The Central Valley Conference is a conference that Fresno has dominated since the turn of the century. Last season, the Central Valley Conference had three teams that had sensational seasons. Fresno, Sequoias and Columbia all at least won 24 games and two of the teams found themselves in the Elite Eight. Fresno and Sequoias both were scheduled to participate at the Elite Eight before Covid 19 shut down the 2019-2020 season. Columbia was one game away from being the third team from the Central Valley Conference to be in the Elite Eight. This upcoming season, it appears that it will be a three team race in the upper half of the conference but with that being said, a lot of teams have improved in the conference as well.
2021-2022 Signal The Light Basketball Central Valley Conference Preview
Columbia (26-4, 11-3): The 2019-2020 season brought in one of the best seasons that the Claimjumpers have had as Columbia won 26 games and finished tied for 2nd place in the Central Valley Conference. The Sonora based college picked up a 3rd seed in the post season picked up a home win in the 2nd round but lost in the sweet 16 against Santa Rosa to end their 2019-2020 season.
Columbia will return one player back off their 2019-2020 team that won 26 games. “6-0” Deshawn Bartley will be back for his sophomore season after averaging 10.2 points and 3.7 rebounds for the Claim Jumpers. “6-8” Noel Alexander returns back after playing for Columbia in the 2018-2019 season and will add depth to the front court. Columbia welcomes in plenty of newcomers led by “6-5” Tahj Malik-Campbell. The wing will add some scoring punch and comes from Morgan State University. “6-6” Marcus McCutchen is a transfer coming in from Fresno City College, and at Fresno the sophomore averaged 13.4 points per contest for the Rams in 2019-2020. “6-5” Daniel Rico (transfer from Fresno City), “6-3” Isaiah Jones (Fresno City), and “6-0” Mitch Prevost (Modesto College) are all sophomores coming into the program. “6-5” Bryce Barton (Clovis), “6-2” Brennen Whyte (Dillard HS-Florida), “6-6” Skyler Newman, “6-3” Aurrion Harris (Golden Valley HS) and “6-3” Bryce Barton will look to contribute as freshmen for the Claim Jumpers. Looking into the upcoming season, Columbia is one of the top teams in Northern California and this could be the year where the Claim Jumpers dethrone the Fresno City dynasty run. We expect Columbia to contend for a conference championship and have a chance to make a deep post season run as this is a very talented team with a lot of potential.
Sequoias (24-6, 11-3): The Giants come into the new season as one of the eight teams that were eyeing a championship to close out the 2019-2020 season. Sequoias won 24 games, finished tied for 2nd place in CVC, and picked up the 5th seed in the Northern California playoffs. The Giants picked up a 2nd round win over Butte and followed that up with a huge road victory over Yuba to get to the Elite Eight. The Giants were scheduled to play Santiago Canyon but Covid 19 shut down the Elite Eight in Lemoore to end the 2019-2020 season.
The Giants will come into the new season with two players returning off 2019-2020 team. “6-5” Ryan Johnson returns to the Giants for his sophomore season after averaging 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds in his first season. Johnson was named to the all state team as a freshman and is a candidate for Player of the Year in the conference this season. “6-9” Tiveon Stroud returns to Sequoias after averaging 10.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in his freshman season. Sequoias will welcome in plenty of newcomers for the upcoming season as “6-5” Seth Dawson will be a key contributor as the sophomore came from Fresno City College and averaged 8.1 points per contest for the Rams. “6-2” Mohammed Adam (8.4 points – Fresno City), “6-2” Connor Jackson (Butler CC), “6-8” Bryce Fitzgerald (Indian River State CC), and “6-8” Scott Ator (McLennan CC) will all be sophomores that will contribute for the Giants. “6-3” Andre Treadwell (College Prep Academy), “6-3” Ryan Troutman (Kerman HS), “6-8” Teri Miller (Clovis North HS), and “6-8” Takari Fields (Arizona Compass Prep) will be freshman that will have a solid chance to contribute for the upcoming season. Looking into the upcoming season, Sequoias will look to build off their success from the 2019-2020 season. The Giants have a lot of size and depth which makes them a contender for the Central Valley Conference. Sequoias has been to two straight Elite Eights and have a chance to make some noise this season. We expect Sequoias to compete for the conference championship with a chance to go pretty deep into the post season for the 2021-2022 season.
Fresno (27-3, 14-0): The Rams have dominated the CVC since the new century has started and nothing was different in 2019-2020. Fresno went undefeated in conference action, won 27 games and were seeded 2nd in the Northern California post season. Fresno went on to pick up two wins in the post season and made it to the Elite Eight. The Rams were scheduled to play Los Angeles Valley in the Elite Eight but Covid 19 shut down the season and no champion was crowned.
Fresno will have a new look this season as Rob Haynes takes over the Rams. The former Porterville coach will look to have success in his first season at the helm. The Rams will field a new team and Fresno will welcome in a brand new team for the 2021-2022 season. “6-9” Elijah McCoy will be an impact player for the Rams as the Cal Poly Pomona transfer will bring a physicality to the front court. “6-10” Mario Dawson will be the other sophomore that will add experience to the Rams front court. “6-0” Asrin Hackett (Edison HS), “5-10” Stephen Perry (Clovis North HS), “6-3” Kirarie Patrick (Our Savior Lutheran), and “5-7” Sage Borbon (Our Savior Lutheran) will all be freshman that will look to contribute in the back court for Fresno. “6-6” Teiquan Rush (Bullard HS), “6-7” Jerermiah Hannah (Edison HS), “6-5” Michael Roberts (Fresno HS) will all be freshman front court players that could contribute. Fresno has been the team to beat for a long time, but with the improvement of Columbia and Sequoias, the streak may be in jeopardy. We feel like Fresno still has a great squad and will be right there in the mix of things as the Rams will win a lot of games. The Rams showed that they compete at a high level after seeing them at the Socal Juco Jamboree and will win a lot of games for the upcoming 2021-2022 season.
