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Central Section girls basketball championship game previews — Top 2 seeds in four of six divisions

Clovis West, the state's No. 12 team, takes on St. Joseph in Division 1 title game

Destination: Selland Arena. The goal for every school, every season in the Central Section. And on this Friday and Saturday there will be crowned six new champions.

And there’s one huge question that’s been looming for well over a decade: Who can beat Clovis West, owners of 12 straight titles, all at the highest level?

This year’s opponent is St. Joseph from Santa Maria, their first appearance in the highest division.

In Division 2, No. 1 Monache and No. 2 Tehachapi have a combined record of 56-4 and get this … Tehachapi defeated Monache in early January.

Check out the breakdown below of all six of the Central Section girls games.

Clovis West freshman Ramie Chatman (3)

Clovis West freshman Ramie Chatman (3)

Division 1

No. 1 Clovis West (29-2) and No. 2 St. Joseph (23-5)

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Road to Selland: Both Clovis West and St. Joseph received a bye in the 12-team bracket. The Golden Eagles defeated Clovis East and Central, both league opponents. The Knights beat Caruthers and Buchanan.

Nuts and Bolts: Gunning for their 12th consecutive Central Section title, coach Craig Campbell has been the architect of it all, this year relying on two stellar 4-year guards in Boston College bound Athena Tomlinson and Ariyah Smith. Junior Riley Walls does a little bit of everything on the court and sharpshooter Kegan Medeiros provides scoring. St. Joseph has the highest ranked recruit in the Central Section in 6-foot-2 UCLA signee Avary Cain (21.7 ppg) and the second leading scorer guard Kai Oani (15.4). The Knights are attempting their first Central Section title in school history.

Athena Tomlinson, Clovis West

Athena Tomlinson, Clovis West

Division 2

No. 1 Monache (30-2) and No. 3 Tehachapi (26-2)

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Road to Selland: Monache defeated Edison, Liberty-Bakersfield and Sierra Pacific in the playoffs. Tehachapi beat Redwood, Mission Oak and Centennial.

Nuts and Bolts: Monache features a balanced squad with four sophomores (Milly Rojas, Kyah Bartlett, London Haynes and Shelley Andrade) who average between 9.3 and 13 points along with senior Alisha Verdejo’s 9.5 points. The Warriors have won 20 straight including a win over the Marauders on a neutral court on January 5 and are led by guard Riley Walden’s 17.6 ppg and senior Kennedy Perkin’s 13.2. Last season they fell to Liberty-Bakersfield in last season’s D2 finals.

Division 3

No. 1 Bakersfield Christian (24-7) and No. 2 Morro Bay (23-6)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Road to Selland: Bakersfield Christian defeated Frontier, Kerman and Shafter. Morro Bay beat West-Bakersfield, Reedley and Roosevelt to reach the final.

Nuts and Bolts: The Eagles have played top flight programs Clovis West, Caruthers, Bullard and Monache this season and it’s paid off. Senior Sara Shein pumps in 13.7 ppg, Alexis Biba adds 9.8 and Ava King averages 15.4 rebounds. The Pirates come in with 23 wins, the first time the school has won 20 games since 2014. Georgie Wheeler is their 3-point specialist, Tailer Morrison is a double-double machine and Fioni Durham fills up the stat sheet.

Division 4

No. 2 Immanuel (23-9) and No. 13 Mendota (25-7)

When: 2 p.m. Friday

Road to Selland: Immanuel defeated Golden West, Tulare Western and Santa Maria, by giving up an average of only 22 points. Mendota beat Torres, Templeton and Arvin.

Nuts and Bolts: The Eagles have made their way back to Selland Arena for the first time since they won the D4 title in 2016. They’re led by freshman Jenna Geortzen’s 10 points per game and sophomore Nana Moreno chips in with 8. The Aztecs feature senior Bethany Oliva’s 14.5 ppg and sophomore Natalie Membremo’s 11.3. The school has never won a Central Section girls basketball title in school history.

Division 5

No. 1 Hanford West (13-18) and No. 2 Rosamond (23-7)

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Road to Selland: Hanford West beat Yosemite, Chavez and Coalinga. Rosamond defeated East-Bakersfield, Lindsay and Madera South.

Nuts and Bolts: The Huskies benefited greatly from the Central Section’s base divisions and MaxPreps rankings, falling from D4 to the top seed in D5, entering the playoffs with a 10-18 record. Sophomore LeNiece Brinston is their top player. The Roadrunners are riding an 11 game winning streak and are led by sophomore star Ariel Cain who averages 17.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game.

Division 6

No. 2 Bishop Union (16-8) and No. 5 Foothill (14-15)

When: 10 a.m. Friday

Road to Selland: Bishop Union defeated Lone Pine, Orosi and Chowchilla. Foothill beat Kennedy, McLane and Kern Valley.

Nuts and Bolts: The Broncos reached the finals behind the play of senior Henny Charlie (11.9 ppg) and sophomore Kristin Allen (11.0). Freshman Tanner Ludwick averages 7.1 rebounds. Foothill is led by Brianna Montoya’s 10.3 ppg and Tiara Jackson’s 8.5