- Associated Press - Saturday, March 25, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - For their first appearance in a state title game, Sarah Bates of Clovis West Golden Eagles had to show the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs how they there got there by their quickness, grittiness on defense, and die-hard will to win.

Bates had 12 points, three rebounds, and two assists to lead Clovis West to a Girls Open Division championship by beating Archbishop Mitty 44-40 at Golden 1 Center Saturday night.

Danae Marquez had nine points, two rebounds, and two assists and Megan Anderson added nine points and five rebounds for the Golden Eagles (34-2), who won their first state title on the first try.

Clovis West outscored Archbishop Mitty 14-4 in the fourth quarter. Bates had 11 of the Golden Eagles’ points in the last eight minutes. She looked back on the first half of the game to get herself going in the right direction.

“I really just had a bad first half and realized I had to step up,” said Bates, who also had two steals in the game. “All of the girls realized we had to step up and come together. My coach got me fired up too. This was a big game and we needed to hit clutch shots.”

Clovis West held a 15-9 lead in the first quarter, but Archbishop Mitty came back to lead 27-24 at halftime. Madeline Holland had nine points in the first half for the Monarchs while Anderson led the Golden Eagles with nine points.

There were four lead changes and three ties in the first half.

The Monarchs had 35-30 margin to start the fourth quarter. Both teams missed a series of shots before Haley Jones finally made a basket to stretch Archbishop Mitty’s lead 37-30 with 5:42 remaining to play.

Bates’ 3-point play and another trey pulled the Golden Eagles ahead 39-37 with 2:41 remaining. As Archbishop Mitty kept struggling to get a basket, Bates broke free on a fast break for another score with 1:01 left in the game.

Archbishop Mitty made three free throws, two by Jones after Clovis West’s Tess Amundsen nailed one from the charity stripe with 26 seconds left. Marquez finished the Monarchs by making two free throws with 5.4 on the clock.

Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Holland added 11 points and seven rebounds for Archbishop Mitty (28-3).

“I actually thought we played great, but you really do have to credit Clovis West,” said Archbishop Mitty head coach Susan Phillips. “They did a great job of switching and contesting a majority of our shots.”

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