Reedley girls remain unbeaten in TCC basketball

Pirates 5-0 after wins over Exeter and Washington Union; Sanger boys lose late lead in CMAC home loss against Bullard

Reedley High’s Niana Holman drives the baseline past Washington Union’s Makayla Hayes (2) during the second half of the Pirates’ 43-25 victory over the Panthers on Jan. 26 at Reedley High gym. Junior Holman scored a game-high 16 points as Reedley improved to 15-9, 5-0 in Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division play. (Danny Jimenez)
Jon Earnest
Published January 29, 2024  • 
11:00 am

REEDLEY – The Reedley High girls basketball team enters a pivotal three-game road swing this week as it attempts to protect its first place status in the Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division.

The Pirates (15-9 overall) improved to 5-0 against division competition with two wins last week; first at Exeter High (44-32 on Jan. 24) and then against Washington Union (43-25 on Jan. 26). The five wins have surrounded a lopsided cross division loss to powerful Sierra Pacific on Jan. 16.

Reedley now prepares for road games at Central Valley Christian (8-11, 1-3) on Jan. 30 and a second cross division contest at Sierra Pacific (Friday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m.). The road swing is capped by a showdown at second place Selma (13-7, 3-1) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The Pirates carried a six-point lead into the final quarter at Exeter, then closed with a 16-10 run to put away the road victory. Two nights later, team members honored their favorite instructors on Teacher’s Appreciation Night, and backed up their tribute with a closing 17-5 run in the fourth quarter to win going away against Washington Union.

Junior guard Niana Holman sank two of her three 3-pointers in the fourth, senior Raquel Cortez (nine points) added four points and the defense limited the Panthers (5-13, 1-4) to just five points down the stretch. Emily Pallesi scored eight points while Ana Droilette chipped in with six points.

Reedley High’s Jamila Taylor splits a pair of Washington Union defenders during the first half of the Pirates’ 43-25 victory over the Panthers on Jan. 26 at Reedley High gym. Taylor finished with three points as Reedley improved to 15-9, 5-0 in Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division play. (Danny Jimenez)

Sanger girls split, 3-3 in CMAC

The Sanger High girls ran their County Metro Athletic Conference champion win streak to three games last week with a 47-34 win at Madera on Jan. 24, then had the run end with a 75-38 loss at Bullard on Jan. 26. The Apaches (12-13, 3-3) were limited to 25 percent shooting from the field and were burned by 27 steals from the host Knights (16-7, 5-1).

In the win over Madera, senior Krista Sheaffer scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds for her 16th career double-double. She increased her school career scoring mark to 2,055 points and career rebounds to 713 (fifth in school history). Guard Lucia Takeda added 11 points for Sanger.

The Apaches host first place San Joaquin Memorial (13-5, 6-0) on Jan. 31, then play at Edison on Friday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m..

Dinuba girls one game back of WYL leaders

Dinuba High’s girls climbed within a game of West Yosemite League co-leaders Lemoore and Hanford on Jan. 26, avenging a first round loss to the Bullpups by posting a 45-41 win at Dinuba High gym. The Emperors are 13-10 and 4-2, and started the week with a 44-37 loss at co-leader Mission Oak.

Dinuba will get a home rematch with the Hawks (17-8, 5-1) on Friday, Feb. 9. This week, the Emperors travel to Tulare Western (Jan. 30) and host Lemoore (Feb. 1, 7:15 p.m.).

Eagles post two more TCC wins

Immanuel High (17-8 overall) solidified its hold on second place in the Tri-County Conference Kings Canyon Division, improving to 5-1 with wins at Kerman (36-31 on Jan. 24) and home against Kingsburg (61-21 on Jan. 26). A 14-9 run in the third quarter was the difference in the road win, and the Eagles dominated the home rout of the Vikings.

Freshman guard Jenna Goertzen sank five 3-point baskets and scored a game-high 20 points, eight in the final quarter. Nana Moreno had all of her 17 points in the first three quarters.

Immanuel hosts first place Sierra Pacific (13-11, 5-0) on Jan. 31, then plays at Hanford West at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. The Eagles lost 58-35 to Bakersfield Christian in a non-conference matchup at the Mission Oak Showcase in Tulare on Jan. 27.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Sanger falls late against first place Bullard

Sanger High appeared to have a win at hand against first place Bullard on Jan. 26, holding a seven-point lead entering the final quarter. But the Knights (18-7, 6-0) closed with a 21-9 run to pull out a 69-64 win over the Apaches (14-9, 3-3) at Dean Nicholson Gym.

Senior Caleb Ramirez had a game-high 25 points and 15 rebounds for his third career double-double while Micah Cole added 16 points and seven boards. Kevin Chambers and Marquis Cropper each dished off six assists, with Chambers’ season total of 149 moving him within nine of the school record. Nolan Willison had nine points and Cropper eight points.

Sanger racked up 88 points, eighth all-time and tops at Nicholson Gym, in an 88-41 rout of Madera on Jan. 23. Willison (5-12 from 3-points range), Cole and Ramirez all scored 17 points, with Cole and Ramirez hauling down 16 and 15 rebounds, respectively.

The Apaches travel to second place San Joaquin Memorial on Jan. 30 and then host Edison High at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2.

SOCCER

Sanger boys, girls fall from CMAC top spot

Sanger High’s varsity soccer teams both fell from first place positions in the County Metro Athletic Conference after losses on Jan. 26. The Apache boys (11-5-3, 5-2-1) were outscored 3-2 in the second half of a 4-2 home loss to Edison High, while the girls (13-3-2, 5-1) were edged 2-1 at Bullard.

Junior Elieser Reyes scored a hat trick for the visiting Tigers, who completed a CMAC season sweep of the Apaches. Senior Andrea Alvarenga scored the lone goal for the Sanger girls, and also had two goals and an assist in a 4-0 road blanking against San Joaquin Memorial. Royce Kilby and Kaylynn Foltz had the other Sanger goals.

This week, Sanger’s boys host Bullard on Jan. 31 and travel to SJ Memorial on Friday, Feb. 2. The Apache girls have home games against Edison (Jan. 30) and Garza High (Thursday, Feb. 1, 5:30 p.m.).

Jon Earnest
Reporter