Sanger girls avenge playoff loss to Buchanan

CMAC champion Apaches short-hand most of second half but still blank Bears in Division 1 first round; Reedley prevails in shootout to advance in D-IV

Sanger High’s Royce Kilby (18) battles for possession against Buchanan High defenders Gianna Delacruz (5, left) and Bria Maumoynier (13) during the second half of the Apaches’ 2-0 victory over the Bears in a Division I soccer first round matchup at Tom Flores Hall of Fame Stadium on Feb. 13. Kilby finished with an assist, and Sanger received two first half goals from freshman forward Kaylynn Foltz to advance to the quarterfinals on Thursday, Feb. 15. (Jon Earnest)
Jon Earnest
Published February 14, 2024  • 
11:00 am

SANGER – An early offensive eruption and clutch defensive play during a shorthanded second half provided postseason payback for the Sanger High girls soccer team on Tuesday night against the Buchanan Bears.

Freshman forward Kaylynn Foltz scored twice in the first half. Junior goalkeeper Corynn Bravo and the defense made the lead stand up during a shorthanded final 30 minutes as the No. 5 seed Apaches (18-3-2) blanked the No. 12 Bears (10-7-4) by a 2-0 score at Tom Flores Hall of Fame Stadium in a Central Section Division I first round matchup.

The triumph avenged a 4-2 loss to Buchanan in the last year’s D-I playoffs, and advanced the County Metro Athletic Conference champion Apaches to a Thursday, Feb. 16 quarter finals showdown at No. 4 San Luis Obispo. The Tigers (14-2-4) had a first round bye.

“I thought we played very well the first 20-25 minutes, we didn’t let them out of their own half,” SHS coach Jesus Camarena said. “And if I’m being completely honest, that’s what put the game away early. If we don’t score those two goals, those last 25 minutes we’re in trouble.”

That’s because the Apaches had to play shorthanded the rest of the match after receiving a red card in the 50th minute. But the defense, led by busy junior goalkeeper Corynn Bravo, made the lead stand up despite numerous Buchanan offensive pushes.

“That’s what a playoff atmosphere is about, we battled and dug deep and did what it took to get to the next round,” Camarena said.

Sanger is bracketed on the same side at top seed Liberty-Bakersfield (20-1-2), which will host No. 9 Redwood on Feb. 15. The Rangers (19-3-3) knocked off No. 8 seed Centennial-Bakersfield 3-1.

In other first round playoff scores on Tuesday:

Reedley 3, Pioneer Valley 2 (SO)

At Reedley Soccer Complex, the No. 7 seed Pirates (12-7-8) couldn’t hold a two-goal first half lead but prevailed in a shootout by a 3-2 score after two overtime periods to advance past the No. 10 Panthers (7-7-4) in a Division IV first round matchup.

Sophomores Sienna Ramos and Iliana Perez scored in the half, but Reedley couldn’t find the back of the net the remaining 40 minutes of regulation and two overtime sessions. In the shootout, sophomore forward Real Morales scored to put the Pirates ahead 3-2 before Pioneer Valley misfired on a potential tying attempt.

Reedley next plays at unbeaten second-seeded Bishop Union (15-0) at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 in a quarterfinal matchup. The Broncos edged No. 15 seed Tehachapi 2-1 on Feb. 13.

Kerman 3, Dinuba 1

At Kerman, the No. 14 seed Emperors (12-9-6) were eliminated from the Division III playoffs as the third-seeded Lions (13-9-5) got two goals from sophomore Briseyda Tovar and a score from sophomore Baylee Melgoza. After leading 1-0 at halftime, the hosts scored twice in the second half to advance to a quarterfinal matchup against No. 11 Santa Ynez, which knocked off No. 6 El Diamante.

Dinuba finished 1-6-3 in West Yosemite League play after an 11-2-3 preseason start, dropping three matches by one goal and settling for three ties.

Torres 5, Orosi 1

At Madera, the top-seeded Toros (11-12-4) ended the season for the No. 16 seed Cardinals (14-8-5) by scoring five first half goals in the opening round of the Division V playoffs. Orosi captured the East Sequoia League’s Redwood Division championship with a 7-0-1 record, with losses coming to Reedley and Dinuba.


Dinuba High, Orosi, Immanuel and Parlier all have home matches as Central Section boys playoff action begins tonight. The fourth-seeded Emperors (11-11) host No. 13 Farmersville (15-7-4) while the No. 5 Cardinals (17-6-2) is home to No. 12 Granite Hills (14-8-5) in 6 p.m. Division IV matchups.

Sixth-seeded Parlier (15-8-2) hosts No. 11 Sanger West (7-11-9) in a 6:30 p.m. Division V first round matchup at Panthers Stadium while Division VI No. 8 seed Immanuel (11-10-3) is home for a 6 p.m. battle against No. 9 Yosemite (5-9-4) at County Line Stadium.

Reedley and Sanger are seeded No. 2 and No. 3 in Division I, and both have first-round byes. The Pirates and Apaches will host quarterfinal matchups on Friday, Feb. 16.

Jon Earnest