Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West boys end 'drought' in water polo

The "drought" is over for the standard bearer of Central Section boys water polo.

Powered by four goals from Jared Osborn, second-seeded Clovis West upset top-seeded Clovis 9-4 to win the Division I championship Saturday at the Jim Coiner Aquatics Complex.

The Golden Eagles added a section-leading 13th title to the school's trophy case, but their first since 2005.

"It's been a long time," 32-year Clovis West coach Steve Mosher said. "It's nice to have it back."

Clovis West (17-16) did what few teams were able to do to the speedy Cougars (26-6) this season -- pull away in the second half.

After leading 4-3 at halftime, the Golden Eagles never let Clovis get closer than two goals the rest of the way while shutting the Cougars out in the third quarter.

"Our main goal was to come on in the third and fourth quarter and not let it go," Osborn said. "Mosher told us the third and fourth were going to be the time to make it or break it."

Osborn's third goal of the game, which came 48 seconds into the fourth quarter while beating a pair of defenders draped all over him, gave Clovis West its first three-goal edge at 6-3.

Clovis responded at the 4:38 mark on Chris Aleman's goal, but that would be as close as the Cougars would get.

A 5-meter penalty shot by Clovis West's George Hong made it 7-4 with 3:45 remaining, then the Golden Eagles poured it on with another goal from Osborn with a defender all over him, and a goal from Tommy Allen in a man-up situation.

"Holding that plaque made it worth it to have all those guys on me," said Osborn, the focal point of Clovis West's offensive attack.

Clovis West goalie Thomas Patty blocked back-to-back shots early in the fourth quarter and came up with a crucial steal of a bad pass on a Clovis breakaway to turn the pressure up on the Cougars' offense, which never found its rhythm.

"They were getting frustrated," said Patty, who had nine saves. "We had to keep forcing the bad shots, and that's what we did."

Clovis hurt itself by going 0 for 5 in man-up situations in the second half.

"We had some opportunities in 6-on-5s, and either their goalie made the block or we missed the shot," Clovis coach Terry Giffen said. "And they did a great job countering out of that."