The sinipercids are freshwater fishes endemic to East Asia, mainly in China. Phylogenetic studies on the sinipercids have made great progress in the last decades, but interspecific relationships and evolutionary history of the sinipercids remain unresolved. Lack of distinctive morphological characters leads to problems in validating of some species, such as Siniperca loona. Moreover, genetic data are needed to delimitate species pairs with explicit hypothesis testing, such as in S. chuatsi vs. S. kneri and Coreoperca whiteheadi vs. C. liui. Here we reconstructed phylogeny of the sinipercids with an unprecedented scale of data, 16,943 loci of single-copy coding sequence data from nine sinipercid species, eight putative sister taxa and two outgroups. Targeted sequences were collected using gene enrichment and Illumina sequencing, yielding thousands of protein coding sequences and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data. Maximum likelihood and coalescent species tree analyses resulted in identical and highly supported trees. We confirmed that the centrarchids are sister to the sinipercids. A monophyletic Sinipercidae with two genera, Siniperca and Coreoperca was also supported. Different from most previous studies, S. scherzeri was found as the most basal taxon to other species of Siniperca, which consists of two clades: a clade having S. roulei sister to S. chuatsi and S. kneri, and a clade consisting S. loona sister to S. obscura and S. undulata. We found that both S. loona and C. liui are valid species using Bayes factor delimitation (BFD∗) based on SNPs data. Species delimitation also provided decisive support for S. chuatsi and S. kneri being two distinct species. We calibrated a chronogram of the sinipercids based on 100 loci and three fossil calibration points using BEAST, and reconstructed ancestral ranges of the sinipercids using Lagrange Analysis (DEC model) and Statistical Dispersal-Vicariance Analysis (S-DIVA) implemented in RASP. Divergence time estimates and ancestral habitat reconstruction suggested a wide-ranging distribution of the common ancestor of the sinipercids in southern China at 53.1 million years ago (CI: 30.4–85.8Ma). The calibrated time tree is consistent with historical climate changes and geological events that might have shaped the current distribution of the sinipercids.