Bakersfield Christian boys basketball coach Kyle Shiloh was aware that losing in the Central Section Division IV championship game to Kerman would hurt the Eagles seeding in the state playoffs.
But it wasn’t as bad as it initially appeared to be.
The Eagles were seeded No. 14 and had to travel to play No. 3 San Luis Obispo, a Southern Section Division 4AA semifinalist, in the CIF State Southern California D-IV regional opener on Wednesday.
The Eagles came away victorious 56-54, however, to advance to the regional quarterfinals on Saturday at No. 6 L.A.-View Park.
“We didn’t really understand the seedings in the first place,” Shiloh said during a phone interview following the victory. “We didn’t pay much attention to that. At this stage, it’s really 50-50.”
Junior Erik Buetow lea the way with 13 points for the Eagles, as freshman Lendyl Henderson added 10 and junior A.J. Walton and freshman Seth Marantos each scored nine.
Sophomore Ben Yurosek had seven points and a team-high eight rebounds for BCHS.
“We almost played our entire team. We had a couple guys sick,” Shiloh said. “We brought two JV guys up and they played. This was a total team effort and exciting to have this happen now.”
BCHS led by as many as 10 points in the first half before SLO cut the lead to one late in the game.
“It’s a little bit of what’s happened to us all year,” Shiloh said. “But they matured tonight and handled it well. We got to the free throw line. Which is what we preach.”
BCHS was 20-25 from the line despite shooting just 33.3 percent (14-42) from the field.
“We are just taking it one game at at time,” Shiloh said. “We think we can win any game at any point this time of the year.”
It was a tough night for the rest of the Kern County teams in the SoCal regional openers, as none of the remaining six teams advanced.
In the boys D-I opener, No. 3 Encino-Crespi beat No. 14 Bakersfield High, 72-53. The California City boys, the lone Kern County team to host an opener, lost to No. 9 South Gate-South East 76-63 in the D-V opener.
On the girls side of the ledger, No. 11 Independence lost 91-50 to No. 6 Chatsworth-Sierra Canyon in the D-I opener. In the D-II bracket, No. 13 BHS — the D-II section champions — lost to No. 4 Alhambra-Mark Keppel, 57-47. And both teams in the D-III opener lost as well, with No. 12 Shafter falling on the road at No. 5 Tulare-Mission Oak, 55-45, and No. 14 Golden Valley losing to No. 3 Lompoc-Cabrillo, 60-43.