Liberty's Javier Gallardo and Isaiah Hill (No. 12) attempt to block the shot of Ridgeview's Harold Hartdige during the Lloyd Williams/Kern Schools Shootout at North in December.

The holiday season may be over, but the schools throughout the Central Section are still on winter break until next Monday.

With that said, there is still plenty of basketball this week, but a large majority of those tournaments are not being played in Kern County. 

Last week fans around town got a treat with No. 4 Liberty defeating an up-and-coming Bakersfield Christian team for the Ralph Krafve Memorial Tournament championship at East High. Also, No. 5 Bakersfield High went 3-1 at the Under Armour Classic in San Diego.

That run in the tournament was impressive for the Drillers because it was the first action without Tahj Wright, who is reportedly set to transfer to Ridgeview. BHS does have Shane Jones back, however. The senior hasn’t played a sport — including missing the entire football season — after injuring his knee in a basketball playoff game last February.

Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial moves to the top of the BVarsity Central Section rankings after the Panthers avenged a previous loss to former No. 1 Clovis West and Modesto Christian in the Crusader’s tournament over the weekend. Sophomore sensation Jalen Green scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the title game over Modesto Christian. Before that, he dropped 46 points against Clovis West.

On the girls’ side, Clovis West stays atop the rankings, but the resurgence of No. 2 Clovis North really makes things interesting. Clovis West has won 50 consecutive Tri-River Athletic Conference games, and the two teams are scheduled to meet Jan. 24.

Independence remains at No. 3 and will play a big game next week against No. 4 Bakersfield. The Falcons went 2-1 over the weekend at the West Coast Jamboree in Dublin, taking third place in the silver division. Kahlaijah Dean and Jai'auna Kinder were both named all-tournament players.

BHS went 3-1 at the Tulare Mid-Winter Showcase, despite playing without senior standout Taylor Caldwell, who has been out for two weeks with an ankle injury. 

BVarsity Central Section boys basketball top 10

1. Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial (10-4, CMAC, Division II, previous ranking, 2)

2. Clovis West (14-2, TRAC, D-I, 1)

3. Fresno-Central (11-3, TRAC, D-I, 3)

4. Liberty (11-2, SWYL, D-I, 6)

5. Bakersfield (9-4, SWYL, D-I, 5)

6. Fresno-Bullard (11-4, CMAC, D-I, 8)

7. Sanger (13-3, CMAC, D-III, not ranked)

8. Selma (7-5, CSL, D-II, 7)

9. Clovis-Buchanan (8-7, TRAC, D-I, 4)

10. Clovis East (8-4, TRAC, D-I, NR)

BVarsity Central Section girls basketball top 10

1. Clovis West (14-3, TRAC, D-I, 1)

2. Clovis North (15-2, TRAC, D-I, 2)

3. Independence (9-3, SYL, D-I, 3)

4. Bakersfield (9-2, SWYL, D-II, 5)

5. Clovis (11-5, TRAC, D-I, NR)

6. Hanford-Sierra Pacific (11-4, ESL, D-IV, 10)

7. Fresno (9-1, NSL, D-III, 9)

8. Oakhurst-Yosemite (12-5, NSL, D-II, 8)

9. Tulare-Mission Oak (9-2, EYL, D-II, NR)

10. Stockdale (13-4, SWYL, D-I, NR)

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