Oct 20, 2018

Valley kids are the way to go

After finishing the season 18-15 overall and 8-10 in conference play, the Fresno State women’s basketball team missed out on postseason play for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

They lost in the Mountain West tournament to rival Boise State 66-53 in the final.

It is the second year in a row that the ‘Dogs have lost the championship game, and the team stands to lose three seniors this season, leaving holes to fill. The best girls high school basketball team in the country is in their own backyard, Clovis West, which should be lucky for the ‘Dogs.

The Clovis West girls basketball team, named State Team of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports, capped a magical 34-2 season with a state championship along with an impressive No. 1 in the national rankings by ESPN. The girls team played a grueling schedule against a total of nine different teams ranked in the top 15 in the country, defeating three of the top five at the time.

The team also added a championship at the Nike Tournament Of Champions – which is the nation’s best tournament – in Arizona.

The team has five Division 1 players continuing their careers next season. However, none are attending Fresno State. Being a top team in the conference, Fresno State should have no excuses why it can’t lure talent – especially talent in their own city.

The graduating girls decided on San Jose State, UC Santa Barbara, Arizona State and Boise State. This means that Fresno State lost a Central Valley athlete to division rival Boise State, just after it beat the ‘Dogs for the Mountain West crown.

The Fresno State team in the 2016-17 season was made up of players ranging from Modesto to Australia. Not a single player from the Fresno area is on the roster. Only three players on the team are California natives.

It’s inexcusable to let talent this close to the university sign somewhere else, especially when it’s to a rival. Tess Amundsen, from Clovis West, averaged 12 points a game and will head to Boise after playing a large part in the Golden Eagles’ success this season.

With the ‘Dogs losing multiple seniors this season, talent is needed to bridge the gap. We would be hard-pressed to find more talent than the Golden Eagles.

Clovis West has won five straight section titles along with consecutive season appearances in the second round of the postseason tournament before winning the program’s first state championship.

With head coach Craig Campbell finishing up his 12th season, the Golden Eagles expect to bully the conference yet again.

The ‘Dogs have to show some attention to the Golden Eagles moving forward, or they risk eventually being left behind in their conference. Missing out on postseason play for a team like the ‘Dogs is disappointing to say the least.

There is a reason why the ‘Dogs wear a “V” emblem on their jerseys. It’s time we start capitalizing on the abundance of talent here in the Valley.

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