CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR: T.J. WILKINS and CARVELL WAFER
Fast break: They split this honor in large part because they also shared the glory on a historical day for Fresno Unified on March 8 at Selland Arena. It was then that the district matched teams for Central Section basketball titles for the first time in the 100-year history of the sport in the section. Wilkins' Edison team defeated Bullard 58-41 in the Division I final a couple hours after Wafer's Fresno unit survived final-second dramatics in a 62-61 conquest of top-seeded Roosevelt for the D-III crown. Both the Tigers and the Warriors had been swept by those teams in the County/Metro Athletic Conference and North Yosemite League.
By the numbers: Sixth-seeded Edison, which blasted No. 3 Clovis East 78-45 on the road before marching into Kern County and beating No. 2 Liberty-Bakersfield 39-35 in the semifinals, finished 27-8 in Wilkins' fourth season. He's 85-39 with the Tigers and 253-140 overall in a 13-year career that began at Kingsburg and moved on to Lemoore. … Wafer, a powerful force on a 1999 Washington team that captured the state D-III title and advanced DeShawn Stevenson to the NBA, delivered a 28-5 record — best in Fresno history — and the school's first section title in 34 years in his third season with the program. He's 93-69 over in a six-year career that also included stops at Kerman and Lemoore.
He said it: "What I'll remember most (at Selland Arena) was the looks on our kids' faces. They were thrilled to be there and the whole experience, from the beginning, getting off the bus. They were so excited just to be there, and then to win it all is something I'll never forget." — Wilkins
He said it: "There were about 30 seconds left (in the championship), I looked around, everybody was standing, it was half green (Roosevelt), half purple (Fresno) and I just thought, 'This is awesome.' And then they missed a shot (at the buzzer), our kids rushed the floor and I felt even better. It hit me: 'Man, I finally got one.' " — Wafer
Tim Amundsen, Central: Won Tri-River Athletic Conference and produced a school-record 27-5 mark against the Central Section's toughest strength of schedule.
Brad Felder, Hanford: Went 26-6 with a third section title (D-II) in his 19th season in the program.
C.J. Haydock, Immanuel: D-V championship team started a freshman, two sophomores and a junior at Selland and closed 23-7.
Jason McFarlin, Coalinga: Two straight trips to Selland, 51 wins along the way and hoops suddenly really matters in southwest Fresno County.
Tony Petersen, Washington: A 27-6 record this year and a second D-IV crown in four seasons.
Aaron Pharr, Roosevelt: Went 27-8, delivered the school's first NYL title in 35 years and missed by a whisper the program's second section championship.
Gary Miller, Monache: Only two years removed from a two-win season, the 20-8 Marauders became relevant with a D-II silver medal.
Jeff Schmidt, Bullard: Quickly shed the ghost of Tony Amundsen by overcoming a difficult nonleague schedule and injuries, going 10-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference, making the Selland show and finishing 18-12.
Adrian Wiggins, Clovis East: For all he did as a regular NCAA Tournament dancer with Fresno State's women program, perhaps nothing was more impressive than a 22-9 effort in his first season with the Timberwolves a year after they went 8-20.
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