Clovis West High, thundering toward an 11th consecutive Tri-River Athletic Conference title in as many years under coach Craig Campbell, forced turnovers with its signature trap press on Central’s first three possessions, bolted to an 8-0 lead and coasted to an 89-34 win Friday night.
Freshman Madison Campbell – daughter of the coach – made six 3-pointers for 18 points and returning Fresno Bee All-Stars Sarah Bates and Megan Anderson added 16 and 14 as the host Golden Eagles improved to 23-3 overall and 7-0 in the league with two-game leads over Central and Clovis with three remaining.
785: Clovis West’s winning percentage in girls basketball (256-70) under 11-year coach Craig Campbell
Clovis West, top-ranked in the Central Section by The Bee and No. 12 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, is 104-3 (.972) in the TRAC and 256-70 (.785) overall under Campbell.
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Central (18-6, 5-2) entered the night ranked fourth in the section. The Grizzlies also lost 73-22 to the Eagles in the league’s first round.
“They work hard; they’ve set the bar,” Central first-year coach Chris Mitchell said.
Clovis West, which has won three straight section Division I titles and six overall under Campbell, is coming off a 26-5 season in which it upset a state top 10-ranked team, Alemany-Mission Hills, while advancing to a CIF State Southern Regional semifinal.
“There’s nothing to separate this team from the last one,” said Eagles three-year veteran Danae Marquez, arguably the section’s premier point guard as a junior. “We just keep building, building and building, so the more people that come in, the more chemistry we obtain. That’s what’s happening right now. We’re just clicking and it shows on the court.”
We just keep building, building and building, so the more people that come in, the more chemistry we obtain. That’s what’s happening right now. We’re just clicking and it shows on the court.
Clovis West junior point guard Danae Marquez
Not all is joy, however, in the Eagles’ nest.
Ashley Cross, a senior guard headed to Fresno Pacific and The Fresno Bee’s 2015 Outstanding Defensive Player, took an elbow to her right eye earlier this week in practice, was out of uniform Friday night and is questionable for the rest of the season, Campbell said.
His rotation is a solid 11 deep, but no questioning the magnitude of Cross’ loss: “It hurts,” he said.
Clovis West will close the TRAC at Buchanan on Wednesday, at Clovis East next Friday and at home against Clovis on Feb. 17.
Then the Eagles and County/Metro Athletic Conference power Edison surely will land D-I’s top seeds Feb. 20 in the Porterville office of Commissioner Jim Crichlow.
Clovis West defeated Edison 48-36 for last year’s D-I title at Selland Arena. A rematch is expected at Fresno’s downtown venue March 5 at 6 p.m.
Clovis West 89, Central 34
Central (18-6, 5-2 TRAC)
Clovis West (23-3, 7-0)
Cen: Jessica Spencer 10, Randazia Jones 13, Imani Lacy 4, Raquel Fane 3, Raquel Araiza 2, Jayla Green 2.
CW: Danae Marquez 5, Michele Cmaylo 1, Adriana Maldonado 2, Sarah Bates 16, Briara Robles 2, Champney Pulliam 2, Aysha Kirkland 10, Madison Campbell 18, Elizabeth Parker 6, Megan Anderson 14, Bre’yanna Sanders 9, Mia Gliatta 4.