The Central Section didn’t get a lot of love in seedings for the Southern California regional soccer and state basketball playoffs.
The section placed 30 teams out of 190 in the basketball playoffs, which start Wednesday. Three are in the Open Division that begins Friday: the Clovis West and Clovis North girls and the San Joaquin Memorial boys.
All 12 Central Section soccer champions advanced as prescribed to the SoCal regionals, which holds five eight-team playoffs that culminate Saturday. (There is no state championship game in soccer.) The No. 2 Buchanan girls are home Tuesday at 3 p.m. Also home Tuesday are the Washington Union boys and the Kingsburg and Orosi girls. Those games are set for 4 p.m.
Just eight Central Section basketball teams earned first-round home games – and that’s in the open world of California Interscholastic Federation state playoffs, which allow for Central Section teams to be sprinkled between the Southern and Northern regions.
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The seeding curiosity includes dropping defending state Open Division girls basketball champion Clovis West to the No. 2 SoCal seed, and jumping the Central Section D-II champion Memorial boys into the NorCal Open Division.
Clovis West is 30-3 with its only losses to out-of-state teams, but the Golden Eagles are behind No. 1 seed Windward-Los Angeles. Clovis West loaded up its nonleague schedule with out-of-state opponents and played only one Southern California team this season, perhaps costing it in the regional seedings.
It’s not uncommon for the Open Division to reach deeper than tradition Division I schools to fill its eight-team brackets.
And that’s where the Memorial boys find themselves, seeded No. 5 in NorCal. They’re on the road Friday at No. 4 Sheldon-Sacramento. On the other side of the bracket is No. 3 Modesto Christian, which split with Memorial this season. But Modesto Christian’s win was 89-72 against a Dameane Douglas-less Memorial team in early December, and Memorial’s win was 73-64 in the championship game of Modesto Christian’s late-December tournament.
Another odd seeding is in boys Division III. Immanuel beat Sanger on Saturday for the section D-III championship – Immanuel’s fifth straight as it climbs divisions.
Yet the Eagles are just a No. 15 in SoCal D-III, receiving a trip to No. 2 University-Los Angeles.
Sanger is No. 7 in NorCal and will be home against No. 10 Beyer-Modesto.
Seventeen of the Central Section’s basketball qualifiers are double-digit seeds, including No. 12 Central and No. 16 Bullard in boys D-I.
And the Selma boys, whose section final loss was to Open Division qualifier Memorial, are No. 15 in D-II.
A seedings plus for the section came in girls D-V, where section runner-up Sierra Pacific is SoCal No. 1.
And the Clovis girls, bounced in the section D-I semifinals by Clovis West, are No. 7 in NorCal D-III.
First-round action in soccer is 4 p.m. Tuesday except for the 3 o’clock game at Buchanan.
In basketball, divisions I-V play first-round games Wednesday at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. in the case of doubleheaders) and 6 p.m. Saturday. The Open Divisions get going Friday.
Games involving central San Joaquin Valley teams
Tuesday Southern California quarterfinals
4 p.m. unless noted
Division I: No. 7 La Mirada at No. 2 Buchanan, 3 p.m.
Division II: No. 7 Edison at No. 2 San Luis Obispo
Division IV: No. 5 Westminster at No. 4 Kingsburg
Division V: No. 5 Azusa at No. 4 Orosi
Division I: No. 8 Sunnyside at No. 1 Santa Barbara
Division II: No. 5 Reedley at No. 4 Sotomayor-Los Angeles
Division III: No. 7 Locke-Los Angeles at No. 2 Washington Union
Division V: No. 5 Orange Cove at No. 4 Chavez
Friday Open Division SoCal quarterfinals, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Mater Dei-Santa Ana at No. 2 Clovis West
No. 6 Clovis North at No. 3 Harvard-Westlake-Studio City
Wednesday first round, 7 p.m.
Division III: NorCal, No. 10 Lathrop at No. 7 Clovis; No. 12 Yosemite at No. 5 West Campus-Sacramento; SoCal, No. 12 Shafter at No. 5 Mission Oak
Division IV: NorCal, No. 4 San Joaquin Memorial vs. No. 13 Lincoln-San Francisco; SoCal, No. 10 Polytechnic-Pasadena at No. 7 Immanuel; No. 12 Fresno at No. 5 Ontario; No. 15 Selma at No. 2 Foothill Tech-Ventura
Division V: NorCal, No. 9 Chowchilla at No. 8 Mariposa; SoCal, No. 16 Reseda at No. 1 Sierra Pacific; No. 9 Garey-Pomona at No. 8 Firebaugh; No. 10 Santa Clara-Oxnard at No. 7 Porterville
Friday Open Division NorCal quarterfinals, 7 p.m.
No. 5 San Joaquin Memorial at No. 4 Sheldon
Wednesday first round, 7 p.m.
Division I: NorCal, No. 12 Central at No. 5 Saint Francis-Mountain View; SoCal, No .16 Bullard at No. 1 Heritage-Brentwood
Division II: NorCal, No. 15 Sunnyside at No. 2 St. Mary’s-Stockton; SoCal, No. 15 Selma at No. 2 Crossroads-Santa Monica; No. 16 Fresno at No. 1 Brentwood-Los Angeles
Division III: NorCal, No. 10 Beyer-Modesto at No. 7 Sanger; SoCal, No. 13 Redwood at No. 4 Knight-Palmdale; No. 15 Immanuel at No. 2 University-Los Angeles
Division IV: SoCal, No. 10 Kerman at No. 7 Carnegie Schools-Riverside
Division V: SoCal, No. 16 Corcoran at No. 1 Santa Clarita Christian