Up until Tuesday night, it had been a season of misfortune for Clovis East boys basketball.
Against the best teams in the TRAC this year, the Timberwolves had always been one tip away, one call away, or one play away from securing victory.
Clovis West – ranked No.1 in the Central Section and No. 20 in the State – visited Wolf Pack Den Tuesday and battled Clovis East for the full 32 minutes of regulation.
This time, however, the Timberwolves remained focused, made every play count and – in the process – created their own luck.
Senior guard Will Wiggins scored 16 points, Jermal Pittman added 14 and the scrappy Timberwolves rewrote the story of their season with a 63-60 win over TRAC leader Clovis West.
“I think we are the best three-quarter team in the Valley, but we just had to play four full quarters tonight and stay focused through the whole game,” Wiggins said.
Clovis East offensively was razor sharp in the first quarter, attacking the paint with ease and gaining an early 18-11 lead.
Clovis West struggled to find clean scoring looks against the stingy Timberwolves’ defense in the opening minutes, but later answered with a simple solution: Cole Anderson.
Clovis East lacked a defender with size and speed to guard the 6’3” Clovis West star, resulting in Anderson shooting for 25 points in the second and third quarter alone, en route to 31 total in the game.
“I think my teammates started to find me more [in the second quarter] and I was starting to get more aggressive scoring,” Anderson said.
Clovis West still trailed 37-31 at halftime, yet Anderson’s continued aggression swung momentum in favor of the Golden Eagles.
A 15-2 Clovis West run opened the second half and granted West a 46-39 lead midway through the third quarter.
It was the largest lead the Golden Eagles enjoyed in the game before Timberwolves head coach Adrian Wiggins called a timeout.
Out of the timeout, a refocused Clovis East team clawed back to cut Clovis West’s lead to 53-51 headed into the fourth quarter
In the final period, Clovis East’s Jermal Pittman connected on a big jumper with 38 seconds remaining in regulation to retake the Timberwolves’ lead, 61-60.
On the other end of the floor, Will Wiggins blocked Anderson’s shot on Clovis West’s next possession. Following Wiggins’ block, Pittman sank two free throws for East, and West missed a last-second three-point attempt to drop their first TRAC game of the season.
“Our team made shots with the open looks we had,” Adrian Wiggins said. “[Pittman] made big free throws and we had huge defensive stops on the other end. It was an overall team win”
With the win, Clovis East improves to 16-10 this season and 3-5 in TRAC play. The question now for Clovis East is whether they have a chance to qualify for open division playoffs or be seeded in Division-1 playoffs.
If you ask coach Wiggins’ son Will, it does not matter the slightest.
“We would love to play in the open division, but we aren’t concerned with any of that or seeding right now,” Will said. “We just want to win, win, win – and win a ring.”