On Saturday night in Sacramento, the Golden Eagles won the game that mattered most, a 44-40 victory in the State Championship. In a game of runs and momentum, Clovis West went on a 12-0 run to end the 1st quarter to take a 15-12 lead. Mitty battled back and led 27-24 at the break.
The Golden Eagles struggled for much of the 2nd half and trailed 37-30 in the 4th quarter. Senior guard Sarah Bates took control, scoring 11 straight points which were part of a 14-5 Clovis West run that sealed the 44-40 victory.
Celebration City for Clovis West. Golden Eagles beat Mitty 44-40 for CIF Open Division crown. pic.twitter.com/pN3bBek2CP— Tommy Tran (@TommyTranTV) March 26, 2017
"Honestly, I think we started the game a little tight. We didn't come out playing defense well," point guard Danae Marquez said. "We weren't playing transition defense well and that was like the big key to our success."
"So, once we settled down and got used to the atmosphere, obviously it showed in the scoreboard. We just had to be ourselves and when we did that, we were successful?
"Honestly, memories. And first of all realizing me, Bri was crying, which made me cry. Me and Danae were hugging. It was like, we weren't playing together ever again. But to go out like that is unreal," guard Sarah Bates said. "To go in the open division and be a public school. Whoever thought that like from Fresno, CA. And we finally put us on the map. And it was amazing.
"I have no words. I still, it still feels like a dream, honestly. But sitting on the bench we were like we did this for our teammates. We did this for Campbell, he's done everything for us. And he put us in this position to get a ring."
"Everybody expected us to come in and just press. There's an old saying in sports," coach Craig Campbell said. "You can only do 2-3 things well. Focus on those. You can't do everything well. My thing is why not? Why can't you do everything well? You're not going to be perfect at anything. But these kids are pretty darn good at a lot of things."
The win marks the Golden Eagles first state title in program history.