Despite the cold weather outside, the Clovis High girls basketball squad caught fire shooting the ball Wednesday, Dec. 18, knocking down 10 three-pointers – including seven from senior guard Chloe Van Ness – in the Cougars’ 71-53 defeat of Yosemite.
“We try to have a balanced attack, and the strength of our team is always having everybody ready to score,” said Clovis coach Greg Clark. “Tonight, it worked out [Yosemite] was playing a zone defense and we could kick out for a three.”
Clovis kicked the ball outside to Van Ness early and often, as she knocked down three three-pointers in the first quarter to charge the Cougars’ 20-6 first-quarter lead.
In the second quarter, it was freshman Devin Miller’s turn to heat up from outside. Miller hit back-to-back from distance in the second quarter, as Clovis was able to maintain a comfortable 36-22 lead over Yosemite at halftime.
The Bears – winners of the North Sequoia League for the past two years – were dominant on the boards throughout the game, but struggled with turnovers against the stingy Cougars’ defense.
With its 2-3 defensive-zone scheme, Yosemite controlled the paint – but not the perimeter. Van Ness ripped off two more three-pointers in the third quarter to extend the Clovis lead to as big as 17.
Yet the Bears fought back with an 8-0 run late in the third quarter to stay in the game, as the Cougars led 53-41 headed into the final period.
Clovis would seal their sixth win of the season with two more treys from Van Ness in the fourth quarter, along with six points from senior Avery Evans.
Evans – who Clark labeled as the team’s “go-to person for a bucket” – would finish the game with 20 points.
With a win over perennial Valley power Yosemite, Clark feels confident in his team’s level of preparation heading into TRAC play in a few weeks.
“We will be battle-tested [heading into league play],” Clark said. “We have the toughest schedule in the Section right now… and we have to play a tough schedule because of the quality of teams in our league.”
Clovis (6-4) will continue their tough schedule at home Thursday, when they welcome San Joaquin Memorial (4-2) to the South Gym.