Clovis High girls water polo won its third consecutive CIF Central Section Division I championship on Saturday. Clovis High’s Libby Alexander had four goals and the Cougars defeated Clovis West 12-8.
“We were able to execute today and ultimately, when teams are so close together, it ends up being the team who can execute better ends up getting the win,” coach Noah Minton said after the game.
Clovis West had defeated Clovis High earlier in the season by one goal, the loss, which came on the Cougars’ senior night was a tough one to swallow according to Minton.
“They beat us at our pool on our senior night by one and that was a bummer but [Clovis West] played a good game, they did some new things and we didn’t adjust well,” Minton said.
Saturday’s game began with each side trading goals until the score was knotted at 3-3. That’s when Clovis High began to pull away as the Cougars went on to score four unanswered goals and pull out to a 7-3 lead.
Alexander, Liliana Villanueva, Sanci Sonkoly and Maddie Murad all scored goals in what turned out to be the game-defining second quarter that helped the Cougars extend their lead.
By halftime, the Golden Eagles had decreased the deficit to three, but Clovis would not allow them to get any closer than that.
The future does look promising, however, for Clovis West. The Golden Eagles’ top three scorers were all underclassmen and the team will lose just three players to graduation.
“They’ll be back,” Minton said of Clovis West. “They’re a young team and coach [Matt] Brooks is a smart coach,” he added.
Minton was hesitant to join his team and the Clovis High student section who had jumped into the pool in celebration. He was eventually pushed in, though, by Izzie Knittle.