Girls basketball: Central Valley Showdown is loaded
Mater Dei High of Santa Ana, a two-time state defending Division I champion, is one of four state preseason ranked girls basketball teams in the Central Valley Showdown that starts today at Clovis West.
Cal-Hi Sports’ ranked teams in the 16-school field — the strongest gathered in Central Valley history — are No. 3 Mater Dei (34-3 last season), No. 14 Lynwood (26-5), No. 15 Hanford (25-5) and No. 21 Ridgeview (24-8).
Hanford (D-I), Ridgeview (D-III) and Memorial (D-IV) are 2012 Central Section champions entered in the event that runs through Saturday at two Clovis West gyms.
College-bound players in the tourney feature Hanford’s Bayli McClard (Gonzaga), Ridgeview’s Erica McCall (Stanford), Mater Dei’s Karlie Lou (Stanford), Clovis West’s Briana Watts (Colorado) and Lincoln-Sacramento’s Ashlyn Crenshaw (Sacramento State).
The 6-foot-2 McClard, the 2012 Bee Player of the Year for a Bullpups team that captured a fifth straight section title, and the 6-3 McCall meet at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Clovis West’s main gym, should their teams win today.
Ridgeview opens against Clovis East at 4 p.m. Hanford appears three hours later against Clayton Valley-Concord.
Bullard (23-6), a rising section program from the County/Metro Athletic Conference under third-year coach Bill Engel, closes first-round play against Mater Dei at 8:30 p.m.
Mater Dei’s 5-11 Karlie Samuelson arrives with 6-3 sister Katie, Cal-Hi’s Freshman of the Year in 2012. They are 3-point shooting specialists who transferred from Edison-Huntington Beach.
Clovis West (19-11) a seven-time reigning Tri-River Athletic Conference champion and a three-time section champ in the past six years, opens at 4 p.m. against Memorial in the main gym.
Other first-rounders: Clovis North vs. Lincoln-Stockton, 5:30 p.m. (Gym 2); Buchanan vs. Oakridge-El Dorado Hills, 5:30 p.m. (Gym 1); Clovis vs. Armijo-Fairfield, 7 p.m.; Liberty-Bakersfield vs. Lynwood, 8:30 p.m. (Gym 2).
The championship is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
By Andy Boogaard