The Clovis West boys basketball team is once again on top of the TRAC mountain after winning its third straight league championship on Friday night after the Golden Eagles defeated Buchanan 62-47.
“It’s one of our goals,” head coach Vance Walberg said of the TRAC title. “We want to get better every game, we got good kids who play hard. We just got to get more contributions and I think we’ll be fine,”.
Clovis West relied heavily on Cole Anderson, who had a team-high 26 points. His seven three-point shots provided much-needed offense when other players failed to add to the total. The junior scored just one two-point shot and added another four points from the free-throw line.
Jarren Carr had six points, including a layup where he left Buchanan’s Coby Barnes tripping over his own feet and sliding out of bounds — much to the pleasure of the Golden Eagles student section.
That play was emblematic of the night. Clovis West seemed to move with more confidence and ease, right from warm-ups as numerous members of the Golden Eagles bobbed their heads in rhythm with the songs playing over the speakers.
Throughout the night, it seemed like Clovis West was able to move more smoothly, be that because of the large home crowd or the experience of the team, it looked to play a factor. At times, Buchanan seemed quick to rattle, they were given a technical foul after Carr’s layup and struggled to work productively as a group.
With just one game to play in the TRAC season, the Golden Eagles sit atop the standings with an 8-1 record. The Golden Eagles’ only loss was an upset by Clovis East 63-60, it’s the team’s only blemish in an otherwise perfect season.
“They played harder than we did that night, I don’t think any coach likes to admit that, but they did,” Vance Walberg said when asked about the team’s loss to Clovis East.
Clovis West will have three seniors graduate: Carr, Max Phillips and Jaylen Guidry.
“Forget basketball, just character, they are as good as they come,” Walberg said of the three men. “Jaden – our team captain who does everything you could ask, he is the ultimate team player and Max, who every day gets better and better.”
Walberg also spoke highly of Carr, who at just 5-foot-4-inches tall doesn’t look like a formidable threat at first glance, but Walberg touted the senior’s ability to move through traffic and break to the rim. Even if he is shuttered on offense like tonight, he is always a threat that can’t be left unaccounted for.
Following tonight’s game, Clovis West will travel to Clovis High for their final game of the season, the Bears, meanwhile, will go to Clovis North for their final regular-season contest, both Feb. 12.