Sequoias (27-4, 14-0): Last season was a season to remember for the Giants as Sequoias had another standout season. The Giants started off the season hot winning their first four games of the season but following the start, Sequoias lost three of their next four games and the Giants were 4-3. Following that loss, the Giants were pretty much one of the hottest teams in the state as Sequoias did not lose a game the rest of non conference and went into conference action with a 10-3 record. In conference the Giants did not have any slip ups and went on a 14 game winning streak and finished the regular season on a 20 game winning streak. Sequoias finished the Central Valley Conference with an undefeated record and went into the post season as the 3rd seed in Northern California. The Giants picked up a 90-57 win over San Mateo in 2nd round action, followed that up with a win over Redwoods 58-49 and were headed to the Elite Eight. In Lemoore, the Giants faced off against Citrus but the season came to an end as Sequoias fell to Citrus 67-65 and ended their season with a 27-4 season.

Head Coach: Dallas Jensen

2023-2024 outlook: The Giants have plenty of key components to replace after winning 27 games a year ago. Sequoias lost Javohn Garcia, Tyjean Burrell, Terri Miller and George Carter and replacing the Big 3 of Garcia, Miller and Burrell are going to be tough. The three players averaged 46 points between the three of them but the experience is what will be missed the post as all three were post season performers. The Giants do return five players that will be looked upon to play a bigger role. “6-1” Jose Cuello returns for his sophomore season and 2nd year player will be a key player for the Giants. The toughness and leadership he provides will be vital this season for the school from Visalia. “6-2” Alex Argandar (4.6 points), an improved “6-1” Omari Nesbit (4.7 points), “6-7” Samuel Bazunga (1.7) and Cal State Bakersfield committ “6-9” cameron Clark (7.5 points and 7.8 rebounds) will be looked upon to all play bigger roles for the Giants this season.

Newcomers: The Giants have some new faces that we could see contribute this upcoming seasson. Leading the list of newcomers is “6-9” Jaylon Lee (Copper Mountain), as the big had a standout season a year ago. Lee averaged 13.4 points and 9.9 rebounds at the socal school. “6-6” Lazamion McGruder is a transfer coming in from Holmes CC and will give the Giants another sophomore option. “6-5” Davis White (Saugus), “6-7” Jaden Haire (Hanford West) is very talented and explosive, “6-4” Kion Hayes (Choctawhatchee), “5-11” Mikey Ficher (Tulare Western), “6-2” Carter Glick (Mt. Whitney), “6-5” James Freeman (Sacramento) and “6-6” Nati Asfaw (Del Sol) are all freshmen looking to contribute this season for the Giants.

Projection: The Giants will look to bring home another conference championship but will have work to do this season. Sequoias has lost some key pieces and have a lot to replace for a year ago. The Giants are still a very talented roster but don’t look like a clear cut favorite to win the conference as in years pasts. We project the Giants to have a solid standout season as they are our favorites to win the Central Valley Conference for the upcoming 2023-2024 season.

Season Opener: 11/10 vs Allan Hancock

Columbia (22-8, 9-5): The Claim Jumpers continue to be a standout team in the state and pile wins up each season. As usual the Claim Jumpers got off to a hot start as Columbia won their first two games of the season before losing a close game against Las Positas. Following that loss, Columbia went on a ten game winning streak before losing to Contra Costa in their last non conference game of the season. Columbia went into conference play with a 12-2 record and looked as if they were going to challenge Sequoias for the conference championship. After a conference opening loss against Sequoias, the Claim Jumpers went on a two game winning streak before falling to Porterville and ended the first round of conference with a 5-2 record. Columbia had a tough start to the second half of conference as the Claim Jumpers started off 3-3 and finished the season with a key victory over Fresno City and finished Central Valley Conference action with a 9-5 record. Columbia picked up the 8th seed in the post season and won their 2nd round match up against Contra Costa to advance to the sweet 16. In the sweet 16 game, Columbia suffered a 87-47 against San Francisco and ended their 2022-2023 campaign with a 22-8 overall record.

