When Clovis West and Modesto Christian lined up for tip-off, there was something too obvious to ignore.
Modesto Christian has built themselves into a perennial Northern California power through their size and athleticism; Clovis West trotted out a lineup with hardly any of either.
Yet when it came time to play basketball, there was one asset the Crusaders did not have on their side: Cole Anderson.
It made all the difference.
The highly-touted point guard popped off for 34 points and sank 8 three-pointers, leading the Golden Eagles to a convincing 91-65 win over the Crusaders Thursday night.
Coming off a blowout win over Bullard, the Golden Eagles stumbled out of the gates offensively, struggling to get into the paint against the big Modesto Christian frontcourt.
Clovis West barely led 16-15 at the end of the opening quarter, but the floodgates opened for Clovis West in the second quarter.
Or – more accurately – for Cole Anderson.
The reigning NorCal Player of the Week, Cole Anderson did not disappoint fans and classmates who came to watch him on a school night.
Anderson took the Crusaders to school in the second quarter, dropping 15 in the period and extending the Golden Eagles halftime lead to 44-31 at halftime.
Yet that wasn’t even the best from Anderson, who proceeded to sink five straight three-pointers in the third quarter to effectively put the game on ice for Clovis West.
By the time Anderson’s scoring assault ended, Clovis West had a comfortable 73-47 lead headed into the fourth quarter, and for the second straight game, head coach Vance Wahlberg rotated in the bench to play the final minutes of the game.
Wahlberg was pleased with how his team executed their Cole Anderson-oriented gameplan against a tall, athletic foe like Modesto Christian.
“We knew [Modesto Christian] would lose us in transition, and the kids did a good job finding Cole,” Wahlberg said. “Cole struggled early, but once he started hitting [shots], that opened up [shots] for everyone.”
Anderson kept a cool head about his shooting success in the game.
“I guess I shot pretty good in the third quarter, but I could always get better,” Anderson said postgame.
What a scary thought for Clovis West opponents this season.
Clovis West (7-1) will next play in a highly anticipated matchup against San Joaquin Memorial (4-2) Friday night, on Day 4 of the Clovis West Nike Invitational.