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Cats edge No. 2 Demons in overtime 58-55

Jan. 9—SANTA FE — On paper, it wouldn't have seemed the scenario for success.

Clovis High's boys were thumped at Amarillo Tascosa on Friday night, then returned to Clovis and left again early Saturday to face Santa Fe High, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 5A by MaxPreps.

But the Wildcats gutted it out, got the game into overtime and then outlasted the Demons 58-55.

Second-year CHS boys coach Josh Mattox said defense carried the day.

"We battled," he said. "We made a lot of mistakes on offense, but I thought we did a good job defensively.

"It was a great response to getting whupped on a little bit last night, and then having the long trip."

Senior center Marvin Cox led the Cats (11-4) with 16 points, followed by four 3-pointers and 14 points from senior forward J.J. Jones. Jones also had primary responsibility for Santa Fe High's top player, senior guard Lukas Turner, and held him in relative check with 17 points.

"He gave us 30 last year (in a Demons win at Rock Staubus Gym)," Mattox said of Turner. "But J.J. Jones did a good job on him."

Junior Joe Gonzales added 14 points for the Demons.

Neither team led by more than three points at any of the quarter stops.

"It was a stressful game," Mattox said. "We did a lot of things that could have cost us the game, but we executed when we needed to the most."

Leading by one with four seconds left in the OT, Cox threw a baseball pass from the end line to senior guard Keilyn Parker, who got a layup as the clock ran out. Parker also got the tying basket late in regulation to force the extra session.

Next up for the Cats is a Friday night clash against Portales at the Ram Athletic Center.

Amarillo Palo Duro 53, Clovis 45 (girls, Saturday) — The Lady Dons pulled away in the final 90 seconds at The Rock, clinching the victory at the free throw line after the teams were neck-and-neck most of the way.

Senior guard Zarai Lewis scored 17 points and junior guard Amanda De La Rosa added four 3-pointers and a personal-best 16, but Clovis went just 14-of-29 from the free throw line.

"We didn't work the ball inside (enough)," Lady Wildcats coach Jeff Reed said. "When we did get it inside, we didn't finish and then we couldn't make our free throws."

Palo Duro (12-6) led much of the way, but the Lady Cats (10-3) went on a 9-2 run to start the third period and took a 33-31 lead. They again led briefly in the fourth, only to see the Lady Dons rally.

"We were never able to extend the lead," Reed said. "We just didn't take care of business."

Junior guard/forward Alana Davis led Palo Duro with 17 points, while sophomore guard Aubri McClain tallied 15. The Lady Dons went 13-for-18 from the foul line.

Clovis returned to action on Tuesday with a game at Lovington. On Friday, the Lady Cats welcome Espanola Valley for a 6 p.m. tipoff at The Rock.