For those who think the Hanford High girls basketball dynasty will dry up and blow away after what will be a phenomenal five-year cycle of talent next season, consider the development of Bayli McClard.
Further, consider what Bullpups coach Tom Parrish said of the 6-foot freshman forward following her 19-point, eight-rebound performance in an 80-39 humiliation of Beverly Hills on Thursday in a Southern California Regional quarterfinal: “She’s going to be probably the best player I’ve ever coached down the road.”
Talk about an objective father.
This is the coach whose daughter, junior point guard Madison Parrish, already has Bee Player of the Year and All-State awards on her résumé, has committed to Fresno State and guided the Bullpups to a 31-3 record this season and 82-13 mark with three Central Section titles in her career.
“Yeah, I know, I know,” dad says. “People tell me about Madison this and Madison that. But Bayli has perfect size, athleticism and is fearless as a freshman.”
That was particularly evident Thursday before a packed house at Hanford, where McClard was dominant on the boards while also benefiting from nice feeds from teammates and finishing on the offensive end.
Her 12 points keyed a deflating 30-11 run against a Beverly Hills team that had been much more competitive in an 80-63 Southern Section playoff loss at Mater Dei-Santa Ana just a couple of weeks earlier.
Now McClard and the third-seeded Bullpups will march into the same site — a 4,000-seat venue that has few prep peers nationally — to oppose second-seeded and nationally No. 4-ranked Mater Dei (29-1) at 6:30 p.m. today.
At 8 p.m., Mater Dei’s nationally ranked boys face Taft-Woodland Hills in a D-I quarterfinal.
The Southern Section, much like the Central Section, is now placing schools in divisions based on competitive equity — recent on-court performance as opposed to enrollment.
Many around the state have questioned why the girls from Mater Dei — arguably the most powerful private school in the country — remain in D-II. And the answer, in fact, does lie in the past — the Monarchs girls finishing an ordinary 16-9, 15-13 and 13-14 from 2005-07 before establishing themselves with 25-4 and 32-1 seasons in ’08 and ’09.
This season, Mater Dei has sustained the momentum behind 6-0 junior guard Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (23.6-point average), a national top-five player, who has made an oral commitment to Connecticut; and Jordan Adams, top-ranked nationally among sophomore point guards, who already is being courted coast to coast.
Adams delivered a triple-double — 11 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists — in a 74-35 win over Villa Park on Thursday.
CW, Yosemite still alive
The Central Section, in an unprecedented accomplishment for the area, has advanced two teams into regional basketball semifinals in one division.
Yosemite (31-3), which placed second to Hanford in the section D-II championship last week at Selland Arena, will visit top-seeded Brea Olinda-Brea (30-2) at 5:30 p.m. today.
Defending champion Brea Olinda is the only team to beat Mater Dei the past two seasons, and the Ladycats coasted into the semis by beating Diamond Ranch-Pomona 68-41.
Iowa State-bound guard Kelsey Harris made four 3-pointers and 14 points for Brea Olinda. But standout junior point guard Alexis Perry reinjured a knee that has bothered her for three years, and is questionable for today.
Clovis West (26-4) is at home at 7 p.m. today because it’s a No. 2 seed in D-I. The Golden Eagles will play Southern Section champion Santa Monica (27-6), a No. 3 seed, which escaped with a 59-56 quarterfinal win over Canyon Springs-Moreno Valley.
The Vikings are led by Thea Lemberger, a senior point guard headed for UCLA. She will challenge Clovis West’s Columbia-bound Brianna Orlich in the feature matchup of the night.