Dakarai King and Dominic Romeo are the poster boys for what has become a wild and unpredictable hoops season.
Little more than names on a roster back in November, the two have become game-changers and put their teams in a surprising spot -- first place.
Perimeter scoring from Johansen's 6-foot King and interior points from Pitman's 6-6 Romeo have been among the many surprises this season.
King's 31-point night led the Vikings to an upset of Enochs in last week's Modesto Metro opener, while Romeo and the Pride beat three-time defending Central California champ Merced in their CCC opener.
Their rise to power has given the expected contenders a thing or two to think about. Davis and Enochs have to see Johansen as an equal, and the same goes for the way Turlock and Merced see Pitman.
Those aren't the only conferences that have seen their ranks of contenders expand:
- The Trans-Valley League opens tonight and all eyes are going to be on Modesto Christian's meeting with Escalon. MC has won 64 league games in a row, but the Cougars, Ripon and Ripon Christian are capable of ending that streak.
The Valley Oak League is a four-team battle, with Sonora the unexpected member in a group that includes Sierra, Manteca and Weston Ranch.
Three teams are tied atop the Western Athletic Conference, after Hilmar's upset of first-place Central Catholic.
Just when it appeared as if Mariposa would run the table in the Southern League, it got a scare before escaping with a 60-58 win over Denair. They meet twice more, so the Grizzlies had better be ready.