Wildcats fall to Hobbs in overtime

Freedom Newspapers

HOBBS — Senior Austin Turner scored 33 points and hit six counsecutive free throws in the final minute of overtime, lifting Hobbs past Clovis High 96-94 in the District 4-5A and regular-season finale for both teams Friday night.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats (16-8, 3-1 district) were already assured of the regular-season title. Hobbs (15-11, 2-2) hosts Carlsbad in a 4-5A tourney semifinal game on Thursday, with the winner traveling to Rock Staubus Gym for an 8 p.m. tipoff on Saturday.

Turner led five Eagles in double figures, going 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Hobbs missed just one free throw in 18 attempts for the game.

Junior post Michael Lewis scored a personal-best 23 points for the Cats. Junior Rishard Matthews added 20 points, while junior Cody Thornsbury added 16 and senior Jaden Isler finished with 12.

Clovis had a seven-point lead with about two minutes left, but the Eagles finished regulation on an 8-1 run to force overtime at 82-82. The Cats had a turnover with 26 seconds left, but Hobbs missed a last-second shot for the win.

“We had a chance to win, but we didn’t use the clock very well down the stretch,” Clovis coach J.D. Isler said. “Hopefully, we learned some things tonight. We made some ‘young’ mistakes down the stetch, but we’ll be ready to go next Saturday.”

The Cats took an 88-86 lead on a 3-point play by Thornsbury with 2:29 left. Hobbs scored the next four points, but Clovis retied it to set the stage for Turner.

His two free throws with 47.4 seconds left put the Eagles in front for good, and he made two more with 24 seconds to go. After Lewis’ basket cut the margin to two, Turner’s two free throws with less than nine seconds left rendered another basket by Lewis meaningless as the clock ran out.

Jaden Isler missed the better part of the third quarter after taking an elbow to the head, J.D Isler said. He returned to action late in the period, but was taken to a hospital after the game.

The Clovis coach said his son should be fine for next week’s game.

“Our kids did a good job holding everything together,” J.D. Isler said. “Ouor kids handled the environment real well.”