Porterville (14-14, 7-7): NO INFORMATION PROVIDED BY COACHING STAFF AT THE TIME OF PRESS.
Merced (9-17, 3-11): The Blue Devils will look to have an improved upcoming season after finished tied for 6th place in the 2019-2020 season. Merced missed the post season and will look to have a competitive 2021-2022 season.
The Blue Devils will return four players off their 9 win team season from the 2019-2020 season. 3 of the 4 players returning averaged in double figures in scoring the basketball. “6-0” CJ Ayers returns for his sophomore season after averaging 15.1 points in his first season. Ayers shot 40% from downtown and 66 of his 114 field goals made were from behind the three point line. “5-8” Jacob Dominguez returns to the back court after averaging 10.7 points per contest in his freshman season. “6-9” Malachi Butler averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds and will add depth to the front court. “6-6” Joshua Woods will help on the glass and on the defensive end for the Blue Devils. “6-3” Tony Brown, and “6-4” Ckaviyon Everett are two other sophomores that will look to contribute this season. “6-1” Mike Teel, “6-4” Rob Smid (Atwater HS) and “6-2” Justin Norman are three freshman that will be in the rotation for the Blue Devils. Merced will be an improved team as they have four key pieces back and three players that averaged in double figures. Will it be enough to make a post season run against the top half of the conference. We expect the Blue Devils to be in the middle of the pack but Merced will be an improved team for the 2021-2022 upcoming season.
Reedley (16-12, 7-7): The Tigers are coming off a 16 win season where Reedley finished four games over .500. In conference action the Tigers finished at an even 7-7, tied for fourth place in the Central Valley Conference but missed the post season in the 2019-2020 season.
The Tigers return three players from their 2019-2020 roster that won 16 games. Leading the list of returnees is “5-10” Anthony Martinez as the sophomore guard averaged 11.9 points per contest as a freshman. The guard will be a scoring option for the Tigers in the upcoming season. “6-5” Carlos Fuentes (5.9 points), and “6-9” Jonathan Marks (1.4 points) will also return for Reedley adding sophomore experience for the Tigers. “6-5” Dwayne Howell will add some depth to the front court as the stretch four will look to contribute. “6-6” Jamar Bowers (Hoover HS), “6-2” Ty Penberthy (Hart HS) “6-2” Makhi Turner (Weston Ranch HS), “6-5” Juelz Fox (Lemoore HS) and “6-2” Josiah James (Hanford West HS) will look to contribute as freshman. Reedley comes into the new season with three players returning to the squad. The Tigers will look to stay competitive within the conference and look to make a post season appearance. We expect the Tigers to be in the middle of the pack but will have trouble finishing above the three usual suspects at the top of the conference.
West Hills Lemoore (5-23, 3-11): The Golden Eagles will look to have an improve 2021-2022 after finishing 7th place in the Central Valley Conference. West Hills-Lemoore won five games and missed the post season in 2019-2020 season.
The Golden Eagles return one player off their 2019-2020 roster that finished 7th place in the Central Valley Conference. “6-0” Derek Westendorf returns to Lemoore after averaging 4.3 points per contest in his freshman season. West Hills-Lemoore will add four sophomore transfers to the upcoming squad this season. “6-5” Riverside City College transfer Camron Wilson will be a player to watch for the Golden Eagles. Wilson averaged 7.5 points per contest in 2018-2019 at Riverside City College. “6-7” Terryn Mosley and “6-1′ Mack Tarver Jr. are both transfers from Southwest Oregon Community College and will also look to contribute as sophomores. “6-1” Milton Burnett is coming over from College of the Sequoias and will look to provide depth at the guard position. “6-5′ Da’Mari Tate (Los Banos HS), “6-5” DeCarlo Hewitt (Central HS), “6-6 Jose Martinez (Kingsburg HS), “6-0′ D’Andre Scott (Clovis HS), and “6-6′ DyAndre Morehead (Sunnyside HS) will all look to contribute as freshmen for the Golden Eagles. Head coach Jovan Joe will look to have a competitive 2021-2022 season as we expect West Hills-Lemoore to be an improved team. The Golden Eagles will be a team that should be better and we expect them to be in the middle of the pack in the Central Valley Conference for the 2021-2022 season.
West Hills Coalinga (0-28, 0-14): The Falcons struggled in the 2019-2020 season after finishing last place in the Central Valley Conference. West Hills-Coalinga finished the season without any wins and will look to improve for the upcoming 2021-2022 season.
West Hills-Coalinga return four players back from their 2019-2020 roster. Leading the list of returners is “6-3” Fredery Cuello as the sophomore guard averaged 14.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in his freshman season. Cuello will be looked upon for his scoring for the upcoming season. “6-5” Tyrell Edwards returns after averaging 9.3 points and 3.4 rebounds. “5-10” Derrick Barnes will add sophomore experience to the back court. “6-5” Jabari Merritt is going to be a player to watch for the Falcons as the sophomore is versatile and four year schools should keep an eye on the Monroe Community College transfer. “6-3” Khyree Reese (Lakeside HS), “6-7” Devion Edwards (Coalinga HS), “6-0” Khamron Miles (Clovis North HS), “6-4” Alex Perex (Damien HS), and “6-6” Brian Rice (Edmondson Westside HS) are all freshmen that will look to help improve the Falcons for the upcoming season. West Hills-Coalinga will look to have a better campaign for the upcoming season. We expect the Falcons to be a competitive group but finish in the lower half of the standings in the Central Valley Conference 2021-2022 season.