PREP ROUNDUP: Sanger High girls swimming captures CMAC crown

Reedley swim teams place second at TCC meet, boys volleyball playoffs start this week as baseball and softball league seasons wind down into postseason

Sanger High’s girls swim and dive team poses with coach Dave Hasegawa after rolling to the County Metro Athletic Conference championship at Bullard High School in Fresno on April 27. The Apaches girls rolled undefeated through conference play and the postseason tournament, while the boys shared a piece of the overall CMAC crown with Bullard and Edison. (Reedley High School)
Sanger High’s girls swim and dive team poses with coach Dave Hasegawa after rolling to the County Metro Athletic Conference championship at Bullard High School in Fresno on April 27. The Apaches girls rolled undefeated through conference play and the postseason tournament, while the boys shared a piece of the overall CMAC crown with Bullard and Edison. (Reedley High School)
Jon Earnest
Published April 30, 2024  • 
1:00 pm

REEDLEY & SANGER – The Sanger High Apaches and Reedley High Pirates provided some championship moments at their respective league meets, with all local swimmers and divers preparing for two Central Section competitions this coming weekend.

Sanger’s girls capped off another undefeated County Metro Athletic Conference season with a dominating performance at the CMAC meet in Fresno on April 25-26. The boys, led by school record backstroke swim from senior Jaxon Hoover, finished third and ultimately shared the overall title with host Bullard and Edison.

Marjorie Krueger led the Sanger girls’ domination by earning high points honors at the meet, and Dave Hasegawa was honored as Coach of the Year. Water polo standout Hoover was the top SHS boys winner, bettering his own CMAC meet record time in the 100 meter backstroke by clocking a time of 52.92 seconds.

The Apaches will be one of 25 schools competing this Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, in the section Division 1 championships at Clovis West High’s Olympic Swim Complex. Diving competition will take place at Clovis West on Wednesday and Thursday, May 1-2.

Reedley High hosted the Tri-County Conference championship meet at RHS Aquatics Complex on April 25-26, and finished second to Kingsburg High in both the boys and girls divisions. The Pirates girls captured three events to score 419 points (second to the Vikings’ 468) while the boys captured one swim race and the diving  competition to score a total of 393 points.

Highlighting the RHS girls performance was the 400 yard freestyle relay win by the team of Kanada Enns, Madison Nava, Sophia Milton and Grace Tademy. The quartet clocked 3 minutes, 48.44 seconds, to better the previous school record (set in 1986) by a second-and-a-half. Also, Tademy captured the 200 individual medley in 2:21.87 while Milton placed first in the 500 free swim with a time of 5:45.83.

For the boys, divers Scott Dutcher and Travis Smither placed first and second in the diving competition with 393.55 and 339.15 points, respectively. In addition, Travis Booth won by more than seven seconds in the boys 500 yard freestyle swim by plating a time of 5:06.87.

Reedley and 34 other schools, including Dinuba and Immanuel high schools, compete at the Central Section Division II Championships at Sierra Pacific High pool in Hanford on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4. Swim competition begins at 1 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, with the diving competition taking place May 1.

BASEBALL

Immanuel splits with Selma, hangs on to TCC top spot

Immanuel High split a pair of Tri-County Conference Sequoia Division games with Selma, maintaining a half-game lead over Exeter in the division title chase. The Eagles (14-7, 5-2) held on to the top spot by pushing across a run in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 home victory over the Bears (12-11, 6-4) on April 26.

Selma had rallied for an 11-10 win over Immanuel in Selma on April 23, scoring six runs in the seventh to force extra innings and then twice in the eighth to pull out the game.. But the Eagles returned the favor three nights later, getting RBI hits from starting pitcher Nic Coleman and John Vanleuwenn and claiming the win after losing a two-run lead in the sixth. Ryan Hoenig picked up the pitching win in relief.

Immanuel and second place Exeter (18-6, 5-3) meet twice this week; at Immanuel Sports Complex’s The Yard on April 30 and in Exeter at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3. The Eagles then close out the regular season next week with three TCC Sequoia games against city rival Reedley High.

Dinuba loses twice to second place Lemoore

Dinuba High lost a pair of West Yosemite League games to second place Lemoore last week, falling to 3-7 in league and 7-16 overall. The Emperors roared back from an 11-0 deficit with five ruins in the fourth and five in the seventh, falling just short in an 11-10 home decision on April 25. Noah Gonzalez went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs.

In the road loss, Dinuba managed just two hits but got a two-run double from Anthony Pompa in the first inning. Matthew Guido had the other hit, and junior pitcher Austin Kelly allowed four earned runs on six hits in five innings of work while striking out five.

The Emperors host last place Tulare Union in a 7 p.m. start on Thursday, May 2.

SOFTBALL

Apaches prep for first place showdown

Sanger High (17-6, 5-1 County Metro) won a pair of conference road games last week to stay hot on the heels of first place Bullard. The Apaches will host the Knights (17-6, 6-0) in a 3:30 p.m. battle Friday, May 3 at SHS varsity field.

Last week, Sanger pulled out a 5-4 11-inning win at Madera and then cruised past host San Joaquin Memorial 12-0 on April 26. Jayden Herrera belted a pair of home runs and drove in four runs while going 4-for-5 while Emma Hernandez also homered in the big win. Hernandez allowed just one hit and struck out six to get the pitching win.

Dinuba trounces Hanford in road rematch

In Hanford on April 25, the Emperors (6-13, 2-3) avenged a tough first round home loss to the Bullpups by pounding out 18 hits and scoring eight runs in the fourth inning en route to an 18-1 rout in five innings.

The win came on the heels of a tough extra inning home loss to Mission Oak on April 23. This week, Dinuba has a home game with last place Tulare Western (April 30) and a 4:30 p.m. road contest at Lemoore High on Thursday, May 2.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Apaches draw top seed in Division I bracket

Sanger High’s unbeaten County Metro Athletic Conference champions drew the top seed in the Central Section Division I playoffs that open on Thursday, May 2. The Apaches (35-7) have won nine of their last 11 matches, and capped off a perfect 8-0 conference record with a three-set sweep of Justin Garza High on April 23.

Sanger opens its section title bid at 6 p.m. May 2 at Nicholson Gym against No. 8 seed Clovis North (22-21), which lost in three sets at Sanger back in February in a season-opening non-league match. The Apaches’ three losses against Central Section opposition have been twice to No. 3 seed Clovis East and once to No. 5 seed Clovis West.

Sanger has home court advantage should it keep winning in all section playoff rounds, including the semifinals on Tuesday, May 7 (against Buchanan-Clovis West winner) and the championship round on Thursday, May 9.

Road matches for Sanger West, Immanuel

Sanger West and Immanuel will travel for their respective Division II and Division III and Division III Central Section volleyball playoff openers on Tuesday, April 30. The North Yosemite League champion Hornets (21-12, 13-1) are seeded ninth and will travel to No. 8 Justin Garza (18-19) in Fresno for a 6 p.m. first round matchup.

The Eagles (15-28, 4-4 TCC) are seeded 11th out of 13 competing teams in Division III, and will travel to No. 6 seed Hoover of Fresno at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The winner gains a quarterfinal date at No. 3 seeded Bakersfield Christian (10-15) on Thursday, May 2.

Semifinal and final rounds for both divisions will be on May 7 and May 9..

Jon Earnest
Reporter