Bet you couldn’t have guessed: Central High has won outright or shared three consecutive titles and four of the past five in Tri-River Athletic Conference boys basketball.
And the fifth-ranked Grizzlies will virtually lock up another if they can pass their toughest assignment of the season Friday at No. 6 Clovis West at 7:30 p.m. in front of what promises to be a capacity crowd.
Central, with its third coach in four seasons, Myron Epps, is 16-8 overall and 6-0 atop the TRAC with four games to go. The Grizzlies won 53-44 at home to the Golden Eagles (16-5, 5-1) two weeks ago.
Should Central win the TRAC outright, it will represent a Division I puzzle for Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow and his seeding committee Feb. 21 in Porterville.
The Grizzlies have lost five games by two points or fewer, including nonleague decisions to D-I foes No. 4 Edison (69-67), No. 5 Centennial (73-71) and No. 8 Liberty-Bakersfield. And head-to-head results are generally a priority for the committee.
But Central, which starts a freshman and a sophomore in its backcourt in Cash Williams and Jaylon Johnson, has clearly played better at the wire in the TRAC, winning, for example, tight decisions against No. 9 Clovis North (68-64) and No. 10 Clovis East (52-48).
“We’re closing out close games,” says Epps, who left a rising program at Mission Oak of the East Yosemite League to engage the week-to-week grind of the all-Division I TRAC. “We’re making better decisions under pressure.”
CENTRAL SECTION BASKETBALL RANKINGS