The Clovis West girls basketball team traveled to Hawaii where it had a little fun in the sun and played some serious basketball.
The Golden Eagles, ranked No. 3 in the state, suffered their first defeat on the season but placed third in the Nike Iolani Classic, an eight-team elite tournament held in Honolulu.
“It was a great experience – some kids had never been on an airplane before,” Clovis West (11-1) coach Craig Campbell said. “We have a lot of things to work on basketball wise but it was a great experience.”
After opening with a 72-30 win over Sacred Hearts Academy, Clovis West fell 56-47 to Incarnate Word Academy, the No. 1 team from Missouri.
The Red Knights, also ranked No. 10 in the nation, feature three Division I players.
“This team was the best team we’ve played all season,” Campbell said. “We had one bad quarter (second) and actually outscored them by five in the second half.”
Maddie Campbell scored 24 points in the game.
They rebounded with a 61-48 win over host Iolani for third.
“We are a tough team but we need to get tougher,” Maddie Campbell said. “In crunch time, there’s no time for excuses and we need to produce. We definitely grew from these three games, and I’m so proud of my team.”
The games in Hawaii, along with several showcase games and a big tournament in Florida, prepare the Golden Eagles for the long haul, including the CIF state playoffs in February and March.
“All three teams were very different so it gave us a good look at three different styles,” Maddie Campbell added. “We got to see how we match up against each of them which was very helpful for the rest of the season.”
Two years ago in Hawaii, Clovis West lost 76-75 in overtime to Archbishop Mitty in the championship game, one of only two losses on the season. The Eagles would later beat the Monarchs for the CIF Open State title in March on their way to finishing ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Campbell and Champney Pulliam were named to the All-Tournament team.
Clovis West travels to Florida as they play in the Florida Prospects Florida Classic from Dec. 27-29 before the start of league play at Central on Jan. 8.