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SP girls land top seed in Section basketball playoffs

In the first 12 years of the Central Section basketball championships being held at Selland Arena in downtown Fresno, a team from the city of Hanford has competed in at least one of the championship games every year.

And with the Section playoff brackets being announced Friday, the road to Selland goes through the city of Hanford in one of the brackets.

After going 23-4 overall and winning a share of its third straight East Sequoia League title, the Sierra Pacific girls basketball team was rewarded with the top seed in the Div. IV girls bracket, giving them home court advantage through the semifinals.

Sierra Pacific will begin postseason play Tuesday against No. 16 West (Bakersfield), which went 7-18 this season.

The Golden Bears are one of just two girls team locally that will compete in the Section playoffs, joining Hanford.

In the Div. I bracket, the Bullpups, avoided a potential road trip to Clovis West, currently ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 5 in the nation, by getting a No. 6 seed. Should Hanford face the Eagles, it would be at Selland Arena.

Hanford’s side of the bracket includes a trio of teams the Bullpups have faced before.

The Bullpups (20-8 overall, 12-0 West Yosemite League) open the postseason Tuesday against Liberty (Bakersfield). Should Hanford win, it would play at No. 3 Clovis North on Thursday. Hanford and the Broncos have faced off twice this year with Clovis North winning both times.

Hanford lost a double overtime game to Clovis North 81-72 on Dec. 3 then lost to the Broncos again 60-51 on Dec. 22.

A possible matchup against No. 7 Buchanan or No. 2 Clovis would be possible in the semifinals. Hanford lost to Clovis 60-55 Jan. 9 in a game the Bullpups have a double figure lead in the third quarter.

That loss snapped Hanford’s 98-game win streak at home against Section opponents.

In the Div. II boys bracket, Hanford (16-11) will open the playoffs Wednesday at home after being given the No. 7 seed. The Bullpups will open against No. 7 Hoover (14-15). The winner will travel Friday to face No. 2 San Joaquin Memorial.

The Bullpups played the Panthers (23-5) earlier in the season, losing to Memorial 80-48.

In the Div. IV boys basketball, Sierra Pacific (21-6 overall, 10-0 East Sequoia League) was given the No. 6 seed and will open the postseason Wednesday against No. 11 Central Valley Christian (16-11). The game is a rematch of a game played Dec. 15, which was won by the Golden Bears 93-74.

A pair of greater Kings County teams make up the Div. V boys bracket.

Laton (16-10) is the No. 6 seed in the bracket and will open the playoffs Wednesday at home against No. 11 Caruthers (9-16). Avenal (9-14) is the No. 15 seed in the bracket and will travel to face No. 2 Fresno Christian (15-14).

Girls games will be played Tuesday (round of 16), Thursday (quarterfinals) and Feb. 28 (semifinals) while the boys games will be played Wednesday (round of 16), Friday (quarterfinals) and March 1 (semifinals).

Championship games are March 3 (Div. V and II) and March 4 (Div. IV, III and I) at Selland Arena.

Sports notebook: Feb. 18

Saturday's schedule

Wrestling – Yosemite divisionals (at East Bakersfield), Sierra-Sequoia divisionals (at Sierra Pacific).

Saturday's TV highlights

Auto racing - NASCAR: Advance Auto Parts Clash, 5 p.m., FS1.

Boxing - Premier Champions, Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados, junior welterweights; David Avanesyan vs. Lamont Peterson, for Avanesyan's WBA regular welterweight title; Marcus Browne vs. Thomas Williams Jr., light heavyweights, at Cincinnati, 5 p.m., Showtime.

NCAA men's basketball - Notre Dame at NC State, 9 a.m., ESPN; N. Iowa, 9 a.m., ESPN2; Tulsa at Cincinnati, 9 a.m., ESPNU; Davidson at UMass, 9 a.m., NBCSN; Villanova at Seton Hall, 9:30 a.m., Fox; Kansas at Baylor, 10 a.m., CBS; Missouri at Tennessee, 10 a.m., SEC; Army at Navy, 10:30 a.m., CBSSN; Illinois at Iowa, 11 a.m., BTN; Florida at Mississippi St., 11 a.m., ESPN; Texas Tech at West Virginia, 11 a.m., ESPN2; South Florida at Tulane, 11 a.m., ESPNEWS; St. Bonaventure at Dayton, 11 a.m., NBCSN; Colorado at Oregon, noon, Fox; LSU at Alabama, 12:30 p.m., SEC; Saint Joseph's at La Salle, 1 p.m., CBSSN; Michigan St. at Purdue, 1 p.m., ESPN; Florida St. at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m., ESPN2; Auburn at Texas A&M, 1 p.m., ESPNU; Central Florida at East Carolina, 1 p.m., ESPNU; Rhode Island at George mason, 1 p.m., NBCSN; Nebraska at Ohio St. 3 p.m., BTN; Nex Mexico at Fresno St., 3 p.m., CBSSN; Kentucky at Georgia, 3 p.m., ESPN; SMU at Houston, 3 p.m., ESPN2; Rutgers at Northwestern, 3 p.m., ESPNU; TCU at Iowa St., 3 p.m., ESPNEWS; Mississippi at Arkansas, 3 p.m., SEC; Xavier at Marquette, 5 p.m., CBSSN; Arizona at Washington, 5 p.m., ESPN2; Oklahoma at Oklahoma St., 5 p.m.; Virginia at North Carolina, 5:15 p.m., ESPN; South Carolina at Vanderbilt, 5:30 p.m., SEC; Saint Mary's at BYU, 7 p.m., ESPN2; UC Riverside at UC Irvine, 9 p.m., ESPNU.

