They are the Central Section's defending Division I basketball champions -- one 3-0, the other 6-2 -- yet with contrasting buzz.
"Very pleased," says Tony Amundsen, coach of Bullard's boys, the 3-0 team.
"Off to a slow start," says Tom Parrish, coach of Hanford's girls, the 6-2 team.
Only in Hanford, perhaps, in all of section hoops -- boys or girls -- would a 6-2 start be considered "slow."
That's because the Bullpups are 180-44 with five consecutive section titles in eight seasons under Parrish.
But they did have a 97-game winning streak against section competition crushed in a 73-47 loss to Ridgeview three weeks ago.
And, for that reason, Ridge-view and Hanford are ranked Nos. 1-2 in The Bee's first rankings.
In the boys, it's Bullard, Central, Edison and Clovis West as Nos. 1-4 as section power remains firmly in the north.
Kern County hasn't delivered a boys D-I champion since Bakersfield defeated Clovis West in 2003.
Since, Bullard has literally raced past Clovis West and Clovis East -- which combined for six D-I titles from 2004-10 -- as the section's elite boys program.
The move has been authored by Amundsen, who is 95-35 with two consecutive section crowns in five seasons with the Knights, including a 32-4 mark, Southern California Regional runner-up finish and final No. 9 state ranking by Cal-Hi Sports last season.
Cal-Hi responded with a not-so-flattering No. 33 preseason ranking for Bullard a month ago.
But the Knights blew the doors off that treatment by defeating Salesian-Richmond -- ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 8 nationally -- 60-54 for the championship of the Gridley Invitational Dec. 8 behind tournament Most Valuable Player Corey Silverstrom.
"That tournament was unbelievable," Amundsen says. "Anytime you knock off the No. 8 team in the country, you've got to feel pretty good about that."
He lost three prominent seniors off last year's team in Bee All-Star Aaric Armstead, Brad Thakham and Walter Orr. But, consistent with his past two section title runs, Amundsen continues to attack fullcourt with a 10-player rotation.
The Knights have no true center but, besides 5-foot-9 returning point guard Chris Russell (8.0 points, 6.0 assists), they balance good height, featuring the 6-5 Silverstrom (21.0-point average), 6-4 Calvin Young (18.7 points, 11.7 rebounds), 6-4 Adam Armstead (8.0 points, 4.3 rebounds), 6-5 James Girado and 6-3 Jarred Morrill.
"We have 10 seniors, a veteran group, so I knew we'd make good decisions," Amundsen says. "Defensively, we're doing a great job."
Bullard will next play Wednesday against Selma at 8 p.m. at Hoover in the first round of the four-day Holiday Invitational Tournament.
In the opposite bracket are Central and Edison, which are Nos. 2-3 in The Bee's rankings.
Parrish keeps the faith
Hanford coach Parrish, typically expressive, says: "I think we'd beat Ridgeview by the end of the year."
The Bullpups won't have the chance because the Wolf Pack will compete in the D-II playoffs after winning D-III last year.
Regardless, Parrish, while acknowledging Ridgeview's talent, Stanford-bound center Erica McCall and the Wolf Pack's superior physical shape, points to three factors that have been troubling for the Bullpups:
-- Bayli McClard, a 6-1 multiple position player and Bee 2012 Player of the Year headed for Gonzaga, is just now approaching full health after breaking a foot in the summer.
-- Guard Gabby Gomez, who underwent knee reconstruction in April after suffering an ACL tear, is playing, but far from in top form.