Wolfpack Challenged, but Escape
Clovis East Men’s Basketball has built a unique identity under the helm of head coach Adrian Wiggins: hard nosed defense, fast in transition, and knocking down the 3. This year’s team is no different. But they can add one more trait to their resume, experienced. The entire core from last year’s squad is back for another year, along with new faces who can contribute. The Timberwolves are led by seniors Shawno Roberts and Carlos Fuentes. Both are not afraid to get dirty in the trenches and can also shoot the three when asked. Alongside them are juniors Jermal Pittman and Will Wiggins. These two bring speed and tempo to the lineup and get the opposing defense off their game. This team separates themselves from previous squads because Coach Wiggins runs a bench that can go 10 deep. With all different styles of play to cover, opposing teams have a hard time running a set gameplan. Also this is a very confident bunch, ranking #2 in the valley while going 13-3 in their games before TRAC play. They faced a tough test Wednesday, travelling to play #5 Clovis North.
The Wolfpack defeated Clovis North in a tournament earlier in the season, but they knew this would be a different game. Having to start TRAC play on the road is hard enough, but add a revenge game to that, and many high school teams can’t survive. From the opening tip, this game was filled with emotion and excitement. A chippy first quarter got the butterflies out of the stomachs of both teams, but the Timberwolves led 21-11. However the Broncos would find their stride in the second quarter, pulling the game to 37-34 foreshadowing a great second half to the game. And these two teams would not disappoint.
The Broncos came out of halftime firing on all cylinders. The Timberwolves just did not know how to handle them. Every shot went in their favor. The only thing keeping them in the game was the incredible defense. Senior Carlos Fuentes stepped up on the defensive end; taking multiple charges, deflecting passes, and not letting the size of 6’6” Terri Miller intimidate him. The rest of the team fed off this energy and kept a narrow margin after 3 quarters, 58-52.
In the fourth quarter, the Broncos were again charging comeback and would eventually take the lead, forcing the Timberwolves to dig deep and fight for a win. With 1:04 left to go, the Wolfpack found themselves down 74-73. A lay in by Jermal Pittman wold give the T-Wolves the lead, 75-74, and a foul on Shawno Roberts would send him to the line with 0.6 seconds left in the game. The two knocked down free throws would ice the game, giving Clovis East a victory, 77-74, in a tough environment and against a very good CN team. However, a win is a win, and Coach Wiggins and the team are excited to escape on top. The victory brings the Wolfpack to 14-3 (1-0 TRAC). The Timberwolves will have their TRAC Home Opener on Friday at 7:00pm against the Clovis Cougars.