Clovis North vs. Bullard hoop notes and more

First, here’s a few running floaters on tonight’s Central Section boys Division I basketball semifinal, matching fifth-seeded Clovis North (18-10) at No. 1 Bullard (25-2) at 7 o’clock:

** Bullard is 60-3 vs. section competition with a whopping 26.5-point scoring differential in the past three seasons.

** The Knights, ranked sixth in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, fit all the criteria to be invited to this year’s new Open Division in the state playoffs. Among those ranked above them, they’ve beaten No. 3 Salesian-Richmond (60-54) and lost to No. 4 Sheldon-Sacramento (85-74).

** Bullard and Clovis North haven’t played each other this season. The Knights defeated Liberty-Bakersfield 76-46 in the quarterfinals. And that came six weeks after Liberty beat Clovis North 69-44 in Super Saturday at Edison.

Clovis North 5-9 freshman guard Colin Slater can expect four quarters of long-armed defensive pressure at Bullard tonight.

** Key for Clovis North tonight is how Colin Slater — at 5-9 and its leading scorer — holds up against all that long-armed Bullard backcourt presssure with the likes of 6-5 Corey Silvestrom and 6-4 Adam Armstead. Knights 5-9 point guard Chris Russell will surely be chasing Slater around, also.

** Bullard is the two-year reigning D-I champion. The Knights-Broncos winner will play tonight’s Clovis West at Central winner Saturday at 8 p.m. at Selland Arena for the championship. Bullard has defeated Clovis West for the past two titles.

Other notes:

** Despite Hanford’s head-snapping 57-39 loss at Clovis West last night in a D-I girls semi, the community is still guaranteed to be represented at Selland Friday at 8 p.m. That’s because No. 8 Hanford will play tonight at No. 5 Hanford West in a D-II boys semi. Upsets set this up with Hanford knocking off No. 1 Sunnyside and Hanford West winning at No. 4 East Bakersfield.

** When Ridgeview’s 6-3 and Stanford-bound center Erica McCall (right) makes her fourth consecutive appearance in Selland Friday to play Garces for the D-II title, she’ll arrive with 955 career blocks (state record), 1,915 rebounds (No. 3 in state history) and 2,517 points (No. 3 in section history), according to section historian Bob Barnett.