With college recruit Makani Whiteside wearing the green and gold, the Liberty Hawks boys basketball team earned the top seed in the Div. V Central Section playoffs while the Madera South boys soccer team also got the top seed in Div. III and get a first-round bye.
The Hawks (24-4) earned the top rank in Div. V, announced Friday, early in the season behind a eight game winning streak.
After a two-point loss in the Hawks Classic to Firebaugh, Liberty went on another eight-game winning streak, highlighted by a 104-66 victory over Orange Cove and a 49-44 victory over Madera South.
Other milestones established by this year’s team was the program’s first-ever victory over Washington Union-Easton after a 71-51 victory Feb. 5. The Hawks finished 7-3 in the North Sequoia League and gave league champion Kerman its only loss.
The Hawks open the Div. V playoffs tonight, hosting No. 16 Mendota at 7 p.m. The Hawks defeated Mendota 71-30 on Dec. 28.
Whiteside leads the Hawks with 29.2 points per game, including 11 games of 30 or more points and a season-high 51 against Los Banos. He is also averaging 10.2 rebounds per game and 2.7 steals per game.
The winner of Wednesday’s game will face the winner of No. 8 Strathmore and No. 9 Parlier on Friday.
In addition, both Madera South basketball teams will be in action in the first round.
The girls team received a No. 11 seed in the Div. IV playoffs and played at No. 6 Kingsburg on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the good news for the Stallions boys basketball team is it received a first-round home game in the Div. IV playoffs. However, the bad news is they Stallions received the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 McFarland tonight at 7 p.m. The winner plays top seed Bakersfield Christian on Friday.
The Madera South boys soccer team bouyed a 6-3-1 County/Metro Athletic conference record into the top seed in the Div. III Central Section boys soccer playoffs, announced Monday.
The Stallions, led by CMAC Most Valuable Player candidate Christian Garcia, received a first round bye and will host No. 9 Fresno or No. 8 Highland-Bakersfield on Friday at 6 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
Both Madera and Liberty girls soccer teams received high seeds and home games in the Div. II girls soccer playoffs.
Madera earned the No. 6 seed and hosts No. 11 Bakersfield in Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m. tonight.
The winner of that game earns a date at No. 3 Liberty to face the Hawks at 6 p.m. Friday.
Meanwhile, the Liberty Hawks boys soccer team earned the dreaded No. 9 seed and plays at No. 8 Rosamond tonight. The winner gest a date Friday against top seed Garces-Bakersfield.