SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – In one of the major tournaments of his college career, Cal State Bakersfield freshman Mark Cardwell brought home a California Collegiate Open title at 197-pounds.

Cardwell won four matches in the tournament, taking out Simpson’s College Jacob Gonsalves by a fall in the semifinals and blanking out Cal Baptist athlete Arick Lopez 6-0 in the finals.

Cardwell earned takedowns in the first and second period of the finals and earn riding time to win 6-0. In the four matches Cardwell competed, he recorded two falls and a major decision to outscore the competition 26-0.

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Six Marauders, two Panthers ranked in the state

Wednesday's annual East Yosemite League rivalry dual between Porterville and Monache High School boys wrestling will feature eight state-ranked wrestlers.

The Central Section's 12th ranked Panthers have the highest ranked wrestlers with Tyler Avila ranked fifth in the state in the 182-pound weight class and Brian “Bizkit” Benevidez (120) at 17th. In section rankings: Avila is second, Benevidez sixth and Hector Nava Jr. (170) a honorable mention.

All three wrestlers won their matches in the team's 41-30 loss to Mission Oak last Wednesday on the road. Wrestling 184, Nava Jr. won in a 9-5 decision while Benevidez won by pin in 3 minutes, 35 seconds at 128 pounds. Avila won by forfeit.

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“We got heart.”

Monache High School's Jalen Ballejos said it best following the Marauders 44-43 victory over crosstown rival, Porterville, Friday evening.

It was the first victory for Monache (12-10, 4-1 EYL) on the orange and green's home court since 2017, and it lived up to every ounce of what these rivalry games have become.

Ballejos was the late hero of the game after being fouled and sinking one of two free throws in the last 12 seconds of the game to pad the team's lead.

“It felt like everything,” Ballejos said. “My teammates believed in me to take the shot. I caught it in rhythm and I shot it. But I wish I would've made that last free throw.”

Ballejos free throw ended a nearly four-minute, 7-0 scoring run by the Panthers (14-9, 4-1 EYL) that saw Porterville claw their way back into the game after trailing by 10 early in the fourth.

Granite Hills tops Lindsay 40-25 in ESL dual

An edge in number of wrestlers and one more pin than Lindsay helped give Granite Hills High School boys wrestling the 40-25 victory in Thursday's East Sequoia League dual at home.

The reigning ESL champion Grizzlies (3-2 ESL) won three of the six matches wrestled, picked up two pins and also had four wins by forfeit to the Cardinals' two to secure the win.

Granite's final two matches were won by pin with Brandon Pulido needing just 41 seconds to take down his opponent in the 195-pound match. Alex Torres (220) followed his teammate up with a 3-minute pin.

“I was proud of the way the guys battled tonight,” GHHS head coach Marty Kouyoumtjian said. “I really liked the way Alex Torres went after it, got the pin.”

Brianna Rodriguez scored a hat trick in Granite Hills High School girls soccer's 6-1 win over Corcoran in Wednesday's East Sequoia League game at home.

Along with Rodriguez's three goals, Yadira Hernandez had one goal and three assist, Kacey Hernandez had one goal and one assist, Celeste Ramos had one goal and one assist, and Tanya Gorgonio had one assist.

In the Grizzlies last four games, Rodriguez has scored nine goals and had back-to-back hat tricks.

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PC picks up first CVC win, host COS Saturday

Porterville College women's basketball ended a 12-game losing streak with a 72-55 win over Taft for their first victory in conference play.

Hosting the Cougars (2-18, 0-5 CVC) in Wednesday's Central Valley Conference game, the Pirates (3-17, 1-3 CVC) played tough and forced turnovers while also making their shots from just about anywhere on the court.

“I thought the girls did well scoring across the board,” PC head coach Jeremy Parker said. “We've been dying to score the ball. We've been struggling. We lost a couple of our top scorers for whatever reason. But for the most part, these girls have ability but it's really about believing in themselves as much as I believe in them. And I think they seen that today and the ball started going in the hoop a little bit more.”

Lindsay High School boys soccer took sole possession of first place in the East Sequoia League with a 4-2 win over Woodlake in Wednesday's game at home.

Against Woodlake, Emiliano Corona scored two goals while Adan Ibarra and Daniel Perez had one apiece.

The Cardinals have won eight-straight league titles and are 5-1-1 in league. Their next game is Friday at Sierra Pacific.

Porterville High School girls basketball is on a five-game win streak after beating Division II Centennial of Bakersfield in the MLK Showcase at College of the Sequoias Monday.

Madison Johnson led the Div. III Panthers with 13 points and six steals. Jewelia Maniss had 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Nseije Ortiz had 11 points and five steals. Jazlynne Medrano finished with 12 points.

Porterville is now 20-2 on the overall season and 3-0 in the East Yosemite League. The defending EYL champions host Delano (4-14, 0-3 EYL) tonight and travel to Monache (13-4, 2-1 EYL) Friday.

Goal in last minute gives Porterville 2-1 win

Between the injuries and neither team being able to find the back of the net again, Friday's rivalry game between Porterville and Monache High School boys soccer teams looked to be going into overtime.

But with less than a minute to play, the Panthers' Ricardo Angeles became the team's hero when he scored off a rebound that was off a teammate's blocked shot.

