Clovis North Girls Ride Hot Start to 14-4 Water Polo Win Over Buchanan

Clovis North goalie Tara Chima blocks a penalty shot in the second quarter against Buchanan. PHOTO BY GABE CAMARILLO/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Sometimes, all it takes is a fast start to win a game.

The Clovis North girls water polo team blitzed the Buchanan Bears for five goals in the first six minutes of the game and used their momentum to fuel their 14-4 win over Buchanan Tuesday night.

Clovis North head coach Stephen Chafi attributed their big win to their quick five goals in the first quarter.

“Any time you can have that momentum in the first quarter, it builds confidence in your team and demoralizes your opponents,” said Chafi.

Even in the process, Clovis North played with a style that any water polo fan can appreciate.

The Broncos shared the ball throughout the game and utilized passing to open up shots on goal.

The selflessness of the team shone brightest in the momentous first quarter, when four different players – Delaney Phillips, Tatum Scarry, Allyn-Ashley Bennett and Miah Salinas – scored to give the Broncos a commanding five-goal lead.

Of the four, team captain Allyn-Ashley Bennett would go on to have the best game scoring, as she totaled a game-high six goals. She would score four in the first half alone, as the Broncos would go into halftime with a whopping 10-1 lead.

The Bears scored their only goal of the first half when Buchanan’s Remi Wissink scored a goal on an impressive shot from long distance.

Wissink’s goal was one of the few blemishes on Clovis North goalie Tara Chima’s sheet, who turned away two penalty shots by Buchanan and kept the Bears from getting anywhere close to the Broncos.

Buchanan would manage to shoot three goals in the second half, but they were too little, too late as the Broncos enjoyed the cushion they built in the first ten minutes of the game and added four more goals in the second half to reach the final score of 14-4.

For a team that has struggled in TRAC play so far this season, it was a much needed win for Clovis North – and a turning point that can give Chafi and his team momentum for the rest of the season.

Clovis North (5-5) will play Thursday at Clovis West, while Buchanan (7-4) will host Clovis East Thursday.

Gabriel Camarillo has written for the Clovis Roundup since August 2019 and follows high school athletics, Fresno State football and former Clovis Unified student-athletes. Gabe also writes for The Collegian as a staff sports writer and works at One Putt Broadcasting as a board op for 940 ESPN radio.