Head Coach: Rob Hoyt

2023-2024 outlook: Columbia will look to have another standout season as the Claim Jumpers look to have a successful 23-24 season. The Claim Jumpers lost five key pieces off thier 22 win team and Columbia will still look to improve. Caleb Chiang, Aurrion Harris, Daniel Rico, Marques Sales and Keshawn Hall have all moved on and the Claim Jumpers will look to replace them brand newcomers and four players that return from a year ago. “6-6” Parker Tuttle returns for his sophomore season and should have a break out season. Tuttle has great size and can shoot it with the best of them in the state and is epxected to have a solid second season in Sonora. “6-3” Ahmad Jeffries (6.6 points), “6-2” Kai Jordan (4.4 points) and “6-8 Jordan Worthy (4.7 points) will provide some front court depth to the Claim Jumpers.

Newcomers: Columbia will look to stay consistent in the win column as the Claim Jumpers have added some new pieces to the program. “6-5” Jonathan Dillon and “6-6” Kadame Akeem Dauphin will both be sophomores this upcoming season and give Columbia some more needed experiernce. “5-9” Dean Perry (Rocklin), “5-10” Jay Clifton (Calaveras), “6-6” Jarael Holston (Highlands Christian Academy), “6-3” Braeden Jordan (Liberty Online Academy) and “6-10” for year prospect Caleb Comfort (Turlock Christian) all are coming in and expected to contribute throughout the 23-24 season.

Projection: The Claim Jumpers come into the new season as another team that will be competitive in Northern California. Columbia has some solid returners and have some newcomers that move the needle and could put them in position to compete at a high level. The Claim Jumpers will always be in the mix at the top of the conference but they must knock off Sequoias for us to put them over the hump but if they do have a chance to do it, this could be the year. We project the Claim Jumpers to finish in 2nd place for the upcoming season in the Central Valley conference.

Season Opener: 11/2 vs Siskiyous

Fresno (20-8, 9-5): The Rams had a sensational start to their season a year ago and Coach Haynes and company looks as if they have turned the corner. Last season after the Rams started the season off winning two of their first three games, the Rams went on an eight game winning streak and moved thir record to 10-1. The Rams lost their last non conference game against San Jose and finished non conference play with a 10-2 record as both losses were against teams that made the Elite Eight. In confernce play, Fresno started off with five straight wins before having two straight set backs against Sequoias and Columbia as the Rams finished off the first half of conference with a 5-2 record. In the 2nd half of conference after a 4-1 start, the Rams lost their last two games and finished CVC play with a 9-5 record. The 19 wins gave the Rams a 15th seed and Fresno hosted a first round game aggainst Foothill. Fresno edged Foothill 81-74 and took San Jose to their limit beofre falling to the Jags in the 2nd round 79-76. Fresno ended their 23-24 season with a 20-8 record and the program looks like it is trending in the right direction moving forward.

Head Coach: Rob Haynes

2023-2024 outlook: Coming into the new season, the Rams have a lot of pieces to replace for the 23-24 season. Fresno has seven guys to replace from last seasons 20 win team that made the post season. Sage Borbon, Makani Whiteside, Kiarie Patrick, Jeremiah Hannah, Nash Wobrock, Asrin Hackett and Grimmet Glen are all gone from a very balanced scoring attack as three of those players averaged in double figures. It is a lot to replace but time will tell who will step up and be able to come into their new role. The Rams do return five players from a year ago as “6-5” Jalen Royster (6.9 points) will bring length and versatility to the win position for the Rams. “6-5” Darius Eason (3.2 points), “6-2” Jalen Douglas (4.9 points), “6-4” Ja’Tarious Johnson (6.6 points) and “6-5” Brian Carter (5.5 points) will all be back and expected to have bigger seasons for Fresno for the season which starts next week.

Newcomers: Fresno will welcome in many newcomers to the squad for the upcoming season. The Rams have a lot of pieces to replace but have done a great job in doing so for the season. “6-6” Avery Johnson (Caruthers), “6-5” Ya Ya Sidibe (France), “6-2” Ivan Hayden (Highland), “6-1” Kuman Chandler (Edison), “6-4” Michael Sarden (Buchanan), “6-3″ Michael Quiroga (Sunnyside)”6-0” Milton Walker, and “6-3” Robert Buckenberger (Buchanan) will all look to contribute this upcoming season for the Rams.

