Losing two overtime games in four days is a tough mental hurdle for any team to overcome.
After losing such games to Clovis North and Clovis West last week, the Clovis East Timberwolves needed a confidence booster.
Tuesday night brought just what the doctor ordered for the Timberwolves.
Clovis East senior guard Jermal Pittman led the way with 16 points as the Timberwolves netted a resounding 81-48 victory over the Clovis High Cougars.
“After winning the last couple games, we got our confidence back and we are ready to play [North and West] again,” Pittman said.
But the visiting Cougars looked ready to provide a challenge early in the game.
Clovis kept it close in the first quarter by attacking the paint to exploit Clovis East’s lack of size.
Point guard Cal Stilson was a focal point of the Cougars’ inside attack early, scoring ten points in the first half.
Clovis trailed by six at the end of the first quarter, but Clovis East would respond with defensive adjustments which flummoxed the Cougars for the rest of the game.
Clovis East began double teaming Stilson and used pressure defense to force turnovers. Head coach Adrian Wiggins pointed to these changes as the turning point in Tuesday’s game.
“Our defense tightened up in that second quarter as we contested more shots and limited their open looks,” Wiggins said. “I think that really helped us at the end of the day.”
The Timberwolves got it done on the offensive end as well, knocking down four three-pointers in the second quarter alone, extending their lead to 42-27 at halftime.
The lead would balloon to 70-41 for Clovis East, as their offense put together a big third quarter, highlighted by passing and sharing the basketball. Seven different Timberwolves contributed to the 28-point third quarter.
“[Our team] has some really good guards,” said Clovis East senior Will Wiggins. “We got six or seven players who can go for double-digits any given night.”
Clovis East rested its starters for the entire fourth quarter as the Timberwolves sealed their 15th win of the season.
The Timberwolves aren’t satisfied yet; they seek redemption in the next couple weeks.
“We want both Clovis North and West,” Pittman said. “We just want to play them already.”