finished with 12 points, the last two set up by a behind-the-back feed from Isler in the game’s closing seconds.
Milk Cow Classic
El Paso Chapin 73, Abilene Cooper 58
Amarillo Tascosa 60, Santa Fe High 45
St. Michael’s 47, Cibola 45
Clovis 87, Los Lunas 72
Jaden Isler, Clovis (MVP); Eric Geyer, St. Michael’s; Eric Sparks, Cibola; Kevin Klein, Los Lunas; Jon Davis, Tascosa; Bryce Hill, Clovis; Matt Billups, Los Lunas.