Projection: What type of season will the Rams have after posting 20 wins last season? Fresno continues to be on an upward trend and could this be the season where the Rams take the throne at the top of the conference. Fresno lost a lot of key pieces from a year ago but the style of play that the Rams have will speed you up and make you play faster than you want to. Fresno has the talent to make some noise this season but it is hard to pick them over Columbia and Sequoias until they prove they can beat them. If this is this year to do it, it will be this season but we still project them to finish in 3rd place until they show that they can knock off the two teams that have stood in their way the past couple of seasons.

Season Opener: 11/2 vs Alameda

West Hills Lemoore (13-16, 6-8): Last season the Golden Eagles took a step in the right direction and continue to push their way towards the top of the Central Valley Conference. After a slow start the the 22-23 season in which Lemoore lost their first two games of the season, West Hills Lemoore went on a six game winning streak and looked like they were going to a very competitive team in the Central Valley Conference. Following that hot streak, the Golden Eagles hit another rough patch as Lemoore went 1-5 in their remaining non conference games and finished non conference action with a 7-8 record (4 of those losses were against teams that made the post season). As conference rolled around, West Hills Lemooore got off to a slow start and lost five of their first six games with the only win coming against West Hills Coalinga. The golden Eagles finished out the first half of conference with a victory over merced and that seemed to be the turning point for Lemoore as the 2nd half of conference came around. The Golden Eagles won four of their next five games and were floating around the bubble to get into the post season. Lemoore lost two of their last three games but a victory over Columbia may have pushed them into the post season as Lemoore finished the regular season with a 13-15 record and 6-8 in conference play. West Hills Lemooore picked up a post season bid and was named the 22nd seed but suffered a first round loss against Cosumnes River 84-71. It was a step in the right direction as coach Joe and company got a taste of the playoffs for the first time in the schools history.

Head Coach: Jovan Joe

2023-2024 outlook: As the new season approaches the Golden Eagles will have to replace some quality pieces from a year ago moving forward. West Hills Lemoore lost two players that averaged in double figures along with some quality players that played a solid role on their team. Damari Tate, Hamilton Wallace, Jose Martinez, DJ Torrence, Isaiah Jones and Lemoore will also be without Jaylon Waltons services this season as well. The Golden Eagles will have to replace over 50 points between those players and it will be a tough task at times. Lemoore will only return two players from a year ago as “6-2” Kesean Bazile and “6-1” Ryan Chavez return to the squad for their sophomore seasons. Bazile averaged 15.1 points and 4.5 rebounds and will be a standout for the upcoming season after having a spectacular freshman season. The left handed Chavez will look to have a impact season and is expected to have a bigger role for the upcoming season.

Newcomers: Lemoore will welcome in many new faces just like many other teams within the conference as “6-9” Tony Mariano, “6-1” Tommy Mora, “6-7” Terryn Mosley and “5-10” Shaun Packarrd are all listed as sophomores and should be expected to contribute this season. “6-6” Trey Booker -Lowery (Marietta), “6-8” Marques Greene (Central), “6-4” Marquise Greene (Central), “6-5” Gavin Malouf (Glendale), “6-0” Isaiah Martinez (Dinuba), “6-7” James Nichols (Florida), and “6-4” Elijah Gbeji (Chicago) are all freshmen and very talented and should impact the Golden Eagles throughout the season.

Projection: The Golden Eagles come in as another team that could make some noise this season in a conference that is improved from top to bottom. West Hills Lemoore has some pieces to be a very competitive team and a dark horse to play towards a conference championship. The Golden Eagles are in a similar boat as Fresno, until they show they can beat the creme of the crop within the conference then it is hard to pick them above the two usual powers within the conference. We project them for fourth place but would not be shock if they finish higher as Lemoore has a very nice squad that should make the post season for a second year in a row.

