Sanger boys soccer maintains CMAC top spot

Reedley boys remain unbeaten in TCC, Dinuba and Sanger boys basketball collect pair of victories in league competition

Reedley High’s Angie Hernandez dishes a pass off past Selma High’s Isha Panu (22) during the first half of the Pirates’ 48-38 victory over the Bears on Jan. 18. (Danny Jimenez)
Jon Earnest
Published January 22, 2024  • 
11:00 am

SANGER – The Sanger High boys are hanging on to first place in the County Metro Athletic Conference soccer standings, but fended off a late challenge by McLane High to earn a draw in a tight battle that snapped their five-match win streak.

The Apaches (11-4-3, 5-1-1) scored at least four goals for the third time in four matches to cruise to a 5-1 rout at Madera High on Jan. 17. Two nights later on Jan. 19 at Tom Flores Hall of Fame Stadium, Sanger got an early second half goal from Santana Mercado before the Highlanders (12-5-3, 4-2-1) countered in the 67th minute in a match that finished 1-1.

Sanger’s lone CMAC defeat came in December in the opener against Edison (11-4-1, 5-2), and the two teams battled for first place at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26 in Fresno. During second round conference play, the Apaches have home matches with Bullard (Wednesday, Jan. 31) and Madera (Thursday, Feb. 8).

Pirates run win streak to six matches

Reedley High (13-4-1 overall) continues to dominate Tri-County Conference competition, collecting 4-0 victories last week over Washington Union (Jan. 17) and Exeter (Jan. 19 in a cross division matchup). Four different players scored in each victory for the Pirates.

Eduardo Vasquez, Jose Magallon, Esteban Baca and Jair Sosa found the net against the Panthers while Magallon, Baca and Vasquez scored along with Alessandro Lopez. Freshman Angel Ceja had two assists against Washington and an assist against Exeter.

The Pirates try to extend their win streak when they travel to Sierra Pacific on Jan. 24 and host Selma at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26.

Sanger girls rolling into CMAC showdown

The first place Sanger High Apaches (12-2-2, 4-0) take a six-match unbeaten streak into a Jan. 23 showdown at second place Bullard (10-4-4, 3-0-1) to close out the first round of CMAC play. The latest wins came at Garza High (2-1 on Jan. 16) and at home over Madera (4-0 on Jan. 18).

Senior Andrea Alvarenga scored both Sanger goals in the win at Garza, while junior Ari Avalos had two goals and an assist against Madera. Also scoring against the Coyotes were sophomore Ava Martinez and freshman Kaylynn Foltz..

Sanger opens the second round of the CMAC season Thursday, Jan. 25 at San Joaquin Memorial in a 5:30 p.m. start.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Emperors down Lemoore to pace WYL

Dinuba High (19-3, 4-0) took over sole possession of first place in the West Yosemite League with two victories last week, highlighted by a 69-63 victory over Lemoore High on Jan. 16. The Emperors then remained unbeaten with a 63-42 rout at Tulare Union on Jan. 18.

The Emperors rode the three-tiered attack of guard Josiah Ochoa (22 points, six 3-pointers), Javier Torres (21 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists) and Brice Watley (17 points, 10 rebounds) to fend off the Tigers (16-7, 3-1) and 29 points from Kaden Lopes. Watley and Torres had 22 and 19 points, respectively, against the Tribe.

Dinuba hosts Mission Oak to close out the first round of league on Jan. 24, then opens the second round of league on Friday, Jan. 26 at Hanford High in a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.

Apaches down Edison for 2nd straight in CMAC

In Fresno, Sanger High (13-10, 2-2) amped up its offense for a pair of County Metro Athletic Conference road wins. The Apaches downed Edison 71-65 on Jan. 16 and then trounced Garza High 71-52 on Jan. 19 behind 19 points and a trio of 3-pointers from senior guard-wing Nolan Willison. 

Caleb Ramirez had 24 points and Willison 19 points in the win over Edison, as the Apaches outscored the Tigers 18-8 in the third quarter to take command. Kevin Chambers dished off seven assists against Garza, moving up to No. 2 on the all-time school single season list with 135.

Sanger has home games this week with Madera (Jan. 23) and Bullard (Friday, Jan. 26) in scheduled 6:30 p.m. varsity tip offs.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Reedley grabs TCC division lead with win

Reedley High’s Ana Drolette (20) and Selma High’s Isha Panu (22) watch a loose ball sail out of bounds during the first half of the Pirates’ 48-38 victory over the Bears on Jan. 18. Drolette scored 11 points as the Pirates won the battle for first place in the Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division. (Danny Jimenez)

Reedley High (13-9 overall) claimed sole possession of first place in the Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division with a 48-38 victory over Selma High on Jan. 18 at Reedley High gym. Four different Pirates cracked double figures to provide all the scoring: Raquel Cortez (14 points), Nia Holman (12 points), Emily Pallesi (11 points) and Ana Drolette (11 points).

Holman scored nine of her 12 points in the final quarter as Reedley (3-0 in division play) extended a four-point lead entering the closing eight minutes. Gloria Bucio scored seven points and Holman six points in a 72-34 cross division loss to Sierra Pacific on Jan. 14.

The Pirates play at Exeter on Jan. 24, then return home to take on Washington Union at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26.

WRESTLING

Sanger boys grab two medals at CIT

Sanger High’s boys wrestling team had four wrestlers advance to second day competition, with two going on to capturing top eight medals at the California Invitational Tournament in Morro Bay on Jan. 19-20. David Gonzales finished in third place at 126 pounds to capture a bronze medal while Brandon Gamino finished fifth at 120 pounds.

Senior Gonzalez (20-11) won seven of eight matches with three pins, taking third with a 4-3 decision win over Daniel Baeza of San Dimas. Junior Gamino (22-11) went 8-2 including a pair of falls, and defeated Jonel Hutton by a 6-4 decision in the fifth place match.

Sanger High’s Brandon Gamino (120 pounds) and David Gonzales (126 pounds) finished in fifth and third place, respectively, in their weight classes with Gonzales earning the bronze medal at the California Invitational Tournament in Morro Bay on Jan. 20. The Apaches finished in 17th place out of 91 schools competing. (Sanger High Wrestling)

Other second day competitors for the Apaches were Nathaniel Flores (106 pounds) and Armando Sanchez (150 pounds). Sanger finished in 17th place out of 91 teams with 87.5 points, which was seventh among Central Section schools.

Sanger High’s boys and girls had a scheduled County Metro Athletic Conference dual match with Garza High on Jan. 24, and are then hosting Selma High in the Senior Night Black-Out at Sanger High South Gym. First matches are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with varsity competition beginning around 7 p.m.

Reedley boys 34th at CIT with two medalists

At Morro Bay Reedley High’s boys finished 34th out of 91 teams at the Jan. 19-20 California Invitational Tournament and had two medal winners in seniors David Arroyo (fifth place at 138 pounds) and Demetrius Vargas (sixth at 150 pounds). 

Arroyo (24-8) won six of eight matches with two pins and took fifth by injury default over Matthew Luna of St. Francis. Vargas (5-3) saw his first action of the season and collected a pair of pins and five wins before forfeiting by injury default to Christopher Alvarez of Camarillo in the fifth place match.

The Pirates host fellow Kings Canyon Unified high school Orange Cove High in the annual Manning Melee at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28 to wrap up regular season dual action. Two days earlier, Reedley hosted Kerman High on Senior Night at Reedley High gym.

Jon Earnest
Reporter