The Hanford High boys and Caruthers girls were bright spots in an otherwise quiet night Wednesday for Central Section basketball teams in the CIF Southern California Regionals.
At Hanford, Trent Reynolds went 6 of 7 from the field, sparking his sixth-seeded team’s 58% shooting night as the Bullpups rolled past No. 11 Hamilton-Los Angeles 55-37 in Division II’s opening round.
Reynolds finished with 16 points and seven rebounds for the Bullpups (27-4), who travel to third-seeded Compton in the regional quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Ryan Johnson added 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting and Hanford jumped out to a 12-4 first-quarter lead.
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Ninth-seeded Caruthers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat host and eighth-seeded Bloomington Christian 51-49 in D-V.
Lilly Hernandez scored 15 points and Briana Davila added 13 for the Blue Raiders (23-6), who travel to top-seeded La Jolla Country Day for a 6 p.m. Saturday quarterfinal.
Those were two of the section’s three wins (Independence had the other) against 19 losses.
Regional matchups are often unkind for Central Section teams, and Wednesday was no different. For example, on the boys side, Bullard drew Chino Hills (No. 11 in the Cal-Hi Top 20 rankings) and lost 83-67 in D-I. The host Huskies’ three Bell brothers combined for 61 points. Bullard’s Austin Armstead closed out his four-year varsity career with 27 points and Kevin Howland-Wolaridge added 21.
Selma had an even tougher road, playing at No. 17 Damien in La Verne. Final: Damien, 86-53.
The Immanuel girls, a season after winning three straight Division V regional games before falling in the final, were bounced in the first round of Division IV by Harvard-Westlake of Studio City, 63-53. The Wolverines jumped out to a 19-11 lead in the first quarter and weathered a third-quarter Eagles rally for the win. Samantha Swan scored 18 points, Zoe March had 14 and Tarah Pires added 12 for Immanuel.
There were closer calls: Orangewood Academy, a team with a 7-footer, held off the ninth-seeded Caruthers boys 68-63 in D-V in Garden Grove. The Blue Raiders (20-10) rallied with a 23-12 fourth quarter. Caruthers received 17 points from Brandon Waltrip and Elijah Clark, and 10 from Ranvir Johal.
Porterville made a nice run at home before falling to Gahr-Cerritos 76-69, and Mission Oak lost 76-67 at Santa Barbara.
And a couple gritty Central Section girls runners-up ran out of gas on the road: Sierra lost 72-40 at Santa Barbara in D-II, and Fresno lost 80-46 at El Dorado-Placentia in D-III. Warriors senior guard Desiree Harding closed her four-year career with 22 points and teammate Tiffany Smith scored 14.
Two section teams have opening games ahead: In the girls Open Division, No. 4-seeded Clovis West hosts No. 5 Alemany-Mission Hills at 7 p.m. Friday; and in boys Division IV, top-seeded Immanuel hosts No. 8 Oaks Christian-Westlake Village at 6 p.m. Saturday in Reedley.