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Jaclyn Borowski / The Californian

Ridgeview guard Javier Kirksey is surrounded by teammates after sinking a shot from just inside half court in the final 1.9 seconds of the Division III Boys Central Section Basketball Finals game against Mt. Whitney to win 43-40 at Selland Arena in Fresno on Saturday night.


Coaches’ poll

1. Ridgeview 14 (2)

t2. Mira Monte 11 (1)

t2. West 11 (1)

4. South 9

5. Golden Valley 5

(Coaches were asked between Dec. 5-11 to rank their league but were not allowed to rank their own team. Tallying was done on a 4-3-2-1 basis.)

Notes: Defending Central Section Division III champion Ridgeview was given the nod despite a late coaching change and a 1-4 performance in the Lloyd Williams tournament. ... It’s worth noting that the Wolf Pack’s football team won the Division III section championship and so some players have only been with the team for a week. ... Mira Monte junior Braxton Huggins has been the breakout star of the season thus far. He dropped 34 points on Bakersfield in a 60-55 loss and has averaged more than 25 points a game in the Lions’ 5-1 start. Cal State Northridge has offered Huggins a scholarship, with more D-I offers likely on the way. ... Golden Valley split the league title two years ago and was second last year but slipped to 6-20 last year. Big man Keith Cooper has averaged nearly 14 points a game thus far and had 22 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to Tehachapi. ... West shooting guard Elray Coleman averaged 9.8 points a game as a sophomore. ... South has surged to a 4-2 start, best in coach Brian Carter’s five years there. Big man Ryan Reager returns after leading the team in points and rebounds last year.

Quotable: “Ridgeview, West, these guys are the favorites right now. Maybe in a month we’ll be there. Even South, those kids carry a winning mentality over from football. In a month, I think we’ll be one of the better leagues around.” — Mira Monte coach Scott Smith

Other previews
South Sequoia League boys

Southeast Yosemite League boys

(Girls previews coming next week)