Clovis West reinforces stronghold on TRAC basketball in win over Clovis
Clovis West girls improve to 6-0 in league behind a balanced attack in a battle of league unbeatens.
Clovis West junior Aaliyah Seuell challenges a shot from Clovis in the Golden Eagles 65-51 win over the Cougars at home. (PHOTO BY RANDI STEELE)
Friday was just another night at the office for the Clovis West girls basketball team.
In a matchup of state-ranked opponents, who were also tied atop the TRAC, the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they defeated Clovis 65-51.
“The last 15 years, our goal is to go 5-0 in the first round and put pressure on everyone else,” head coach Craig Campbell said. “It gives us some breathing room. It’s nice to get that 5-0 checked off and really focus on what we need to do down the stretch.”
Down 2-0 and after missing their first ten shots of the game to start the game, the Golden Eagles (20-4 overall, 5-0 in TRAC) found their stride by rattling off a 9-0 run by three-pointers from Nikki Tom, Jada Oatman, and Alexa Silva and a 17-9 first quarter lead.
The hot streak wouldn’t last as both defenses clamped down, forcing multiple turnovers and contesting shots that would see Clovis West leading 28-22 at the half.
One player that didn’t mind a hand in the face? Clovis senior Chloe Van Ness, who made six 3-pointers on the night, including three in the first half.
“Chloe is a phenomenal shooter and we talked about it all week. She made us pay,” Campbell said.
After halftime, both offenses saw their best quarter of the night, but it was Clovis West who was still able to keep their distance from the Cougars (18-5 overall, 4-1 in TRAC).
“We had more ball movement—going interior, then exterior,” Tom said of the third-quarter jolt. “It led for more open threes and more opportunities for layups.”
The returning all-TRAC guard finished with a team-high 13 points and five rebounds.
Part of that third quarter offensive outburst was aided by Clovis West’s ability to rebound the basketball after getting beat earlier in the game.
Kendall Jackson and Aaliyah Seuell each finished with six rebounds a piece and helped create additional opportunities for the Golden Eagles’ offense.
“That was the key to the game—if we could control the boards” Campbell said.
Tom reiterated that importance: “It gave us more second and third opportunities and it led to more points.”
With a six point lead entering the fourth quarter, Clovis West’s depth became a factor as the Eagles outscored Clovis 18-9 in the final quarter, led by two three-pointers from Alyssa Kuniyoshi.
“We’ve got some momentum right now and it’s really important to us that we get to 6-0,” Tom said.
Along with Van Ness, Clovis was led by Avery Evans and Kelsey Delgado who each had 12 points.
Clovis West, now alone atop the TRAC, will host Clovis North on Tuesday night while Clovis has a quick turnaround as they take on Saint Mary’s (Albany) on Saturday. The Cougars will be back in conference action next Tuesday at Central.