The Tri-River Athletic Conference dominated Division I in the Central Section boys and girls basketball seedings Friday.
Central and Clovis West of the TRAC went 1-2 in the boys seedings and Clovis West, Clovis, Clovis North and Central landed 1-2-3-4 among the girls seedings.
Other top seeds went to Ridgeview (D-II), Selma (D-III), Immanuel (D-IV) and California City (D-V) in boys and Independence (D-II), Mission Oak (D-III), Sierra Pacific (D-IV) and Memorial (D-V) in the girls.
First-round playoff games are Tuesday for girls and Wednesday for boys. Finals, for the 13th year, are March 3-4 at Selland Arena.
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Receiving first-round byes were the Central, Ridgeview and California City boys and the Clovis West, Independence and Memorial girls.
The defending champions are Central, Lemoore, Roosevelt, Immanuel and Kern Valley on the boys side and Clovis West, Independence, Mission Oak, Immanuel and Caruthers on the girls side.
Clovis West’s 27-2 girls, second-ranked in the state (Cal-Hi Sports) and nationally (USA Today Sports Computer Rankings), are seeking their fifth straight section title and eighth overall under 12-year coach Craig Campbell.
Coaches’ rankings largely dictated the seedings. They were only allowed to seed in their own divisions.
Top-seeded unanimously were the Ridgeview boys and Clovis West, Independence, Mission Oak and Memorial girls.
Immanuel’s boys and Sierra Pacific’s girls just missed unanimous billing in what involved a couple of inconsistent votes.
Immanuel’s boys received 16 of 17 No. 1 votes, but were given a No. 3 by Bishop behind Madera South and Kerman.
Sierra Pacific’s girls received 15 of 18 No. 1’s, but were given 2’s by Desert-Edwards and Lindsay and a 6 by West.
D-I boys represented the hot spot of all the seedings, and Bakersfield got burned.
Having gone 10-0 in the Southwest Yosemite League and 19-10 overall, including a win over Central, the Drillers had reason to believe a No. 1 seed was in order.
But they received little help from the 13 coaches who voted in D-I, particularly outside Kern County.
Bakersfield voted No. 1 for itself, received an additional No. 1 from Centennial and a 2 from Liberty-Bakersfield. But the other 10 coaches gave the Drillers 3’s.
Central and Clovis West, meanwhile, dominated the 1’s and 2’s, making it easy for Central Section Commissioner Jim Crichlow and his five-man seeding committee to begin with the Grizzlies and Golden Eagles atop the D-I boys seedings. And Central got the nod in a tiebreaker because it finished ahead of Clovis West in the TRAC.
The Grizzlies are 17-6 a year after going 22-7 and winning their first section top-division boys basketball title in a program launched in 1925, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
Coach Greg Streets, who took over the program last year, was asked about landing the top seed a year after his team was No. 2 under No. 1 Clovis North. But the Grizzlies defeated the Broncos 77-64 for the title.
“It’s just a number to me,” he said. “We still have to play the game and win games. But it is good to play in the warmth of home; that’s one great benefit.”
CENTRAL SECTION PLAYOFFS
Feb. 22 opening round
No. 9 Centennial-Bakersfield at No. 8 Clovis East; No. 12 Clovis at No. 5 Clovis North; No. 13 Sunnyside at No. 4 Liberty-Bakersfield; No. 11 Stockdale-Bakersfield at No. 6 Buchanan; No. 10 Bullard at No. 7 Edison. Byes: No. 1 Central, No. 2 Clovis West, No. 3 Bakersfield
No. 9 Garces at No. 8 Tulare; No. 11 East Bakersfield at No. 6 El Diamante; No. 10 Hoover at No. 7 Hanford. Byes: No. 1 Ridgeview-Bakersfield, No. 2 Memorial, No. 3 Independence-Bakersfield, No. 4 Redwood, No. 5 Fresno
Feb. 24 quarterfinal: No. 5 Fresno at No. 4 Redwood
No. 16 Madera at No. 1 Selma; No. 9 Delano at No. 8 South-Bakersfield; No. 12 Tehachapi at No. 5 Chavez-Delano; No. 13 Roosevelt at No. 4 Golden West-Bakersfield; No. 14 Shafter at No. 3 West-Bakersfield; No. 11 Frontier-Bakersfield at No. 6 Tulare Western; No. 10 McLane at No. 7 Porterville; No. 15 Washington at No. 2 Sanger
No. 16 Lindsay at No. 1 Immanuel; No. 9 Coalinga at No. 8 McFarland; No. 12 Kingsburg at No. 5 Fowler; No. 13 Kennedy-Delano at No. 4 Bishop; No. 14 Granite Hills at No. 3 Kerman; No. 11 Central Valley Christian at No. 6 Sierra Pacific; No. 10 Bakersfield Christian at No. 7 Foothill-Bakersfield; No. 15 Yosemite at No. 2 Madera South
No. 9 Sierra at No. 8 Liberty-Madera Ranchos; No. 12 Wonderful College Prep Academy-Delano at No. 5 Strathmore; No. 13 Parlier at No. 4 Dos Palos; No. 14 Alpaugh at No. 3 Farmersville; No. 11 Caruthers at No. 6 Laton; No. 10 Mendota at No. 7 Kern Valley-Lake Isabella; No. 15 Avenal at No. 2 Fresno Christian. Bye: California City
CENTRAL SECTION PLAYOFFS
No. 9 Stockdale-Bakersfield at No. 8 Bullard; No. 11 Liberty-Bakersfield at No. 6 Hanford; No. 10 Clovis East at No. 7 Buchanan. Byes: No. 1 Clovis West, No. 2 Clovis, No. 3 Clovis North, No. 4 Central, No. 5 Ridgeview-Bakersfield
No. 9 Sierra at No. 8 Shafter; No. 10 Tehachapi at No. 7 Tulare Western. Byes: No. 1 Independence-Bakersfield, No. 2 Bakersfield, No. 3 Monache, No. 4 Redwood, No. 5 Selma, No. 6 Yosemite
Quarterginals, Feb. 23: No. 5 Selma at No. 4 Redwood; No. 6 Yosemite at No. 3 Monache
No. 16 North-Bakersfield at No. 1 Mission Oak; No. 9 Fresno at No. 8 McLane; No. 12 Exeter at No. 5 Sanger; No. 13 Delano at No. 4 Arvin; No. 14 Dinuba at No. 3 Golden Valley-Bakersfield; No. 11 Frontier-Bakersfield at No. 6 Golden West; No. 10 Tulare at No. 7 El Diamante; No. 15 Mendota at No. 2 Madera
No. 16 West-Bakersfield at No. 1 Sierra Pacific; No. 9 Desert-Edwards at No. 8 Porterville; No. 12 Washington at No. 5 Madera South; No. 13 Lindsay at No. 4 Immanuel; No. 14 Kingsburg at No. 3 Kerman; No. 11 East Bakersfield at No. 6 McFarland; No. 10 Coalinga at No. 7 Orosi; No. 15 Highland-Bakersfield at No. 2 Strathmore
No. 9 Liberty-Madera Ranchos at No. 8 Wonderful College Prep Academy-Delano; No. 10 Fresno Christian at No. 7 Firebaugh. Byes: No.1 Memorial, No. 2 Bakersfield Christian, No. 3 Caruthers, No. 4 Kern Valley-Lake Isabella, No. 5 Fowler, No. 6 Kennedy-Delano
Quarterfinals, Feb. 23: No. 5 Fowler at No. 4 Kern Valley-Lake Isabella; No. 6 Kennedy-Delano at No. 3 Caruthers