Clovis West High has finished top-ranked nationally by ESPN in addition to being named State Team of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.
The 34-2 Golden Eagles, who closed with a 14-3 run to defeat Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 44-40 for the CIF State Open Division title Saturday night at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, are the second Central Section team to receive the honor in Cal-Hi’s 46 years of handing out the award.
Cal-Hi also recognized Memorial and its 12-0 team in 1973, in the second year of the honors and the Panthers’ infancy under the late coach Mary Brown.
The final espnW 25 Power Rankings have Clovis West atop Centennial-Las Vegas (30-2), St. John’s College-Washington, D.C. (31-2), Paul VI-Fairfax, Virginia, (32-2) and Miami Country Day (29-1).
Dan Olson of ESPN writes: “With a roster full of Division I players, including signed seniors Sarah Bates (UCSB), Bre’yanna Sanders (Arizona State), Megan Anderson (San Jose State), Tess Amundsen (Boise State) and Danae Marquez (Boise State), the Golden Eagles navigated the impossible Nike Tournament of Champions in December and the daunting CIF Open Division state championship in March. They went 1-1 against Archbishop Mitty, 1-1 against Centennial, 2-0 vs. Long Beach Poly, 1-0 vs. St. John’s and 1-0 vs. Miami Country Day. All told, Clovis West was 7-2 against national competition. Nobody else can say that.”
All told, Clovis West was 7-2 against national competition. Nobody else can say that.
ESPN’s Dan Olson
Memorial, from 1977, went 100-7, according to section historian Bob Barnett, behind Jackie White. Those teams, along with Hanford’s 31-2 state Division II champion in 2001 behind the late Shawntinice Polk (Arizona) and Jenny Thigpin (Arizona State, Fresno State) are generally compared to this year’s Clovis West team as the best in section history.
Cal-Hi publisher Mark Tennis endorses the Eagles, who had five seniors with D-I scholarships and another, sophomore Madison Campbell, surely to follow at that level.
In the end, no other team in California could match Clovis West’s chemistry.
Cal-Hi Sports Mark Tennis
“We saw those other teams as well,” Tennis says, “and while White remains as one of the best players we’ve ever seen and would be hard even for Clovis West’s current defense to contain, this year’s team at Clovis West is superior.
“The Golden Eagles were simply a group of girls who’ve played together for many years, especially three-year senior starters Sarah Bates, Danae Marquez, Bre’yanna Sanders and Megan Anderson. They settled into their roles seamlessly with Marquez as the slick point guard, Sanders as the intense defender/rebounder, Anderson as the long-range shooter and Bates as the one who was practically a second point guard and an additional scorer.
“Clovis West’s inclusion even to be a contender goes against the usual dynamic of the (state’s) best teams coming from private schools or a very large public school like Long Beach Poly with a school district that has open enrollment possibilities for its high schools.
“In the end, no other team in California could match Clovis West’s chemistry.”
The Eagles finished as the section’s second-winningest team all-time behind Yosemite (35-3, 2006).
Woodlake (1985, D-III) is the only other section team to win a state girls basketball title.