Dinuba boys basketball top seed in D-II

Reedley and Sanger boys soccer seed 2-3 in Division I playoff bracket while WYL champ Dinuba fourth seed in Division IV

Reedley High’s Emily Pallesi drives the baseline against Exeter High’s Brooklyn Cooper (00) during the Pirates’ 51-35 comeback win over the Monarchs on Senior Night at RHS on Feb. 9. Pallesi scored 13 points for Reedley, which opens the Division III section playoffs with a home game on Feb. 14. (Jon Earnest)
Reedley High’s Emily Pallesi drives the baseline against Exeter High’s Brooklyn Cooper (00) during the Pirates’ 51-35 comeback win over the Monarchs on Senior Night at RHS on Feb. 9. Pallesi scored 13 points for Reedley, which opens the Division III section playoffs with a home game on Feb. 14. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published February 12, 2024  • 
11:00 am

REEDLEY – Dinuba High’s boys were the top-seeded team in the Mid Valley Tines region for the upcoming Central Section basketball playoffs.

The Emperors (25-3) wrapped up a perfect 10-0 season in the West Yosemite League last week, collecting wins over Tulare Union (67-38 on Feb. 7) and at Mission Oak (58-54 on Feb. 9). The 13-game win streak enabled coach Jeff Schofield’s squad to land the top spot in the Division II playoff bracket, which was announced on Feb. 10.

Dinuba opens the postseason Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. against No. 16 seed Stockdale (13-15), and a win would advance the Emps to a 6 p.m. home quarterfinal matchup Thursday, Feb. 15 against the winner of No. 8 Garces Memorial (14-14) and No. 9 San Luis Obispo (13-15).

Should the Emperors hold seed, they will host a semifinal on Tuesday, Feb. 20 against the side of the bracket led by No. 4 seed Sunnyside (22-5). The championship finals for Division II will be played at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 at Selland Arena in Fresno. Mission College Prep (9-17) of  San Luis Obispo is seeded second while Hoover (18-10) from Fresno is the third seed.

In Division I, Sanger High (16-11) drew the No. 11 seed in Division I and will travel to Bakersfield to play No. 6 Centennial (23-6) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13. If the Apaches pull off the upset they likely travel to play No. 3 St. Joseph (27-2) of Santa Maria on Thursday, Feb. 15.

Other first-round playoff games on Feb. 13 among region teams are No. 3 Immanuel (15-12) hosting No. 14 Madera (12-17) in Division III; No. 11 Reedley (12-17) at No. 6 Delano (19-10) and No. 8 Sanger West (10-18) hosting No. 9 Santa Maria (16-12) in Division V; and No. 12 Orosi (15-11) at No. 5 Strathmore (16-11) while No. 11 Orange Cove (13-14) visits No. 6 Desert (8-11) of Edwards Air Force Base in Division VI matchups.

The highest-seeded MVT region team for girls is the No. 2 Immanuel High Eagles (20-9), who host No. 15 Golden West (9-20) in a Division IV opener on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Eagles are assured of three home games, and if they win all three they would advance to the section finals at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 in Fresno’s Selland Arena. The top seed in the division is Santa Ynez High (17-6).

Reedley High (18-10) the reigning section D-V champs who swept unbeaten through Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division play, have moved up to the D-III bracket and are seeded No. 7. The Pirates will host  No. 10 Madera (14-14) — they already have defeated the Coyotes in a non-league matchup this season — and then would likely travel to No. 2 seed Morro Bay on Friday, Feb. 16.

Joining Immanuel in the D-IV bracket is Dinuba (15-12), which drew the No. 6 seed and hosts Independence-Bakersfield (12-12) on Feb. 14. Other first round matchups on Feb. 14 pit No. 15 seed Sanger (14-15) at No. 2 seed Mission College Prep (15-8) in D-II; No. 5 Parlier (14-14) hosts No. 12 Desert (16-6) in D-V while No. 7 Orosi (12-16) is home to No. 10 Firebaugh (15-13) in D-VI.

