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Clovis West beats Clovis East in OT behind talented trio

For the second time in three games, the Golden Eagles win in overtime, overcoming the Timberwolves’ Jermal Pittman’s 28 points.

Clovis East senior Jermal Pittman scored 28 points, including 22 in the first half, for the 13-7 Timberwolves. (PHOTO BY CHRIS LOUIS PHOTOGRAPHY)

Another overtime and another win for Clovis West. 

Down 11 in the middle of the third quarter, the Golden Eagles clawed its way back behind the scoring of Jarren Carr, Max Phillips and Cole Anderson to beat Clovis East 66-61 at home in overtime to improve to 3-0 in league and 18-3 overall. 

Clovis West rallied to defeat Clovis North 76-67 in overtime on the road a week earlier and held off a very good Central team 79-75 at home Tuesday. 

“It’s so big for us to get these first three wins against three of the top teams in our league,” said Phillips, who scored 14 points, including eight in the fourth quarter and overtime. “It feels great especially to defend on our home court.”

However, it wasn’t easy, especially after Clovis East’s Jermal Pittman lit them up in the first half, scoring 22 points en route to a 36-28 lead. 

With a barrage of strong drives and three 3-pointers, including a 4-point play, the Golden Eagles had no answer for the left handed senior. 

In the second half Clovis West made a conscience effort, especially Preston Kilbert, to clamp down on Pittman. It worked as he was held to two field goals and two free throws after half. 

“Just give him space and let him shoot and if he makes it he makes it,” said Gilbert, a junior transfer from San Joaquin Memorial. “Try to get him out of the paint where he’s more comfortable. That was our main goal. Our coach [Vance Walberg] had me deny him the ball and try not to catch it and make it easier for us.”

But just to get to overtime, Clovis West had to crawl out of a 44-33 deficit. 

After Clovis East’s Tyler Pacheco hit a three with 4:48 left in the third, Clovis West raced to a 12-1 run to end the quarter behind Carr (17 points) and Anderson (17 points) who came in averaging 27 points per game. 

Marcel Sanders’ free throw tied the game with seconds remaining in the quarter. 

In the fourth, Phillips converted a perfect baseline out-of-bounds play for a layup with 20.3 seconds, a play Phillips said they’ve been practicing for weeks, before Pittman’s drive to tie the game at 57 with 7.1 seconds left. 

In overtime the Golden Eagles outscored the Timberwolves 9-2, keyed by two Carr dribble drive layups.

After Carr’s final drive, Clovis West coach Vance Walberg let out an emphatic fist pump. 

“We were in there for a good ten minutes celebrating,” Phillips said about the locker room celebration. “We know we have to get back to work. We got Bakersfield Christian on Monday and two more games next week.”

For the Timberwolves (13-7, 1-2), Pacheco hit three 3-pointers for nine points and Clovis West’s Jaylen Guidry scored nine, including two threes. 

Clovis East isn’t the only team with two overtime games in league — they lost to Clovis North 76-65 on Jan. 14.

Next week Clovis East plays Clovis at home and then Central while Clovis West plays at Buchanan and Clovis at home. 

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