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.
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.”