Hope Christian bests Wildcats

CMI staff

The top-ranked team in Class 3A, and one of the toughest teams in New Mexico, put Clovis down early and held off numerous charges to take a 91-72 win Friday night in Albuquerque.

Luke Dye scored 19 points to lead three Huskies in double figures, as Hope Christian won its sixth-straight and handed Clovis (11-9) its worst loss of the season.

The Wildcats fell in an 18-10 hole after the first quarter, and trailed by as many as 15 in the second quarter.

“We struggled on the glass in the first half,” Clovis coach Matt King said. “Some of it was transition defense, but a lot of it was just against the press. They’d break the press for layups. We just gave up too many layups.

“It’s a tough place to play against, who I think, is the best team in the state. They have very good players and they’re very organized.”

Dedrick Milford added 15 for the Huskies (16-3), and hit four of the team’s seven 3-pointers.

Willie McCray led Clovis with 25 points, but the Wildcats also got career-high efforts from D.D. Egbert (16 points) and Kaine Bender (13).

There are always positives,” King said, noting the minutes from Egbert and Bender. “The biggest positive is that for the last two weeks we’ve talked about the importance of rebound and defense. Tonight, we got exposed in some ways. We can learn from that.”

The Wildcats host Lovington on Tuesday. The game is part of Jaye Crockett Night, with Clovis Mayor David Lansford scheduled to read a proclamation for the Texas Tech graduate student in his final season of basketball with the Red Raiders.

Friday

Boys

Non-district

Hope Christian 91, Clovis 72

Clovis (11-9) — Marquese Gaither 1 0-0 3, Kamal Cass 0 2-3 2, D.D. Egbert 5 4-6 16, Willie McCray 6 8-11 25, Kaine Bender 5 3-6 13, Justin Henderson 2 0-2 5, Roland Chavez 3 0-0 6, Tomas Acuna 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 17-28 72.

Hope Christian (16-3) — Brandon Zabala 1 4-4 6, Luke Dye 7 2-2 19, Jordan Leake 0 0-1, Zac Williams 3 2-5 8, Marques Johnson 1 1-2 3, Dedrick Milford 5 1-1 15, Ben Kocurek 1 2-2 4, Vince Spangler 2 0-0 4, Chris Roland 7 0-1 14, Austen Drake 8 2-5 18. Totals 35 14-23 91.

Clovis 10 21 15 26 — 72

Hope Christian 18 23 24 26 — 91

3-pointers — Clovis, McCray 5, Egbert 2, Gaither, Henderson. Hope Christian, Milford 4, Dye 3. Junior varsity — Clovis 74, Hope Christian 56.

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