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A Look At The Central Section CIF Playoffs:
Bracket Updates--(Mar. 2, 2003)

Since we're all looking forward to the State Southern Regionals after next weekend's finals, and since we now know about LA City (which is now down to Fairfax and Westchester in the LA City Championship finals; both of those teams get automatic berths in the State playoffs), and since we're all pretty well-informed about CIF-SS playoffs, and now know about the San Diego CIF Section playoffs,  we thought it would be fun to take a look at the Central Section, to see who's doing well and who is likely to make it to the State Tournament from that section.  Here's what we know: 

Unlike San Diego, which has really only two major papers covering the entire geographic region, finding details about some of the smaller schools in the Central Section is just a nightmare because, well, because these are small towns, and few of them have daily papers, much less papers that post results daily on the internet.   The Bakersfield Daily Californian and the Fresno Bee provide the most ample coverage, but even they clearly don't cover everyone, and the Bee doesn't even post scores from most of its local teams, instead simply linking this year to the Central Section's own website where they've got the brackets posted and the scores are updated the next day (well most of the scores).

Saturday saw the quarterfinals played in all five divisions.  Unlike the Southern Section of the CIF, San Diego's CIF Section is about 1/10th the number of competing schools,  and as a result, San Diego has no need to subdivide the enrollment-based playoff divisions.  This means that it should be much easier to cover the games, because there are only the five major enrollment divisions.... tell that to the U-T.  Still, they have posted on their website the boxscores of just about every game played (something the LA Times ought to be doing by now when the pool of teams is sufficiently reduced to make such a task feasible).  

But enough ranting and raving about media coverage or the lack thereof.  Who is doing well, and who isn't?   Let's look at Division I, the largest enrollment group. 

Semifinals & Finals Schedules--All Divisions

Unlike LA City, CIF-SS, and San Diego, the Central Section doesn't utilize a single venue for the finals.  Some of the divisions have used an arena style setting in the past (Garces did last year), but the general consensus among the folks in the Central Section is that they'd rather keep things small, and have the higher seeded teams continue to host games on their home court.  More like real high school basketball.....fans and all, no morning games, etc.....Sounds ok to us, having attended more nearly empty arena venues than we can shake a stick at....Arenas do have one advantage:  They allow fans to see a complete (or nearly complete) series of games without traveling.  But the atmosphere at most of these games isn't at all like watching high school hoops and most of the teams perform poorly when they play in large arenas where the kids are not comfortable shooting.  The Pond in particular is just horrible when it comes to shooting perspective, and even college and pro teams do not do well there....But we digress. 

The schedule for the finals in all Divisions is   Friday night, March 7, 2003.  All games will tip off at 7:00 p.m.  The semifinals will all be played this coming Wednesday night, March 5, again hosted at the higher seeded team's homecourt.  Here's a look at each of the divisions and the brackets:

Central Section Division I Boys' Playoffs

It's now down to the semifinals this coming Wednesday.   Two games, each of which will be played at the higher seed's homecourt.   Bakersfield will host Madera, and Clovis West will take on rival Clovis in yet another meeting for these league rivals.  We have no idea who will come out on top, but when the ultimate section champ is determined, only that team will represent the Section at the State Tournament.  We've explained this before, but here it is again:  

In the State Tournament for Division I only, both San Diego and the Central Section only get to send the winners of their divisions....In all other divisions (II, III, IV and V), both San Diego and Central Section will send both the winner and the runner-up.  Why the difference in D-I?   Because LA City Section only competes in Division I (well, actually LA could send a team to Division II under an obscure provision in the rules, but no one ever does it), so the powers-that-be have decided that LA City gets to send two (winner and runner-up), while CIF-SS sends four teams (I-AA and I-A champs and runners-up).  Fair?  Probably not, but that's the way it is. 

So, who will it be from the Central Section?   We have no idea and won't make any predictions..... But this is what the bracket looks like after Friday's quarterfinal games:

Central Section CIF--2003 Boys' Basketball Championship
Division I

 

 

First Round
Wed. 2/26

*Home site of
higher seed
Quarterfinals
Fri. 2/28

*Home site of
higher seed
Semifinals
Fri. 3/5

*Home site of
higher seed
Finals
Friday 3/7/03
*Home site of

higher seed

*(1) Bakersfield
vs.
(16) Bye

*Bakersfield 67

vs.

Hoover 48

*Bakersfield

 

vs.

 

Madera

 

(9) Sunnyside 49
vs.
*(8) Hoover 67

*(5) Central 85
vs.
(12) Buchannan 61

Central 52

vs.

Madera 61

*(4) Madera 78
vs.
(13) Fresno 39

(3) Clovis
vs
*(14) Bye

Clovis 85

vs.

Stockdale 62

Clovis

 

vs.

 

*Clovis West

(11) Delano 62
vs.
*(6) Stockdale 71
    (7) South 60
vs.
(10) Redwood 48

South 60

vs

Clovis West 60

 Bye
vs.
* (2) Clovis West

Central Section CIF Division II Boys' Playoffs

Four teams remain:  Edison will host Reedley on Wednesday, and Highland will travel to Bakersfield North HS for the other semifinal.   Here's how the teams got there: 

Central Section CIF--2003 Boys' Basketball Championship
Division II

 

 

First Round
Wed. 2/26

*Home site of
higher seed
Quarterfinals
Fri. 2/28

*Home site of
higher seed
Semifinals
Wed. 3/5

*Home site of
higher seed
Finals
Fri. March 7
*Home site of

higher seed

*(1)Edison
vs.
Bye

*Edison 61

vs.

Monache 42

*Edison

 

vs

 

Reedley

 

(9) East 51
vs.
*(8)Monache 52 (OT)

*(5) Reedley 71
vs.
(12) Liberty 42

Reedley 63

vs.

