Clovis West High stayed on track for its fifth straight Central Section girls basketball championship by beating Central 57-38 Tuesday night in the semifinals.
The Golden Eagles (29-2), top-seeded in the Division I playoffs, ranked second in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and second and fifth in USA Today Sports’ Computer and Expert Rankings, beat the fourth-seeded Grizzlies for the third time this season.
Clovis West turned up the defensive pressure on Central, pulling away from a 15-13 first-quarter lead. Bre’yanna Sanders led the way with 20 points.
It was a turnaround from the last meeting on the Golden Eagles’ court, when Central fell 62-58 in Clovis West’s closest game against section competition this season.
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Next up for the Golden Eagles is another Tri-River Athletic Conference rival, No. 2-seed Clovis. The Cougars (25-6) beat No. 6 Hanford 55-52 in Tuesday’s other semifinal.
Clovis West beat Clovis twice in TRAC play, 73-30 and 77-41. The championship is 6 p.m. Saturday at Selland Arena.
Other semifinal highlights Tuesday:
▪ Alyssa Burton scored 18 points and Ashley Hansen 14 to lead No. 2 Madera past No. 3 Golden Valley 49-45 in Division III. The Coyotes will face No. 5 Sanger, a 58-49 winner over No. 1 Mission Oak, in Saturday’s 2 p.m. final at Selland.
▪ The other division finals at Selland are 1-2 matchups:
No. 1 Independence 65, No. 4 Redwood 56
No. 2 Bakersfield 56, No. 6 Yosemite 43
Independence vs. Bakersfield,, 6 p.m.
No. 1 Sierra Pacific 68, No. 4 Immanuel 51
No. 2 Strathmore 71, No. 3 Kerman 50
Sierra Pacific vs. Strathmore, 10 a.m.
No. 1 Memorial 71, No. 4 Kern Valley-Lake Isabella 62
No. 2 Bakersfield Christian 41, No. 3 Caruthers 34
Memorial vs. Bakersfield Christian, 2 p.m.