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Clovis West girls win basketball state title

The Clovis West girls pose for a state champion picture, after beating Archbishop Mitty 44-40 in the Open Division title game.

In the biggest high school basketball game featuring a Central Valley school in a long time, the Clovis West girls won a state championship in comeback fashion. The Golden Eagles trailed Archbishop Mitty of San Jose 37-30 in the fourth quarter. That's when senior Sarah Bates, who hadn't made a field goal up to this point, went on an 11-0 run by herself, to put Clovis West in front 41-37. Senior Danae Marquez then made a pair of free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal a 44-40 win.

While any state championship is a huge deal, this was another level. Clovis West and Archbishop Mitty were ranked numbers one and two in the country by several computer polls, so this was effectively a national championship. Also consider: no Central Section team, boys or girls, had won a state championship in basketball since the Hanford girls in 2001; no Fresno County girls team had ever won a state championship; and the Golden Eagles were playing in California's Open Division, which is typically dominated by private and prep schools.

Bates led Clovis West in scoring with 12, while Marquez and Megan Anderson added nine points. The Golden Eagles complete a remarkable season with a 34-2 record.

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