Skip to main content

Central Section 2023-24 boys basketball final high school Top 10 rankings

Clovis North edges St. Joseph as the top team in the section based on a surprising section championship win.

And just like that. ... poof! — The basketball season has officially come to an end.

Clovis North is our new No. 1 after their masterful game against previous No. 1 St. Joseph where they committed only seven turnovers and shot 19-22 free throws. Each school won a game in the CIF Open Division before bowing out.

Seeded No. 7 in the SoCal D2 bracket the Golden Hawks from Centennial solidified their No. 4 ranking when they won the D2 SoCal bracket as the No. 7 seed, reaching their first state championship game. They eventually fell 79-55 to Oakland.

No. 5 Bullard (D2 NorCal final) and No. 6 Bakersfield Christian (D3 SoCal semifinal) made waves in the CIF State playoffs and No. 7 Clovis East and No. 8 San Joaquin Memorial each won a state playoff game.

No. 9 Dinuba made history with their first Central Section title since 1929 (they won a state title in 1927) and the North Stars from Bakersfield not only won the section title in dramatic fashion but made the CIF D5 SoCal title game.

It was quite the season indeed.

Until next year, here are the final rankings.

1. Clovis North (28-7)

Last ranking: 2

The Broncos accomplished what many in the Central Section didn’t think could happen when they toppled previous No. 1 St. Joseph 69-60 in the section D1 final. Senior Connor Amundsen (Dartmouth) scored 21 and clammate Jordan Espinosa (Cal-State East Bay) 17 in the program’s first title in D1 in school history. Seeded No. 3 in the NorCal Open Division, they defeated Branson 49-48 before falling at No. 2 Archbishop Riordan 69-57.

California high school basketball: Clovis North vs. Vanden boys basketball in Clovis in the Valley at Contra Costa College from January 20, 2024.

Dartmouth bound Connor Amundsen (30)

2. St. Joseph (31-4)

Last ranking: 1

The defending D1 champs and CIF Open Division finalist drop a spot after losing to Clovis North 69-60 in the Central Section finals. They were placed in the SoCal Open Division as the No. 6 seed and defeated SoCal power Sierra Canyon on a Tounde Yessoufou 15-foot fall away jump shot at the buzzer before losing 58-41 to No. 2 Roosevelt. They return Yessoufou’s 33 ppg next season alongside a high-regarded guard in sophomore Julius Price.

Julius Price backed up a stellar freshman season by averaging 19.7 points per game as a sophomore. 

Julius Price backed up a stellar freshman season by averaging 19.7 points per game as a sophomore. 

3. Clovis West (27-7)

Last ranking: 3

In a rematch of last year’s D1 Central Section final, the Golden Eagles lost 88-73 to St. Joseph in the Central Section D1 semifinals at home but still earned the No. 1 seed in the NorCal D1 bracket. After defeating Dublin 79-57 and Serra 68-64 they fell at home to No. 4 Granada Hills. Next year they return Co-Tri-River-Conference Player of the Year D.J. Stickman and 6-foot-9 Chris Bedreau.

4. Centennial (28-8)

Last ranking: 4

An historic late season run for the Golden Hawks from Bakersfield as they reached the CIF State D2 championship game, eventually falling to Oakland Tech 79-55. After losing to St. Joseph in the Central Section playoffs, they plowed over San Gabriel Academy, Thousand Oaks, King/Drew and a 68-56 road win over No. 1 Heritage Christian. They were led all year by 6-foot-6 Rippen Gill, 18.6 ppg and 7.7 rebounds.

Rippen Gill (13) averaged 18.6 points per game leading a historic late-season run for the Golden Hawks.

Rippen Gill (13) averaged 18.6 points per game leading a historic late-season run for the Golden Hawks.

5. Bullard (26-7)

Last ranking: 5

Like Centennial, the Knights fared much better in the state playoffs than the Central Section playoffs, advancing to the NorCal D2 final where they lost to No. 1 Santa Cruz 61-56. However, they made quite a run on the road, defeating Valley Christian 68-66 on a buzzer beater by senior Keyshawn Johnson and then Justin Siena 63-62. The future is bright as they return CMAC PotY in sophomore Dalen Felder and sophomore Ja’Vance Coleman, who missed the final third of the year with a foot injury.

6. Bakersfield Christian (21-12)

Last ranking: 8

The Eagles had an impressive run in the CIF D2 SoCal bracket as the No. 12 seed, defeating Long Beach Poly (51-49) and La Costa Canyon (75-68) on the road before losing to No. 1 Heritage Christian. They return talented point guard Gabe Guiterrez for his junior season.

7. Clovis East (21-12)

Last ranking: 9

The Timberwolves got a signature win at No. 4 Bullard in the Central Section playoffs, eventually losing to No. 1 Clovis North. Seeded No. 16 in the D2 NorCal they upset No. 1 Branham 78-69 before falling at Oakland 58-51. They return 6-foot-6 freshman Asher Thompson and sophomore Lydell Farmer and Aiden Beechler.

8. San Joaquin Memorial (20-12)

Last ranking: 6

The defending CIF State D2 champs lost to Clovis West in the Central Section D1 playoffs, beat Christian Brothers 66-59 in the D2 NorCal bracket and lost to Justin Siena to end their season. They return a strong core of players that included senior-to-be Julius Olenwewaju and Abram Potts and juniors-to-be Parker Spees and Sajjin Sidu.

9. Dinuba (29-4)

Last ranking: 10

The Emperors won their first Central Section championship since 1929 when they defeated Mission Prep 46-42 for the D2 title. However, their season came to a crashing half at home, falling to No. 16 Price 60-50 in the opening round of the D3 SoCal bracket. They were led all season by senior Javier Torres’ 16.1 ppg and 8.7 rebounds

10. North-Bakersfield (29-7)

Last ranking: Not Ranked

Not only did the North Stars win their first Central Section title in school history but they were one game away from playing for a CIF State D5 title, losing to No. 1 Verdugo Hills 56-53 in the SoCal title game. They won the Central Section D3 championship on a steal and layup from senior Baylin Statler in OT. They return one of the top freshmen in the section in point guard Ethan Saenz.