March 4th is finally here. It's a day that has been circled on the calendars of every basketball player here in Kern County because it's the day the CIF central section basketball championships are played at Selland Arena in Fresno, CA.
While it was a dream for all only five local schools remain with one guaranteed title coming back to Bakersfield.
On paper the top team coming in is Ridgeview. At 28-1 the Wolf Pack cruised through the regular season and are a win away from their first valley title since 2012. Ridgeview entered as the top seed taking on #2 Lemoore. After three quarters Lemoore led by 15 points but the Pack battled back. With 2:21 to go in the game Ridgeview trailed by just three, 73-70. However the comeback comes up just short. Their second loss of the season comes in the title game.
Taft have an overall record of 19-11 and entered the playoffs as an #11 seed. Now it's safe to say the Wildcats are the Cinderella story of the entire bracket needing to get through #1 Immanuel to cap an improbable run to a section title.
Kern Valley finished the year 20-2 and are currently playing in the D-V valley title game against #14 Fresno Christian. After falling in the final the last two years the Broncs finally got it done. In game that came down to the final shot Kern Valley wins 57-54.
As for the guaranteed title, that will come from the girls' side. In D-II it's an all Bakersfield final between Independence and Bakersfield. Independence wins in back to back years beating the Drillers 40-23. It's the Falcons 3rd CIF title in the last 5 years.
Highlights will be posted when they are made available.
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