The Central Section bracket-makers got it right in Division II, where top-seeded Clovis North High and No. 2 Tulare advanced to Friday's boys basketball championship at Selland Arena.
Clovis North (22-11) earned the school's first trip to a boys basketball final by defeating fourth-seeded East Bakersfield 62-55 on Wednesday behind 14 points from Ben Huffman. Richie Tesmer and Quinton Duckett each added 11 points for the Broncos, who were knocked out in the first round of Division III last season.
Tulare punched its ticket into the 8 p.m. final with a 71-52 win over third-seeded Memorial. William Stallworth and David Love led the way, scoring 26 and 21 points, respectively, for the Redskins, who tied a school record for wins in a season while improving to 26-1.
Memorial received 13 points from Bryce Sousa.
Bullard 65, Bakersfield 54: Jermaine McFadden sank a 3-pointer with 4 minutes left – his only points of the game – to extend the lead to 10 as the third-seeded Knights upset the No. 2 Drillers and reached the 8 p.m. Saturday D-I final against Clovis West.
Anthony White and Mike Hill led the way, scoring 17 points apiece and combining for six 3-pointers. Carl Goodman added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Knights.
Hoover 59, Independence 57: The top-seeded Patriots outscored the No. 5 Falcons 20-7 in the fourth quarter – getting eight points from Jesse Mendez and six points from Ahmad Jones – to avert an upset and squeak into the 4 p.m. Saturday final.
Mendez finished with 20 points and Jones added 13 for Hoover.
The Patriots will face No. 3 Golden Valley, a 77-59 winner over No. 7 Mission Oak, which received 16 points from Kevin Palma.
Washington 74, Bakersfield Christian 55: The third-seeded Panthers took out the second-seeded Eagles behind Deandre Dickson's 25 points, earning their first trip to a section final in five years, when current UNLV standout Tre'Von Willis was a senior.
Dickson finished 10 for 10 from the field and 4 of 5 from the line as Washington advances to face No. 1 Central Valley Christian at noon Saturday.
Washington took control by getting three long 3-pointers from Akili Arnold to close the first half and open a 40-30 lead. Arnold finished with 16 points.
Central Valley Christian 83, Corcoran 58: The Cavaliers lived up to their top billing, getting 21 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks from Grant Verhoeven while rolling past the No. 4 Panthers.
CVC (27-2) also got 21 points and 13 rebounds from Mitchell Mouw and 24 points from Lance Van Grouw as it reached the final during its first season in D-IV. Corcoran got 27 points from Ryan Luna.
Fresno Christian 57, Kings Christian 34: Cooper Belmont scored 17 points to power the top-seeded Eagles past the No. 4 Crusaders and into a 4 p.m. Friday final.
Tranquillity 62, Laton 58: Moises Ayala scored 14 points as the third-seeded Tigers upset the No. 2 Mustangs.