Clovis West coach Campbell’s confession: “I would have seeded Hanford No. 1″

I caught up with Clovis West girls basketball coach Craig Campbell and asked him how he had the Division I seedings projected before they were announced by the Central Section office Feb. 16.

But, first, to review the top five: They came out — 1, Stockdale; 2, Clovis West; 3, Hanford; 4, Clovis; 5, Edison.

That was essentially a consensus shock in the section because two-year reigning D-I champion Hanford was expected to land the top seed.

Bottom line, Clovis West girls basketball coach Craig Campbell says, “I would have seeded Hanford No. 1.”

Back to Campbell, whose Golden Eagles (21-5) will host Hanford (23-4) tonight at 7 in a semifinal game that has created as much section interest in the girls’ division as there has been in years — and in large part because of the seeding issue.

He gave a three-fold answer to the original question:

“As a basketball mind, I had Hanford 1, Clovis West 2, Clovis 3 and I was waffling with Edison and Stockdale at 4 and 5.

“Based on the section’s criteria, we (CW) actually had the 1 over Hanford and Stockdale.

“But (bottom line), if someone had asked me to bracket D-I, I would have done Hanford 1 and us 2. They beat the heck out of us (56-15 last year) and are the defending section champion.”

Unfortunately, among a section seven-point seeding criteria that includes record vs. common opponents and place in common tournaments, there’s one blatant omission — COMMON SENSE.

This is actually the second straight seeding slap to Hanford, which responded to a No. 2 seed last year by crushing No. 1 Stockdale 65-49 in the D-I final at Selland Arena.

The Bullpups have won five consecutive section titles — 2012 (D-I), 2011 (D-I), 2010 (D-II), 2009 (D-II) and 2008 (D-III).

Clovis West captured D-I crowns under Campbell in 2007, ’08 and 2010.

“So that means five of the last six Valley (D-I) championships have gone through Hanford or Clovis West,” says Campbell while anticipating an “electric” stage tonight.

“It’s a game everyone’s looking forward to, regardless of seeds,” he says. “I told my kids how fortunate they are, that there are a lot of high school kids playing on a high level who don’t experience this atmosphere. Win or lose, it should be a memorable experience.”