SANGER – A return to familiar surroundings amped up the offensive production for the Sanger West High boys water polo team.
Riding a three-game losing streak, all on the road, the Hornets (2-3) returned to the Sanger Aquatics Complex at Sanger High on Sept. 5 and ran off nine unanswered goals in the middle two quarters to post a 16-10 victory over the Kerman High Lions.
Jorge Rodriguez and Ethan Senar combined for 12 of the team’s goals, with Rodriguez collecting seven goals and Senar five. The Hornets led 3-2 after the first quarter, but built the lead to 7-2 by halftime and 11-2 midway through the third before taking an 11-6 cushion into the final period. Both teams then alternated goals, the rest of the way.
“We got to get some new players some experience, and got to set up some new offensive sets,” coach Kevin Hinson said of his boys squad, which dropped its previous three road games by a combined score of 41-10. “I’m grateful to Kerman for coming out here. They’re great competition, we’re a new program and getting action like that is great.”
Rodriguez had two of his goals in the second period, with Aiden Pennycook and Senar also finding the net. Two more goals by Senar along with scores from Rodriguez and Pennycook closed out the long Sanger West scoring run that finally was answered by Kerman late in the period. Jaecob Vang had the other two Hornets goals.
Goalie Nic Medeiro made a couple of good saves and fired off quick outlet passes to set up Sanger West scoring plays. Frank Argumedo-Vargas paced Kerman (0-2) with four goals.
Hinson is most encouraged by increased participation numbers in the program for the Hornets, entering their second varsity season.
“That is the biggest success for us this season, definitely; just to get them out here and the opportunity to play and get experience,” he said.
The coach said the North Yosemite League will be competitive with formidable teams in McLane, Roosevelt, Fresno High and Madera South. The league opener is Wednesday, Sept. 13 against Roosevelt at Sanger Aquatics Complex.
Sanger West’s fledgling girls team fell to 0-3 on the young season with a 20-8 loss to Kerman (1-1). Coach Anna Hernandez said the team is young and inexperienced, and will continue to improve as they get more game seasoning.
Leading the way against Kerman was freshman Leila Archulete, who scored five of the Hornets’ eight goals. Also finding the net were Alexi Rodriguez, Ada Yang and Alivia Rodriguez with one goal apiece. Isabelle Betran scored six goals and Phoebe Coleman scored five to pace the visiting Lions.
Sanger West’s teams will play at least one more season at the Sanger Aquatics Complex at Sanger High as construction continues at the new Sanger West Campus at Fowler and Jensen avenues. A new swim and dive facility is on the future construction list.