Sanger boys close CMAC play with two wins

Sanger High clinched third place in the County Metro Athletic Conference with two wins last week, defeating Garza 53-49 on Senior Night on Feb. 6 before prevailing 72-68 at Madera on Feb. 9. During the first win, senior point guard Kevin Chambers received special recognition for establishing a single season school assists record.

Sheaffer breaks own single game points mark

Krista Sheaffer’s final regular season game added to her legacy as the Sanger High girls’ career scoring leader. The Apaches’ senior forward-center erupted for 46 points — bettering her own record — hitting 17 of 22 shots from the field including 6-of-7 from 3-point range while adding nine rebounds in a 69-64 win over Madera High on Senior Night on Feb. 9 at Dean Nicholson Gym.

Sheaffer improved her school-record career points mark to 2,210, and this year established single season scoring records in points (904, 31.2 ppg average) and rebounds (346, 11.9 per game). Lucia Takeda added nine points and five rebounds as Sanger clinched third place in the County Metro Athletic Conference.

Pirates girls finish perfect TCC campaign

Reedley High closed out a perfect 8-0 campaign in the Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division, rallying in the second half to defeat Exeter High 51-35 before a large Senior Night crowd at RHS Gym. Before the game, the reigning Division V section champs honored senior players Raquel Cortez, Emily Pallesi, Ana Drolette, Katelynn Medina-Perez and Kamarin Holm.

In an 81-69 win at Selma High on Feb. 7, Cortez fell just short of the school single-game points record by pouring in 35 points. Against Exeter, junior Niana Holman had a game-high 18 points while Cortez added 14 and Pallesi 13 points.

The Pirates won eight of 10 TCC contests, with both losses coming in cross division matchups against Division II power Sierra Pacific.

SOCCER

Pirates, Apaches boys bracket for potential D-I semifinal clash

The Central Section soccer playoff brackets were released on Feb. 9, revealing a potential semifinal showdown between Division I boys powers Reedley and Sanger.

The TCC champion Pirates (17-4-3) were awarded the No. 2 seed while the CMAC co-champion Apaches (15-5-3) are seeded third in the 12-team field. Both gained first round byes and have home games on Friday, Feb. 16; Reedley is hosting the winner of No. 7 San Luis Obispo-No. 10 Central, and Sanger is taking on the winner of No. 6 Ridgeview-No. 11 Clovis West. Matches start at 6 p.m.

A potential semifinal matchup would take place Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Reedley Soccer Complex. The two schools battled in a memorable section championship matchup in 2021 at Sanger High, with the Pirates pulling out a 1-0 victory.

In Division I girls, CMAC champion Sanger (17-3-2) drew the No. 5 seed and hosts No. 12 Buchanan (10-6-4) in a Tuesday, Feb. 13 matchup. A win would advance the Apaches to a quarterfinal road contest at No. 4 San Luis Obispo (14-2-4) on Thursday, Feb. 15. Bakersfield schools Liberty (20-1-2) and Garces Memorial (16-2-1)  are the top two seeds in the division.

Other boys first-round matchups on Feb. 14 have West Yosemite League champion No. 4 seed Dinuba (11-11) hosting No. 13 Farmersville (15-7-4) while No. 5 Orosi (17-6-2) home to No. 12 Granite Hills (14-8-5) in Division IV; No. 4 Parlier (15-8-2) hosts No. 11 Sanger West (7-11-9) in D-V; while No. 8 Immanuel (11-10-3) is home against No. 9 Yosemite in D-VI.

For the girls, No. Reedley (11-7-8) hosts a 5:30 p.m. game against No. 10 Pioneer Valley in Division IV on Feb. 13. Other first round matchups that day pit No. 14 DInuba (12-8-6) at No. 3 Kerman High (12-9-5) in Division III while No. 16 Orosi (14-6-5) travels to top-seeded Torres High (10-12-4) in D-V.

Jon Earnest
Reporter