*Mt. Whitney 54

*(4)Mt. Whitney 78
vs.
(13) Arvin 55

*(3) Sanger 64
vs
(14) Centennial 45

Sanger 60

vs.

Highland 62

Highland

 

vs.

 

North

(11) West
vs.
*(6) Highland
    *(7) Lemoore 67
vs.
(10) Clovis East 50

Lemoore 60

vs

*North 73

 (15) Foothill 28
vs.
* (2) North 74

Central Section Division III Boys' Playoffs

Hanford will host Kingsburg, and Washington Union will host Shafter in the two semifinal games scheduled for Wednesday night.  Judging from the scores, we'd say that only Hanford and Washington Union will be of any concern to teams from the other sections in the State Tournment, but then, you never know what's going to happen....Here's what the bracket now looks like after Friday night's quarterfinal games:  

Central Section CIF--2003 Boys' Basketball Championship
Division III

 

 

First Round
Wed. 2/26

*Home site of
higher seed
Quarterfinals
Fri. 2/28

*Home site of
higher seed
Semifinals
Wed. 3/5

*Home site of
higher seed
Finals
Friday
March 7
*Home site of

higher seed

*(1) Hanford
vs.
Bye

*Hanford 125

vs.

Dinuba 69

*Hanford

 

vs

 

Kingsburg

 

(9) Tehachapi 48
vs.
*(8) Dinuba 72

*(5) Wasco 55
vs.
(12) Exeter 45

Wasco 58

vs.

*Kingsburg 61

*(4) Kingsburg 70
vs.
(13) Kerman 62

Bye
vs
*(3) Granite Hills

*Granite Hills 50

vs.

Shafter 58

Shafter

 

vs.

 

*Washington Union

*(6) Shafter 59
vs.
(11) Selma 46
    *(7) Tulare Union 55
vs.
(10) Hanford West 45

Tulare Union 33

vs

*Washington Union 74

 Bye
vs.
* (2) Washington Union

Central Section CIF Division IV Boys' Playoffs

In Section IV, some familiar names again, including Garces which will host Riverdale in one semifinal, and San Joaquin Memorial, which returns to the semis again, this time hosting Parlier.  We couldn't find a score for the SJM game against Lindsay, but the Central Section of the CIF confirmed that SJM won to advance.    So here's what the bracket now looks like: 

Central Section CIF--2003 Boys' Basketball Championship
Division IV

 

 

First Round
Wed. 2/26

*Home site of
higher seed
Quarterfinals
Fri. 2/28

*Home site of
higher seed
Semifinals
Wed. 3/5

*Home site of
higher seed
Finals
Friday March 7
*Home site of

higher seed

*(1) Garces
vs.
Bye

*Garces 110

vs.

Orosi 54

* Garces

 

vs.

 

Riverdale

 

(9) Orosi 58
vs.
(8) Caruthers 48

(5) Riverdale
vs.
(12) Bye

Riverdale 77

vs.

*Mendota 63

*(4) Mendota
vs.
(13) Bye

(14) Bye
vs
*(3) Parlier

*Parlier 80

vs.

Fowler 66

Parlier

 

vs.

 

*San Joaquin Memorial

(11) Woodlake 43
vs.
*(6) Fowler 56
    *(7) Lindsay 66
vs.
(10) Templeton 54

Lindsay (L)

vs

*San Joaquin Memorial (W)

 Bye
vs.
* (2) San Joaquin Memorial

Central Section Division V Boys' Playoffs

If you were Mission Prep, would you elect to play in a 32-team bracket in the Southern Section, or a bracket in the Central Section, where only seven teams even qualified for the playoffs, knowing that if you win just two games, you're all but guaranteed a trip to the State Tournament?   It's a no-brainer for Coach Tom Mott's group from San Luis Obispo, which has the distinction of being one of the few teams that gets to pick and choose which Section of the CIF to enter for playoffs--in hoops its always Central, but in other sports, Mission Prep plays in the CIF-Southern Section.

In any event, many observers will look at this bracket and say that it's not really very competitive.  Consider this:  The No. 7 entry, Strathmore,  had a record on the season of 5-17, so that should give you an idea of the disparity between the bottom of the group and the top two teams, Immanuel and Mission Prep.

Actually, the semifinals scheduled for this Wednesday could be pretty competitive, as Immanuel of Reedley will host Kings Christian and Mission Prep will host Fresno Christian.   We fully expect to see Immanuel and Mission Prep in the finals, and we will go out on a limb to at least make that prediction.    As for the finals, it's a pick'em as far as we're concerned, with a slight edge to Immanuel which won last year's Section title.  Here's a look at the bracket:

Central Section CIF--2003 Boys' Basketball Championship
Division V

 

 

First Round
Wed. 2/26

*Home site of
higher seed
Quarterfinals
Fri. 2/28

*Home site of
higher seed
Semifinals
Wed. 3/5

*Home site of
higher seed
Finals
Fri. March 7
*Home site of

higher seed

*(1) Bye
vs.
(16) Bye

*Immanuel


vs.

Bye

*Immanuel

 

vs.

 

Kings Christian

 

(9) Bye
vs.
(8) Bye

(5) Bye
vs.
(12) Bye

Central Valley 55

@ Lemoore HS.

Kings Christian 77

*(4) Bye
vs.
(13) Bye

(3) Bye
vs
*(14) Bye

*Fresno Christian 56

vs.

Strathmore 29

Fresno Christian

 

vs.

 

*Mission Prep

(11) Bye
vs.
*(6) Bye
    *(7) Bye
vs.
*(10) Bye

Bakersfield Chrisitian 34

vs

*Mission Prep 77

 (15) Bye
vs.
* (2) Bye

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