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Cats post 68-54 win over Foxes

Feb. 6—Coming in with little to lose and pretty much everything to gain, Fort Sumner gave Clovis High's boys a pretty good fight most of the way.

In the end, though, the Wildcats had a bit too much depth, length and athleticism for the defending Class 1A state champion Foxes, and they pulled away behind a triple-double from 6-foot-7 senior center Marvin Cox for a 68-54 victory in Saturday's matchup at Rock Staubus Gym.

Cox finished with 16 points, 21 rebounds and 10 blocks, including multiple blocks on at least a couple of possessions. Clovis, coming off a tough one-point District 4-5A loss at Hobbs the night before, made clean looks tough to come by for the Foxes, who nonetheless hung around until well into the second half.

"It was a good game," said CHS sophomore forward Max Roche, who scored 11 of his personal-best 13 points in the first half. "They're a 1A team, but they fight hard. They played a really good game."

While the Cats (15-7) were running subs in and out of the lineup, Fort Sumner used only one player off its bench the entire way.

"We knew they play pretty much five or six guys," Cats coach Josh Mattox said. "We tried to get (the game) going up and down as much as we could."

Junior guard Jayden Cox, Marvin's brother, topped the Cats with 17 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the third stanza. He hit one as time expired to extend Clovis' lead to 53-43.

Fort Sumner (17-4), ranked third in 1A by MaxPreps behind District 6-1A rivals Logan and Melrose, was still within seven early in the fourth, but Roche gathered a loose ball under the basket and scored his only points of the second half to kick off a game-ending 13-6 spurt.

Roche, coming off a knee injury which caused him to miss 12 games, had a previous high of 11 points in a loss to Organ Mountain on Jan. 13. In the two games over the weekend, he started getting more extended minutes again.

"I feel like I played pretty well in the first half," Roche said. "We were trying to beat them up the court before they could get their (2-3) zone set."

Threes by freshman guards Jordan Holland and Tra'von Bonds helped the Foxes open a 7-0 advantage before Marvin Cox scored inside nearly halfway through the quarter. But the Cats limited Fort Sumner to just two more points the rest of the segment to take a 12-9 advantage which they never relinquished.

Senior guard Keilyn Parker added 10 points for Clovis. Meantime, Fort Sumner also had four players in double digits — senior guard Joaquin Segura with 17 points, 6-7 senior forward Cash Burney and Bonds with 11 each and Holland with 10.

"They're a tough team," Mattox said. "They shoot the ball really well. I thought we did a good job tonight on Jordan. I feel like he's kind of the motor to their engine."

Clovis returns to District 4-5A competition for the rest of the regular season, with the first three of four remaining games at The Rock. Friday night, the Cats host Roswell High.