Season Opener: 11/2 vs Cuesta

Porterville (17-13, 9-5): Last season the Pirates got off to a slow start but Porterville played a very difficult non conference part of their schedule. After picking up an opening season victory over Allan Hancock the Pirates lost two straight against Fullerton and San Jose but followed that up with three straight wins. Porterville finished the rest of non conference action with a 3-5 record and finished non conference with a 7-7 record. After opening conference with a win over West Hills Lemoore, the Pirates lost three straight and finished off the first half of conference with three straight wins to move into a 4-3 first half record. In the second half of conference Porterville caugth fire after a loss to Sequoias and finished off the regualar season with three straight wins to close out conference play with a 9-5 record. Porterville finished the regular season with a 16-12 record and went into the post season as the 12th seed. The Pirates picked up a first round victory over Monterey 69-47 but their season came to an end next round with a 67-60 loss against West Valley and Porterville ended their season with 17 wins.

Head Coach: Kyle Wallace

2023-2024 outlook: As the 2023-2024 season approacehs, there have been a lot of changes withini the Pirates program. Porterville has to replace a lot of key pieces from last season as eight key pieces form a year ago are no longer with the team (Cam Walker, Mylo Santos, Kiya McQueen, Julio Phipps, Maurice Payton, Jaden Pena, Jalen Foy and Assad Madassalia) due to moving on or transferring to different schools. Another key piece that is no longer with the program is former head coach Amaurys Fermin who guided the Pirates to the playoffs this past season. Coming into the new season, Coach Kyle Wallace takes over the program and the Pirates will return one player from last years team in “6-5” Justin Sabater who averaged 3.0 points per game.

Newcomers: Porterville will have plenty of new faces on the sideline for the new season as the Pirates will look to have a competitive upcoming season. As we mentioned above Kyle Wallace has taken over the program and will look to plenty of newcomers to move the program forward. “6-0” Akeives Shorts (Wallace CC), “6-6” Cedric Louis (Alameda), “6-1” Raven Ortiz and “6-5” Amari Thomas (Bakersfield) will all provide sophomore experience and come into the program with one year left. “Po ‘okela Aiu (Hawaii), “6-0” Mahlik Smith (Oakland Tech), “6-6” Owen Patterson (Lindsay), “5-11” Kaleb Salazar (Monache), “6-1” Gustavo Chavez (West HS), “6-3” Jesse Freeman (Tulare Westrern), and “6-5” DeMarcus Allen (San Jose Prep)

Projection: Plenty of changes have happened this off season in Tulare County and it will be interesting how the Pirates will look this season. Porterville does not return a lot of pieces and Kyle Wallace comes in and takes over a team with only one returneer and building and establishing a new culture. Porterville should be a competitive team but with so many newcomers and unknowns it is hard to put them above teams that have experience on a night in and night out basis in the CVC. WE project them the Pirates finishing 6th place out of the seven teams that we saw in the pre season for the 2023-2024 season.

Season Opener: 11/2 vs Los Angeles Pierce

Merced (9-19, 6-8): Last season was a tough season for the Blue Devils as Merced struggled throughout the 2022-2023 season. Merced started off the season a fairly competitive team as their first three games went to overtime and the Blue Devils were 2-1. Following the decent start, the Blue Devils hit a rough spell and went 1-11 in their remaining non conference games and finished up with a 3-12 record in non conference action. As conference rolled around, the Blue Devils opened up conference play with two straight losses but won their next three games and had a huge win over Porterville. Merced finished the first half of conference with a 3-4 record but needed some wins in their pocket to make the post season. Merced lost their next four games and fell out of the playoff picture but ended their 22-23 campaign with three straight wins and finished out the regular season with a 9-19 record and were 6-8 in conference play.

Head Coach: Allen Huddleston

2023-2024 outlook: Not much is known about the Blue Devils as Merced did not participate in any jamborees in the fall. We do know that Mike Teal, Robert Smid, Shingo Takeuchi, Isaiah Parker, Nico Thomas and Jaysen Dillard were sophomores and not returning.

Newcomers: We do not have any information regarding this seasons team as it was not available to us at the time of press.

Projection: UNKNOWN

Season Opener: 11/1 vs Skyline

West Hills Coalinga (6-22, 0-14): Last season the Falcons got off to a pretty good start to their season as West Hills Coalinga won four of their first five games of the season. Following a loss, Coalinga won their next two games but after the win over Lassen, the season took a turn down hill for the Central Valley school. The Falcons lost their last six non conference games and went into conference play with a 6-8 record. In conference action, West Hills Coalinga had trouble finding the win column and lost all fourteen games in conference play. West Hills Coalinga finished off the season with a 6-22 overall record and missed the post season after a decent start.

