It came down to the wire, but defending champ Edison High is headed back to the Central Section Division I boys basketball championship.
Senior forward Jamont Wilson scored 15 points — including the final four points for the No. 2 Tigers, who held on for a 51-49 victory against No. 3 Centennial in the Central Section Division I semifinals Wednesday night.
Malcolm Johnson, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Centennial, missed the back end of two free throws with 11.9 seconds left that would have tied the score.
The Tigers next face league rival Bullard — the team that Edison beat in the final a year ago to snap the Knights’ three-year reign — in the championship at Selland Arena at 8 p.m. Saturday.
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“(Wilson) played big for us,” Edison coach T.J. Wilkins told The Bakersfield Californian. “He got into foul trouble early for us, but we had to sit him because we knew we would need him in the second half. He held down the board for us. That was big.”
Daemar Potts led Edison with 16 points and was the only other Tiger to score in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Johnson scored 13 points as No. 2 Hanford defeated No. 3 Ridgeview 51-48.
The Bullpups had a slim 16-14 lead at halftime before outscoring the Wolf Pack 16-13 in the third quarter.
Steven Castaneda chipped in with 10 points for the Bullpups (25-4), who will face No. 1 Mission Oak at 8 p.m. Friday for the title.
Top-seeded West and No. 2 Porterville will clash for the title at 4 p.m. Saturday after the Vikings rolled past No. 4 Selma 87-63.
The Panthers downed No. 3 Tehachapi 71-59.
No. 1 Immanuel wasted no time in returning to Selland as Darrin Person Jr. scored a game-high 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Eagles’ 76-38 rout of No. 12 Sierra Pacific.
R.J. Horn finished with 12 points, seven assists, five steals and five rebounds for Immanuel. Jose Frias finished with a team-high 14 points for the Golden Bears (16-15).
The Eagles (28-2) were D-V champions last season after defeating Kern Valley, 64-34.
This time, Immanuel will meet No. 7 Granite Hills at noon Saturday.
The Grizzlies defeated No. 3 Bakersfield Christian 58-46 behind Kilon Bradford’s 38 points.
Top-seeded Caruthers jumped out to a 22-9 first quarter lead en route to a 67-51 victory over No. 4 Liberty-Madera Ranchos to advance to Friday’s 4 p.m. championship.
The Blue Raiders (19-9) will meet No. 2 Kern Valley, which defeated No. 3 Cal City 59-55.
Brandon Waltrip led Caruthers with a game-high 23 points.
Anthony Aguilar paced the Hawks with 11 points.