VISALIA — There were subtle differences: more mid-range shooting, more motion in the offensive half-court game and more of a man-to-man press.
But, at the end of the night Thursday, the new Hanford girls basketball program under coach Doug Pitkin delivered like the old one under Tom Parrish.
It was the Central Section top-ranked Bullpups 75-46 for their 91st consecutive West Yosemite League victory in a streak bridging eight seasons.
It's been an extraordinary stretch -- second in the section to Memorial's 97 straight in league under former coach Mary Brown from 1972-82, according to historian Bob Barnett.
And it's been one showcasing extraordinary players, specifically two-time Bee Players of the Year Madison Parrish and Bayli McClard, who have advanced their careers to Pacific and Fresno State.
The latest for Hanford (17-2, 7-0) is four-year star Brooke Johnson, who's headed to UNLV.
It was Johnson -- as only a freshman -- who was identified by Tom Parrish as potentially the best of them all.
And, today, her game appears to support that, the latest a 25-point, 16-rebound, seven-assist, two-steal effort against No. 9 Redwood (13-6, 5-2).
"The best thing about Brooke Johnson is she expects perfection out of herself," said Pitkin, who came from Tulare. "I've never seen a girl work harder. Even in shoot-around she's competitive, which is why she's going to a major D-I school. She's just fantastic."
Johnson, lean and quick at 5-feet-11, was offered a scholarship as a sophomore by former Fresno State coach Adrian Wiggins. His successor, Raegan Pebley, hasn't been nearly as aggressive, but it wouldn't have mattered because the point guard was leaving the state. And Nebraska was a possibility before UNLV won.
"Fresno State was always the school where I'm from," said Johnson, wearing a red Rebels sweatshirt afterward. "But I don't like going with the flow; I like doing what's unexpected. And I wanted to get out of town."
That town -- Hanford -- the one with a 197-47 record with five section titles in eight seasons under Parrish.
Hence, post-Parrish pressure for Pitkin, right?
"A little at first," he said. "But then we beat Clovis West."
Clearly the most meaningful score in section girls basketball this season because of Division I seeding implications had Hanford beating the-now No. 2 Golden Eagles 59-57 on their court Dec. 7.
"That took the proverbial monkey off my back," Pitkin said. "More than anything else, that got the girls to believe in my goals for them. And, also, the parents and community bought into me after that game."
Pitkin has effectively engaged several players with Johnson, specifically junior wing Chellsie Perryman, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds against Redwood; seniors Madison Barnes and Justina Medrano; and the latest budding star, freshman wing Janelle Sumilong.
Redwood, which has lost three times to the Bullpups this season, made an early run behind the long-range accuracy of Jasmine Black, who finished with 19 points.
The four-year varsity player and daughter of Rangers coach Jason Black, will play next at Fresno City College under coach Brian Tessler, who was in attendance.
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