High School Basketball

Young Clovis West girls fall one step short of another state title

Clovis West’s Madison Campbell, left, dribbles against Harvard-Westlake’s Jayla Ruffus-Milner during the March 13 CIF Open Division regional semifinal. Campbell and the Golden Eagles lost 61-50 to Windward in the final on Saturday, March 17 in Long Beach.
Clovis West’s Madison Campbell, left, dribbles against Harvard-Westlake’s Jayla Ruffus-Milner during the March 13 CIF Open Division regional semifinal. Campbell and the Golden Eagles lost 61-50 to Windward in the final on Saturday, March 17 in Long Beach. Fresno Bee file

The Clovis West High girls basketball team came up just short in a run toward a second straight state championship.

Still, the future is bright for the Golden Eagles.

A year after winning the state Open Division championship with a senior-laden team, Clovis West made it to the Southern California regional final before falling to Windward-Los Angeles 61-50 Saturday in Long Beach.

The Eagles (32-4) hadn’t lost to a California team until Saturday. Clovis West started senior Makayla Warren, juniors Madison Campbell, Champney Pulliam and Aari’yanna Sanders and freshman Nikki Tom and had two more freshmen play significant minutes. Last year’s championship team had five players who are now on Division I scholarships.

The Eagles were right there again, rallying from an early nine-point deficit to trail 27-26 at halftime.

Windward held Clovis West without a field goal for more than 7 minutes to start the second half and led 45-31 at the end of the third quarter. Windward turned two straight Eagles turnovers into baskets midway through the fourth for a commanding 51-36 lead.

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