Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West girls hoops tacks on another title

This was league title No. 22 in the program's 34-year history, a run of success unprecedented in the annals of Central Section girls basketball.

But maybe never has there been one more satisfying for Clovis West.

Having lost six players, including three starters, in three separate instances of departures for personal reasons through December, the tiny Golden Eagles still captured a sixth straight Tri-River Athletic Conference title.

The latest was banked Friday night on their home court as they avenged a first-round loss to Clovis by routing the Cougars 60-45.

Katie Ogdon, nearing the close of a four-year varsity career in style, scored 19 points, including seven of fourth-ranked Clovis West's final 11 to secure a decision that broke a first-place tie with No. 3 Clovis.

Then she processed the balance of departures with capturing a title with a team minus a true post player: "It was really hard to see them go, but it just brought us closer together as a team. We regrouped, came back and look at us now."

Also taking a good look this morning at 9 a.m. will be section commissioner Jim Crichlow and his seeding committee, which will determine the brackets for the playoffs.

Coach Craig Campbell, 6-for-6 in league championships and also winner of three section titles in his Eagles career, expects a Division I No. 2 seed behind Hanford.

"I don't know if I've ever been more proud of a group for a league title," he said. "Coming to practice every day with 10 great kids has been a real joy as a coach."

The section's top-ranked Hanford has been elevated to D-I after winning three consecutive section championships in D-III and D-II.

Clovis (21-6, 8-2), a program that went 11-66 in three seasons from 2004-07, but turned around since under coach Steve Perkovich, expects a No. 3 seed.

As opposed to Clovis West (16-10, 9-1), which has won 12 section titles -- including last year's and three of the past four -- the Cougars have but one.

"We've come a long way," said Brianna Watson, a senior guard who scored 20 points.

It was her 23 points that powered a 57-48 Clovis homecourt victory that snapped the Eagles' 58-game TRAC winning streak Feb. 1.

But Clovis West bolted to a 30-17 lead Friday and held command, even though a Watson 3-point attempt curled 360 degrees inside the rim before sliding with the Cougars down six with 2 minutes and 45 seconds remaining.

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