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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________Overtime

Elida cruises into quarterfinals

Tigers’ post Paiz scores nearly half of team’s output

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By Karl Terry
USATourneyTime

Elida senior Kody Paiz started the final EPAC Tournament of his career with a career high 30 points as the Tigers easily shut down Clovis Christian School 61-39 Tuesday in Melrose.

“He worked really hard tonight,” said Elida coach Darrell Chenault said of his post player. “He has a little height advantage but he really worked hard to get open.”

A beaming Paiz took the scrapbook night in stride saying it felt good to get a big night during EPAC.

“I was just having a good night,” Paiz said. “It could have been any of us, it just happened that it was me tonight.”

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With the win No. 7 Elida (5-5) advances to the quarterfinal round against No. 2 Tatum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Clovis Christian (0-8) will play the loser between Fort Sumner and Dora in the consolation bracket at 5 p.m.

Paiz said his team is fired up by the win and ready to advance in the tournament. “We feel really good about tomorrow.”

Elida posted went up 16-8 after one quarter then commanded a 32-18 lead at the half. The Tigers scored 16 in each quarter but the third, when they put up 13. The Eagles struggled to keep pace offensively, with their best quarter coming in the fourth with 14 points.

Clovis Christian was paced by the Naceanceno brothers, Kevin with 12 points and Kendall with 9. 

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 “We knew it was going to be a tough ball game with both Naceanceno brothers in there,” Chenault said. “They’re both good ball handlers. We turned the ball over more than we should have. As we move forward we’ve got to take better care of the ball, Tatum won’t be too forgiving.”

CCS coach Lupe Naceanceno said his team has been fighting off injuries and has almost returned to full strength. Still, he says he was disappointed in his team’s offensive output.

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“They played hard, they didn’t give up,” the coach said of his team. “We just need to make our shots. We couldn’t consistently score to keep up.”

The Eagles got 8 points each from seniors Cordy Wilhoit and Dylan Otero on the night. Elida’s Magin Montoya notched 6 points as the Tiger closest to Paiz’ total. 

Back to the Bracket!!!

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Click here for the EPAC Boys All-Tournament Team Selections!

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