COACH OF THE YEAR: RICH LAKE
Cougars respond: Clovis' fourth Central Section title under Lake and first in seven years had the Cougars answer a humbling 3-0 Tri-River Athletic Conference home-court loss to Buchanan two weeks later with a stirring 3-2 decision over the two-year reigning champion before a crowd of 2,500 at the same site. Clovis, which tied the Bears for the Tri-River Athletic Conference crown with a 9-1 record, finished 34-7 overall.
Driven team: "I didn't have to beg this group to open the gym; they begged me to open the gym," 17-year Cougars coach Rich Lake says. "I knew we had something special with a group like that. And this was one of the most complete teams we've had; there were six or seven players who really contributed a lot."
Buckle up for 2014: Both Clovis and Buchanan will return the majority of their starters next season. "Obviously, that Valley final was an unbelievable night," Lake says of a 21/2-hour duel closed with a 24-22 fifth set meant to have a 15-point winner. "I've had some big games and big crowds, but that took it to another level. The only way to top it is to have the same two teams play again next year. Maybe we should move that game into the Save Mart Center."
— Andy Boogaard