NCAA hockey - Providence at Notre Dame, 4 p.m., NBCSN.

Golf - PGA: Genesis Open, 10 a.m. (Golf), noon (CBS); Champions: Chubb Classic, noon, Golf.

NBA - D-League All-Star Game, 11:30 a.m., NBA; All-Star Skills Challenge, 3-point contest, Slam Dunk contest, 5 p.m., TNT.

Skiing - FIS Alpine World Championships, Women's Slalom (second run), at St. Moritz, Switzerland, 10 a.m., NBC.

Soccer - FA Cup: Burnley vs. Lincoln City, 4:25 a.m., FS1; Huddersfield Town vs. Manchester City, 7 a.m., FS1; Wolverhampton vs. Chelsea, 9:25 a.m., FS2.

NCAA women's basketball - Army at Navy, 8 a.m., CBSSN; Rutgers at Wisconsin, 9 a.m., BTN; Texas at Oklahoma, 11 a.m., FSN; Kansas St. at TCU, 1 p.m., FSN.

Sunday's TV highlights

Auto racing - NASCAR: Daytona 500 qualifying, noon, Fox.

Bowling - PBA Tournament of Champions, at Shawnee, Okla., 10 a.m., ESPN.

NCAA men's basketball - Bucknell at Boston U., 9 a.m., CBSSN; George Washington at Duquesne, 9 a.m., NBCSN; Maryland at Wisconsin, 10 a.m., CBS; DePaul at Butler, 10:30 a.m., FS1; UAB at W. Kentucky, 11 a.m., CBSSN; Georgetown at Creighton, 12:30 p.m., FS1; UNLV at San Diego St., 1 p.m., CBSSN; UConn at Temple, 1 p.m., ESPN; Loyola of Chicago at Illinois St., 1 p.m., ESPNU; Syracuse at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU; Michigan at Minnesota, 4 p.m., BTN; Utah at Oregon St., 5:30 p.m., EPSNU.

Golf - PGA: Genesis Open, 10 a.m. (Golf), noon (CBS); Champions: Cubb Classic, noon, Golf.

MMA - UFC Fight Night, Derek Lewis vs. Travis Browne, at Halifax, Nova Scotia, 4 p.m., FS1.

NBA - All-Star game, 5:20 p.m., TBS/TNT.

NHL - Capitals at Rangers, 9:30 a.m., NBC; Red Wings at Penguins, noon, NBC; Blackhawks at Sabres, 3 p.m., NBCSN; Sabres at Sharks, 5:30 p.m., NBCSN.

Soccer - FA Cup: Fulham at Tottenham, 6 a.m., FS1; Blackburn vs. Manchester United, 8 a.m., FS1.

NCAA women's basketball - Iowa at Purdue, 9 a.m., BTN; North Carollina at Louisville, 9 a.m., ESPNU; Tmeple at South Florida, 10 a.m., ESPN2; Florida at Kentucky, 10 a.m., SEC; Michigan St. at Michigan, 11 a.m., BTN; Wake Forest at NC State, 11 a.m., ESPNU; DePaul at Marquette, 11 a.m., FS2; Dayton at Fordham, 11 a.m., NBCSN; South Carolina at Missouri, noon, ESPN2; Arkansas at Tennessee, noon, SEC; Notre Dame at Syracuse, 2 p.m., ESPN2; Mississippi St. at Texas A&M, 2 p.m., SEC; St. John's at Creighton, 3:30 p.m., FSN.

Local announcements

Lemoore Junior Golf - Applications being taken for 2017 travel team Feb. 18, 2 p.m. at the Kings County Office of Education building located at 876 East D Street in Lemoore, room 306, suite B. Information: 463-5004.

Youth basketball tournament - March Madness Shootout March 11-12 for boys and girls from grades 2-12. $225 per team. Deadline is March 3. Information: 805-1609 or

Youth basketball tournament - 16th annual Central Valley March Madness March 25-26 for boys and girls grades 2-12. $250 per team. Deadline is March 17. Information: 805-1609 or

Kings County Youth Volleyball League - Open for boys and girls grades 3-8. Tryouts March 17. Information: 410-3062 or email