Reedley girls basketball tournament this week at RHS

Sanger, Dinuba boys in large hoop tourneys this week, Emperors wrestling hosts Dinuba Invitational on Dec. 30

Reedley High coach Mike Pallesi greets his daughter Enily, and Raquel Cortez (24) after the Pirates edged Fowler High by one point in a non-league game on Nov. 28. Reedley will host the eight-team Reedley Holiday Classic starting on Thursday, Dec. 28 at RHS gym. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published December 26, 2023  • 
4:00 pm

REEDLEY – Eight schools, including the hosting Reedley High along with regional schools Dinuba High and Kingsburg High, will participate this week in the annual Reedley Holiday Classic girls basketball tournament at Reedley High School.

The reigning Diviison V section champion Pirates (8-7) play their first game in two weeks when they host Yosemite High (5-6) at 6:30 p.m. in the evening feature contest on Thursday, Dec. 28. The first three games pit Sanger West (4-9) against Kerman (10-2) at 2 p.m.; Dinuba (6-6) against Madera (9-4) at 3:30 and Kingsburg (2-9) against Fresno (8-5) at 5 p.m.

The games on Friday. Dec. 29 also start at 2, 3:30, 5 and 6:30 p.m., with the later two games being semifinal contests. Saturday, Dec. 30 games will be played at 1:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m., then capped off with the championship contest at 3 o’clock.

The tournament closes out the 2023 portion of the schedule for both Reedley and Dinuba, who prepare for their respective league openers in early January. The Pirates tip off the Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division campaign on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. against Washington Union at RHS gym, while the Emperors open West Yosemite League play at Hanford High at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Sanger West will resume its North Yosemite League season following a two-week break in early January. The Hornets (0-2 in league) host first place Roosevelt (7-7, 2-0) at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10, then visit McLane (6-7) on Jan. 12. 


Wilhelmsen, Clovis Elks tournaments take place this week

The Dinuba and Sanger boys teams will compete at the 72nd annual Polly Wilhelmsen Tournament in Visalia and Clovis Elks Invitational at Clovis High, respectively, this week. The Emperors (11-2) opened against the Monache High Marauders (9-2) on Dec. 27 while the Apaches (7-5) took on Merced High (6-6) that same day. Play in each tournament continues  Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 28-30.

Last week, Dinuba rebounded from an overtime loss at home to Clovis High by holding off Central High, 47-44, on Dec. 18. Seniors Javier Torres and Brice Watley scored 11 points each while junior guard Josiah Ochoa added 10 points. The Emperors built a seven point lead after three quarters, and held off the Grizzlies (7-4) as Torres scored five points in the quarter and finished with 11 rebounds and six assists.

Sanger hosted Centennial (8-3) in a non-league matchup on Dec. 22 at Dean Nicholson Gym, losing by a 57-50 score despite getting 23 points and 10 rebounds from forward Caleb Ramirez. Senior guard Marquis Cropper scored eight points and added 11 rebounds while wing player Nolan Willison scored  nine points (all on 3-pointers) and dished off two assists.

Injury, illness-depleted Eagles drop two games

At Immanuel High South Gym on Dec. 19, the shorthanded Eagles (7-5) were down to seven players because of injuries and illness in a 75-37 non-league loss to the Vikings (7-5). Two nights later, Immanuel still battled attrition and lost by a 75-58 score at Lemoore High. Caden Joseph and Tad Tibbett scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the loss.

Immanuel competes at the four-day Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic starting on Dec. 27, taking on Manteca in its opener. Other opponents will be determined by bracket results. The Eagles then will be idle until opening Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division play on Wednesday, Jan. 10 against city rival Reedley High.


Dinuba Invitational 

Dinuba High will host the one-day Dinuba Invitational tournament on Saturday, Dec. 30 at the DHS East gym. First matches begin at 9 a.m. and the championship finals in each weight class are expected to begin mid-afternoon. Each weight class participant will have a maximum of five matches for the day with semi final qualifiers assured no worse than fourth place.

Post-tournament awards will go to Outstanding Upper and Lower Weights wrestlers.

Sanger High girls fourth at Reno TOC event

The Sanger High varsity girls wrestling team are shown following a fourth place finish at the Dollamur Reno Tournament of Champions event on Dec. 15-16. (Jon Earnest)

The Sanger High girls placed fourth out of 36 teams, with three wrestlers placing in the top three and earning All-American honors, at the Dollamur Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nev. on Dec. 15-16. The Apaches scored 92 points and finished behind only second place Gilroy High among California schools, Toppenish High from Washington won the team title with 191 points.

Gabriela Flores won three of four matches at 145 pounds, two by pin, with her only loss coming by fall to Toppenish’s Ruby Clark in the finals as she finished second. Third place finishes were turned in by Jenniyah Duarte (100 pounds) and Lailanie Vongnakhone (126), both of whom collected three wins in four matches to finish in third place.

Future tournaments for Sanger High girls are the Napa Valley Invitational (Jan. 5-6) and the California Invitational Tournament in Morro Bay (Jan. 6). The Apaches boys are scheduled to compete at the Doc Buchanan Invitational in Clovis on Jan. 5-6.

Jon Earnest