By Paul Meadors, Sports Editor
Clovis West reached the crowning achievement when it won the CIF Open Division State Championship on Saturday, March 25 with a rousing and remarkable 44-40 win over Archbishop Mitty at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento – a surreal experience for not only the players and coaches but for the parents, classmates and the entire community.
The celebration at the final buzzer was a perfect finale to an incredible year that saw the Golden Eagles finish 34-2 and named the Team of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 1 ranking.
And if the state championship wasn’t enough then how ‘bout this: ESPN voted Clovis West the No. 1 team in the nation.
Let me write that another way – the Clovis West girls are the best high school girls team IN THE NATION according to ESPN. Their reasoning was solid – they went 7-2 against the top 15 teams in the nation. No other school could boast such a resume.
The team was celebrated at a huge rally at lunchtime at their home gym on March 31, a chance to let the girls shine once again on stage in front of a packed gym filled with classmates, family, teachers and Clovis Unified administrators.
For senior Megan Anderson, who scored nine points in the state championship game, the other-worldly feeling of winning a state title is still at the forefront of not only her thoughts but her teammates.
“It really does still feel like a dream and all week we were saying how it still doesn’t feel real,” said Anderson who’s attending San Jose State next season on scholarship. “It was the perfect way to end my high school career. These girls really are my sisters and I wouldn’t have wanted to experience it with anyone else.”
Each player was introduced and all the team’s hardware was proudly displayed: their Southern Regional Championships plaque, Nike Central Valley Showdown trophy, Nike Tournament of Championship plaque, their CIF Open Division State Championship trophy, their Iolani Classic second place trophy and their Central Section Championship plaque.
The full roster of the 2016-17 Clovis West varsity team: Aari Sanders (So), Champney Pulliam (So), Maddison Campbell (So), Micah Lee (So), Makayla Warren (Jr), Ava Emerzian (Jr), Ana Maldonado (Jr), Bri Robles (Jr), Tess Amundsen (Sr), Bre’yanna Sanders (Sr), Megan Anderson (Sr), Elizabeth Parker (Sr), Sarah Bates (Sr), Danae Marquez (Sr).
The varsity team was coached by Craig Campbell and assisted by Duane Steward and Mark Howard.