PREP ROUNDUP: Regular season winds down for basketball, soccer

Central Section playoff brackets in both sports to be announced on Feb. 10, postseason begins on Feb. 13, 14

Reedley High soccer players gather for a pregame huddle prior to their 1-1 tie with Kerman on Jan. 31. The PIrates close out the regular season with two Tri-County Conference matches this week. (Danny Jimenez)
Reedley High soccer players gather for a pregame huddle prior to their 1-1 tie with Kerman on Jan. 31. The PIrates close out the regular season with two Tri-County Conference matches this week. (Danny Jimenez)
Jon Earnest
Published February 6, 2024  • 
11:00 am

CENTRAL VALLEY – Mark your calendars for the Central Section basketball playoffs, because the seedings are ready to be planted and first-round games are ready to spring into action.

The Central Section basketball playoff seedings take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, which is also when brackets will be released. The section boys playoffs begin with first round matchups on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in all six divisions, with the girls starting first round play on Wednesday, Feb. 14. All games will have 6 p.m. starts unless announced otherwise.

Boys quarterfinal round matchups are on Thursday, Feb. 15, with semifinals set for Tuesday, Feb. 20. Girls quarterfinals are Friday, Feb. 16. followed by semi finals on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Games will be played at the higher seeded schools.

The Section finals will take place on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19-20, at Selland Arena in Fresno. Friday’s games are D-VI girls at 10 a.m., D-VI boys at noon, D-IV girls at 2 p.m., D-IV boys at 4 p.m.; D-II girls at 6 p.m. and D-II boys at 8 p.m. Saturday’s schedule are D-V girls and boys (10 a.m, noon), D-III girls and boys (2 and 4 p.m.) and D-I girls and boys (6 and 8 p.m.).

Sanger teams drop CMAC battles to SJM, Edison

Sanger High’s County Metro Athletic Conference losing streak stretched to three games with losses last week at San Joaquin Memorial (81-62 on Jan. 30) and home against Edison (72-65 on Feb. 2). The Apaches (14-11, 3-5) shot just 20% from 3-point range against Memorial and fell behind by 26 points at halftime.

Senior Marquis Cropper scored 18 points and added six steals and nine rebounds to pace Sanger against SJM. Micah Cole added 12 points while Kevin Chambers had six assists and later in the week established a school single season record for assists. Against Edison, Cole had 23 points and 12 rebounds while Caleb Ramirez had 19 points.

Sanger High’s girls also lost to SJ Memorial (88-37 on Jan. 31) and Edison (57-50 on Feb. 2). Against Edison, Krista Sheaffer scored 31 points and pulled down 17 rebounds to set the single season school girls record of 332 (12.1 per game). Her career school record points total now stands at 2,137.

Senior Night home finales are Feb. 6 for the boys against Justin Garza High School, and Friday, Feb. 9 against Madera for the girls. Start times are at 6:30 p.m.

Orosi boys rally past Orange Cove, second in ESL

Led by a pair of 30-plus point performances from senior forward Bryant Gomez, the Orosi High boys solidified their hold on second place in the East Sequoia League Redwood Division standings. The Cardinals (13-10, 4-2) rallied from behind to pull out a 68-63 overtime win at Orange Cove on Jan. 29 before drubbing Farmersville, 88-16, on Jan. 31.

Gomez buried 10 3-point baskets, seven in the opening quarter, and made key scores in the overtime to finish 10 of 20 from long distance and 11 of 23 for a game-high 34 points. Ramiro Garcia and Cristtian Montejano each pulled down 16 rebounds, with Garcia adding 12 points. Gomez had 32 points (including seven 3-pointers) against Farmersville.

Orosi hosts first place Wonderful College Prep Academy on Feb. 6.

Pirates girls close in on division title

Despite a lopsided cross-division loss at Sierra Pacific last week, the Reedley High Pirates girls entered the week on the verge of clinching the outright Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division crown. Reedley (16-10, 6-0) hosts second place Selma on Feb. 7 with the chance to clinch the outright crown.

The Pirates shook off an early seven-point deficit on Jan. 31, outsourcing Central Valley Christian 55-26 over the final three quarters to cruise to a 62-40 rout. After trailing by just five after one quarter in Hanford on Feb. 2, Reedley was outscored by 29 the rest of the way and lost 78-44 at Sierra Pacific.

The Reedley boys (11-15, 1-4 TCC-Sequoia) lost 78-46 at home to Sierra Pacific on Jan. 30 in their only game of the week. Ethan Canales scored 13 points while Zeek Curiel and Aiden McGregor added 10 points apiece for the Pirates, who host CV Christian on Feb. 6 on Senior Night and then close the regular season Thursday, Feb. 8, at Exeter High in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

Dinuba girls still in WYL contention

Dinuba High’s girls entered the final week of West Yosemite League play with a chance at grabbing a piece of the league title. The Emperors (15-10, 6-2) trailed co-leaders Hanford and Mission Oak by one game entering this week’s games, and are hosting  the Hawks on Friday, Feb. 9 in a 7:15 p.m. start. If Mission Oak defeats Hanford on Feb. 7, the possibility of a three-way tie exists.

Last week, Dinuba swept Tulare Western (42-36 on Jan. 30) and Lemoore (67-41 on Feb. 1), and has won three of its last five games.

SOCCER

Boys playoff matchups open the postseason on Feb. 13

Like basketball, the Central Section soccer playoffs have the same postseason games schedule. First three rounds of girls games are Feb. 13, 15 and 20, while the boys playoff rounds are on Feb. 14, 15 and 21. Section finals will be played on Feb. 23-24 depending on matchups, with higher seeded teams hosting the contests.

All games start at 6 p.m at fields with lights; 3:30 p.m. at fields without lights. Brackets will be determined on Saturday, Feb. 10. State regional playoffs dates are Feb. 27 and 29 and March 2.

Reedley boys remain unbeaten in TCC play

Reedley High’s boys remained unbeaten in Tri-County Conference play last week, tying visiting Kerman 1-1 on Jan. 30 and then winning 3-0 at Washington Union on Feb. 2. Junior Jair Sosa had the lone goal against the Lions while Esteban Baca, Alessandro Lopez and Sebastian Contreras had the goals against the Panthers.

The Pirates (15-4-3, 5-0-2) close the regular season at home against Sierra Pacific in a 6 p.m. start Thursday, Feb. 8. The Reedley High girls (9-7-8, 2-2-2) had a tie and loss on the road last week, and close the regular season out at home Feb. 7 against Immanuel.

SPRING SPORTS

Reedley baseball hosts Dinuba on Feb.9

Reedley and Dinuba High open the baseball season on Friday, Feb. 9, when the Pirates host the Emperors in a 3:30 p.m. non-league game at RHS stadium. Sanger High and Immanuel High have baseball openers scheduled for Tuesday Feb. 13, with the Apaches home against Sunnyside high in a 3:30 p.m. start and the Eagles hosting Firebaugh at 5:30 p.m.

Jon Earnest
Reporter