If you blink while paying attention to the 2013 West Yosemite League boys basketball race, you may miss seeing a team stuck in the middle of the league standings vault to the top of the heap with just one win.
Because that’s what happened Wednesday night.
The Redwood Rangers claimed a share of first place in the WYL with a 70-40 win over the Golden West Trailblazers at Redwood High School.
Redwood (10-7, 3-2) is tied with Hanford West (12-8, 3-2) atop the WYL standings. Mt. Whitney (8-8, 2-2) moved to within a half-game of the Rangers and Huskies by defeating Hanford West 75-63 in Hanford.
El Diamante (8-8, 2-2) could have gained sole possession of first place with a win over Lemoore, but the Tigers (9-8, 2-2) defeated the Miners 64-49.
It’s rare to see a league that has its top six teams separated by just a half-game five games into the league slate.
Redwood 70, Golden West 40: Every player on the Rangers’ active roster scored at least two points, led by Danny Carrillo with 11. Josh Carr added 10 points for Redwood.
Troy Stainbrook had 14 points for Golden West (4-12, 1-3).
Mt. Whitney 75, Hanford West 63: Dannon Frigulti had 22 points and nine rebounds in the Pioneers’ pivotal road win over the Huskies in Hanford.
Ethan Moore scored 21 points for Mt. Whitney.
“Our goal this week is to get back in (the WYL title race),” Mt. Whitney coach Bob Aguilar said. “We had two good says at practice, and our kids played four complete quarters, which has kind of been our nemesis this season.”
Orosi 56, Kings Christian 46: The Cardinals began East Sierra League play with a win over the Crusaders in Orosi.
Ronchel Ortal, who surpassed the 1,000-point career mark in December, had a game-high 28 points for Orosi (8-8, 1-0). Gilbert Avila added 11 points for the Cardinals.
Woodlake 49, Strathmore 30: Armando Martinez scored 10 points and dished out six assists as the Tigers opened East Sequoia League play over the Spartans.
Anthony Lopez led the Tigers with 16 points. Marcelo Silva led the team in rebounds with nine, and Jacob Castillo and Eli Cunningham each added eight. as the Tigers improved to 1-0 in league and 4-10 overall.
Redwood 58, Golden West 17: The Rangers outscored the Trailblazers 37-11 in the second half en route to a WYL win at Golden West.
Corissa Turley had 22 points to pace Redwood (14-3, 4-1). Jasmine Black added 14 points.
Selma 65, Exeter 51: Four of five Bear scorers finished with double-digit points to beat the Monarchs during their Central Sequoia League opener in Exeter.
Erin Pallesi and Juliana Jarquin led Selma (19-1, 1-0) with 19 points each. Kim Alfors netted 11. Amanda Carlson scored 10. Angela Cuevas had the remaining six.
Jacqueline Hutcheson and Katelyn Lopez led Exeter (10-7, 0-1) with 10 points each. The Monarchs made only 5-of-13 free throws in the first half.
Exeter’s next game is at 7 p.m. Friday at Central Valley Christian.
Mt. Whitney 5, Redwood 3 (OT): Eber Ramirez scored four goals to lead the Pioneers past their arch rival Rangers in overtime of a WYL match after a wild end to regulation at Mt. Whitney.
Each team scored a penalty kick during the final six minutes of regulation before needing an extra 20 minutes to decided the important league battle.
Redwood (3-9, 2-4) scored at the 74′ minute mark to take a 3-2 lead before Ramirez re-tied the game at the 77′ minute mark. Both penalties were called for pushes inside the penalty box.
Ramirez gave Mt. Whitney (8-7-1, 4-2) a 4-3 lead six minutes into overtime by chipping his own rebound over the goalie after being denied on a cross from Jesse Castillo. Enrique Quezada also chipped the goalie after a long cross from Ramirez to give the Pioneers an insurance goal in the second half of overtime.
“We showed up and played in overtime,” Mt. Whitney head coach Rodney Aguiar said. “We decided we needed to bring the intensity up.”
Redwood struck first, scoring five minutes into the contest. Ramirez tied the game 15 minutes later on a cross from Armando Espinoza. He then gave the Pioneers their first lead nine minutes after halftime on a corner kick taken by Blake Aguiar. Redwood re-tied the game at the 74′ mark on a free kick before the rivals exchanged late penalty kicks.
Austin Aguiar made three saves for the Pioneers.
Mt. Whitney’s next game is at 6 p.m. Friday at home against Golden West. The Trailblazers are undefeated (6-0) in WYL competition.
Redwood’s next game is at 6 p.m. Friday at Hanford.
El Diamante 4, Golden West 2: Sabrina Solis recorded a hat trick to lead the Miners past the Trailblazers in WYL action.
Solis scored three times within the first 24 minutes of the match to help El Diamante build a 4-0 halftime lead. Liz Angel-Calderon added the fourth goal for El Diamante (6-12-1, 4-2).
Taylor Miller and Kelsey Thomas scored for Golden West with assists from Amanda Hernandez and Macey Hatch.
Redwood 2, Mt. Whitney 1: Alyssa Pratt scored with about 15 minutes remaining in the game and the Rangers outlasted the Pioneers in a West Yosemite League showdown.
Redwood improved to 5-1 in the WYL and is tied with Lemoore for first place through the first half of league play.
Mt. Whitney fell to 4-2 in league.
Kylie McClellan scored in the first half for Redwood.
Goalkeeper Caitlin Owens stayed busy for the Rangers with 10 saves, and Kindal Mendes had an assist.
Exeter 3, Selma 1: Irene Moreno scored two goals as the Monarchs beat Selma during Central Sequoia League action in Exeter.
Moreno gave Exeter (8-7-1, 2-1) and early lead on a goal assisted by Vivian Vasquez 23 minutes into the game. Vasquez scored a penalty kick at the 32′ mark before Moreno sealed the victory with her second goal with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
Exeter’s next game is at 6 p.m. Friday at Central Valley Christian.
JC Men’s Basketball
COS 84, Columbia 61: The Giants began a busy week of home games with a victory.
COS led 36-27 at halftime and went on to defeat the Claim Jumpers in a Central Valley Conference game.
It was the second straight win for the Giants after opening with a loss to rival Fresno City.
“I think the guys are competing more consistently, better than we have been,” COS coach Rusty Smith said. “We’re competing better and our focus has been better. When we do that, we’re very good.”
Bill Borekambi led the team in scoring with 19 points, William Stallworth added 13, Larry McMorris scored 11, and Troy Norris and Will Nelson each had nine points. David Love chipped in with seven points and Cameron Peck had six.
The Giants (2-1, 13-7) will host Porterville College at 7 p.m. Saturday.