Head Coach: Adedokun Olanrewaju

2023-2024 outlook: The Falcons will look to have an improved season after struggling to find the win column for most of the season after a hot start. West Hills Coalinga has plenty of players to replace from a year ago as the Falcons lost Khyree Reese, Elisee Ehuie, Luis Perez and Daemar Potts which provided 40 plus points to the lineup at the offensive end. Coalinga will only return two players as well from last seasons team in “5-11” Noah Richmond and “6-2” Billy Branham. Both players got time a year ago as Richmond averaged 8.6 points per game and Branham averaged 3.8 points per contest in 22-23.

Newcomers: The Falcons have some new pieces coming into the program this season and will welcome back a couple of redshirts back after sitting out last season. “6-7” Devion Edwards (9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds) will give the Falcons some front court help as the forward will be an impact player in the conference. “6-1” Khamron Miles returns back after averaging 7.0 points in the 21-22 season. “6-1” Nigel Johnson, “6-6” Ahmadou Aw are also listed as sophomores and will provide experience to the Falcons. “6-4” Quardir Hopkins (Philadelphia), “6-0” Deandre Johnson (Lemoore), “6-1” Samir Boyer (Philadephia), “6-2” Carlos Kinard (Greenbelt, MD), and “6-0” Donovan Johnson (Lemoore) are all freshman and could impact the Falcons for the 23-24 season.

Projection: West Hills Coalinga should be an improved team as they will have an improved product for the upcoming season. The return of Edwards will help tremendously as the forward will give them some much needed size and the Falcons do have a lot of sophomores listed on their roster. There are questions with freshmen like most rosters across the state, but this will be an improved and competitive team for the upcoming season. We project they will be in the middle of the pack in the Central Valley Conference but have the ability to knock off some teams throughout the season.

Season Opener: 11/7 @ Cuesta

Reedley (9-19, 3-11): The Tigers had a slow start to the season after picking up an opening season victory. Reedley lost four of their next five games and struggled to find consistency the rest of non conference action. Reedely finished non conference play with a 6-8 record but needed to make a splash in conference action to make the post season. In conference play, the Tigers won their first two games but then struggle to find thee win column the rest of the conference season. The Tigers lost 11 of their last 12 games and finished conference play with a 3-11 record and 9-19 overall. Reedley missed the post season and will look to have an improved 23-24 season.

Head Coach: T.J. Jennings

2023-2024 outlook: The Tigers have plenty of pieces to replace as the new season approaches. Reedley lost four pieces from a year ago in Juelz Fox, Obadiah Curtis, Josiah James, and Khalil Sanders and the Tigers lost other pieces as well. The Tigers will only return one player from a year ago in “5-9” Kecian Primes who averaged 1.8 points per contest so it will be intriguing to see who will step up and take over key roles throughout the season.

Newcomers: Reedley has two other sophomores listed on the roster in “6-2” Quentin Allen and “6-6” Mitchell Uriarte who redshirted after playing in 2021-2022. “6-2” Jayden Abuyen (Centennial), “6-2” Matt Ruegge (transfer from Sequoias), “6-4” Johnathan Holland (Washington Union), “5-10” Issac Martinez (Clovis West), “6-8” Kyriuan Davis (Independence HS), “6-7” Cooper Schimpf (El Diamante), “6-8” Macario Solorio (Folwer), “6-4” Carlos Craig (Clovis East) and “6-3” LaCiya Garrett (Vista) are all freshman that will look to impact the Tigers this upcoming season.n

Projection: The Tigers will only return one player from a year ago after having a below averaged 2022-2023 season. Reedley will have plenty of question marks coming into the season and a lot of players that will need to step up for them to have a successful season. The problem with that statement is at this time we do not know who that will be. We do expect the Tigers to be competitive but we have them finishing in the lower half of the conference and finishing in 7th place for the 2023-2024 season.

Season Opener: 11/2 @ Hartnell

2023-2024 Signal The Light Basketball Central Valley Conference Preview

1. Sequoias

2. Fresno

3. Columbia

4. West Hills Lemoore

5. West Hills Coalinga

6. Porterville

7. Reedley