McCall, McClard, McDonald highlight Central Section picks on Cal-Hi Sports All-State girls basketball

Ridgeview’s Erica McCall, a 6-foot-3 center headed for Stanford, headlines Central Section representation on Cal-Hi Sports All-State girls basketball teams.

McCall made first team on Cal-Hi’s Elite 30 — the website’s feature team. She’s also the Division II Player of the Year.

Hanford senior Bayli McClard was named third team on Cal-Hi Sports All-State girls basketball Elite 30

Hanford’s Gonzaga-bound Bayli McClard made third team on the Elite 30, and Bullard’s Aarion McDonald made first team All-Freshman.

Here’s all Central Section players recognized:

Elite 30: Erica McCall, sr., Ridgeview, first team; Bayli McClard, sr., Hanford, third team.

All-Underclass: Brooke Johnson, jr., Hanford, third team.

All-Freshmen: Aarion McDonald, Bullard, first team; Celese West, Garces, first team.

All-Division I: McClard, Hanford, first team; Johnson, Hanford, second team; Emily Anderson, jr., Clovis West, second team.

All-Division II: McCall, Ridgeview, Player of the Year.

All-Division V: Olivia Sorensen, sr., Immanuel, second team.

Section girls hoops bummer: Ridgeview scratches in rematch with Hanford

A much-anticipated rematch among the Central Section’s top-ranked girls basketball teams, Ridgeview and Hanford, won’t come to fruition after the Wolf Pack bailed out of the game.

It was supposed to be the 7:30 p.m. headliner of the five-game MLK Girls Classic Saturday at College of the Sequoias.

And it would have occurred eight weeks after Ridgeview crushed the Bullpups, 73-47, in the Clovis West Nike Showdown.

That ended a 97-game winning streak against section competition for Hanford, which was itching for the rematch since with the improved health of Gonzaga-bound forward Bayli McClard (foot) and guard Gabby Gomez (knee). McClard, The Bee’s 2012 Player of the Year, would have gone head-to-head again with Ridgeview’s Erica McCall, who’s going to Stanford.

The resurgence of five-time defending section champion Hanford (15-4) was particularly evident Saturday, when it won 49-43 over Sacramento, one of the state’s top-ranked Division II teams.

But the Bullpups won’t get another shot at Ridgeview (17-3) after Wolf Pack coach Michael Martin scratched last week, citing a conflict with the school’s winter formal that night.

“He was originally going to bring his seven top girls and play because he committed,” MLK Classic director LeRohon Dodson says. “Then he changed his mind.”

The Bullpups and Wolf Pack have no chance of meeting in the postseason because Hanford’s D-I and Ridgeview D-II.

Dodson says the preliminary four games of the MLK Girls Classic will be played, but an hour later than originally scheduled.

Saturday’s card: 2:30 p.m., Roosevelt vs. Mission Oak; 4 p.m., Lindsay vs. Selma; 5:30 p.m., Redwood vs. Monache; 7 p.m., El Diamante vs. Western.

CW’s Central Valley Showdown: Section’s best girls hoops tourney — EVER!

State two-time defending Division I champion Mater Dei-Santa Ana is one of four state preseason Top 25-ranked girls basketball teams in this week’s Central Valley Showdown at Clovis West.

State-ranked teams in the 16-school field — the strongest in section girls basketball history — are No. 3 Mater Dei (34-3 last season), No. 14 Lynwood (26-5), No 15 Hanford (25-5) and No. 21 Ridgeview (24-8).

Hanford (D-I, Ridgeview (D-III) and Memorial (D-IV) are 2012 Central Section champions entered in the event, which will run Thursday through Saturday at two Clovis West gyms.

College-bound players in the tourney include Hanford’s Bayli McGlard (Gonzaga), Ridgeview’s Erica McCall (Stanford) and Mater Dei’s Karlie Lou (Stanford).

Bullard (23-6), a rising section program under coach Bill Engel, will learn firsthand what it’s like at the top when the Knights close first-round play against Mater Dei at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the main gym.

Other first-rounders: Clovis East vs. Ridgeview, 4 p.m. (Gym 2); Memorial vs. Clovis West, 4 p.m. (Gym 1); Clovis North vs. Lincoln-Stockton, 5:30 p.m. (Gym 2); Buchanan vs. Oakridge-El Dorado Hills, 5:30 p.m. (Gym 1); Clayton Valley-Concord vs. Hanford, 7 p.m. (Gym 1); Clovis vs. Armijo-Fairfield, 7 p.m. (Gym 2); Bullard vs. Mater Dei-Santa Ana, 8:30 p.m. (Gym 1); Liberty-Bakersfield vs. Lynwood, 8:30 p.m. (Gym 2).

The championship is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the main gym.