Clovis News: Sports

Clovis North boys prevail in D-II water polo

Their season seconds from closing, Colton Coffman made the pass, Michael Silvas made the goal and top-seeded Clovis North High purchased 6 more minutes Saturday against No. 3 Hanford in the Central Section Division II boys water polo championship.

A day of comfort and sunshine, when miserable cold and rain were forecast, brightened further for the Broncos in their Olympic-class pool when Coffman and Silvas collaborated for the play that tied it, 11-11, with 4 seconds remaining in regulation.

"I was ecstatic, so happy," Silvas said, "but I had to stay focused."

He did, scoring early in the first of two 3-minute overtime periods, and Clovis North remained in control for a 16-13 conquest of the D-II defending champion from the West Yosemite League.

"We knew Hanford would be tough and physical," Silvas said. "We were hoping we could swim with them."

Clovis North (23-9), with its first senior class, marched into the playoffs hardened from competition in the section's premier league, the Tri-River Athletic Conference.

It was there that the Broncos placed second after splitting with D-I top-seeded Clovis and sweeping Clovis West. And those wins magnified Saturday, when the Golden Eagles upset the Cougars for that division's title.

"We knew the TRAC would be a great challenge, but also a great class where we'd learn a lot," Clovis North coach Fabrizio Lofaro said. "We used everything we learned in the TRAC against Hanford, a great team that's physical and shoots well."

Clearly, TRAC experience in all sports has groomed the Broncos for excellence in a fall that has seen them sweep every D-II championship opportunity, except for boys cross country. And they placed second in that one. They had also won section titles in girls tennis, golf and cross country before Saturday. And they remain alive in football.

Coffman and Sam Speck each finished with five goals and goalie Cody Cartozian blocked 11 shots for Clovis North.

Tyler Johnson and Trey Cox each scored four times and goalie Tanner Barrett rejected 13 shots for Hanford (28-5), which rocked No. 2 Memorial 20-13 in the semifinals.