“It was nice to get that win and not have to go into overtime,” PHS head coach Eddie Gutierrez joked. “Because we've got games coming up and we're kinda banged up. It's good we didn't have to play any extra. We haven't been good in overtime this year anyway so I'm glad we didn't go to overtime. Anytime we beat Monache it's good because they always play us tough.”

One goal from Evelyn Caballero in the 13th minute was all Monache High School girls soccer needed to defeat crosstown rival Porterville in Friday's East Yosemite League game at Jacob Rankin Stadium.

Caballero's goal came despite the Panthers (4-8-1, 0-4 EYL) controlling possession and winning balls in the early minutes of the game.

MHS head coach Tino Rodriguez said it was a “very good” win for the team who have played close games with everyone else in league except undefeated, first place Tulare Union (17-3, 5-0 EYL).

Lindsay tops Strathmore 74-68

Issac Munoz flexed his muscles, Mark Sobrepena leapt in the air and all around Lindsay High School boys basketball celebrated taking down rival Strathmore Thursday at home.

The Cardinals (15-7, 4-2 ESL) defended their house with an impressive second-half comeback for a 74-68 East Sequoia League win. With the victory, Lindsay improves to 4-2 and third in league in front of Strathmore (14-6, 3-2).

“We really needed this one today,” LHS head coach Frank Morin said. “Our league’s tough this year. And we knew Strathmore knocked out Sierra Pacific the other day, so we knew we had to get them tonight if we were going to start talking about being in the mix of things because Sierra Pacific and Corcoran are coming up next for us too. So it was a big win tonight.”

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PHS swimmer signs with Fresno Pacific University

A Panther became a Sunbird Thursday morning when Trevor Riley signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his swimming career at Fresno Pacific University next year.

The Porterville High School senior was joined by family and teammate, Tyler Avila, at the school to celebrate the start of a new beginning.

“It’s cool, like I’m really happy that I’m able to go and swim at college,” Riley said.

“It’s gratifying seeing all of his hard work pay off,” said, Trevor’s dad, Mike Riley. “And I’m excited for him in his next adventure, it’s going to be a lot of fun for him. I hope he continues to have fun.”

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Monache tops Mission Oak 60-16 in league opener

Monache High School boys wrestling started off its campaign for another East Yosemite League title strongly with a 60-16 win over Mission Oak Wednesday at home.

Ranked 13th in the Central Section, the back-to-back EYL champions won nine of the 12 matches wrestled with seven Marauders being victorious by pin.

“I think our kids performed very well,” MHS boys head coach Arthur Demerath said. “We have some things to fix like always but overall, as a team, I think they really did well pinning where we could get pins and wrestling hard where we didn't want to give up pins.”

Strathmore High School boys basketball defeated Sierra Pacific 67-55 in Tuesday's East Sequoia League game at home Tuesday.

The Spartans led 29-28 at halftime but scored 27 points in the third to build up their lead.

Owen Patterson led the team with 26 points and 15 rebounds. William Reece had 11 points in the second half and finished with 15 total. Jaylen Oats chipped in seven while Robert Bojorquez and Manuel Andrade had six points each.

Porterville bests Western 64-53, now 2-0 in EYL

If Porterville High School boys basketball team was nervous to start Tuesday’s East Yosemite League game against Tulare Western, all nerves were surely gone by the second quarter.

The flip switched for the Panthers (11-8, 2-0 EYL) in the second but it wasn’t until late in the second quarter when Dane Odsather pulled up and knocked down a 3-pointer to give Porterville a 22-18 lead. It was momentum change and it got not only the team, but the crowd completely into the game.

Odsather had 15 points in the Panthers’ 64-53 win but it was teammate Nash Wobrock, who led the team with a game-high 24 points by finding his way to the basket and finishing shots.

Three different players scored in Lindsay High School girls soccer’s 4-0 defeat of Strathmore in an East Sequoia League game on the road Tuesday.

Bella Duran scored two goals for the Cardinals while Lesly Villanueva and Jasmine Torres each had one goal.

Granite Hills High School’s Shane Christie competed at the 59th annual Redwood Invitational hosted by Redwood High School in Visalia on Saturday, Jan. 11. 

Division III Porterville High School girls basketball took down  Div. I Edison 48-37 Saturday in the Central Valley Showdown hosted by Sierra Pacific High School. 

Win one, lose one is once again the case for Porterville College men’s basketball team after the Pirates lost Saturday’s Central Valley Conference game 90-72 to the visiting Claim Jumpers of Columbia.

Jazmine Soto passes 2,000-point milestone in Spartans win 

Another year, another record broken for Jazmine Soto.

Congratulations are once again in order for the Strathmore High School junior who broke the 2,000-point milestone with a 37-point performance in the Spartans’ 66-31 win over Farmersville (4-7,0-2 ESL) Friday.

Entering the home game with 1,987 points, Soto surpassed 2,000 points, scoring on a layup to give her 2,001 points with 8.5 seconds left in the quarter. The game was stopped and then Soto took center court by herself before being honored by Strathmore coach Richard Miranda and then greeted by her parents, Tony and Allison.

Prior to the game, Soto talked about her season and her scoring records on Thursday. She admitted it was a nice feat to accomplish but had other things on her mind to accomplish with the Spartans (17-2, 3-0 ESL).

Ruiz nets hat trick for Granite Hills

It took Granite Hills High School boys soccer less than a minute to get on the board against reigning, eight-time East Sequoia League champion Lindsay Wednesday at Jacob Rankin Stadium.

Salud Magana put the Grizzlies (12-2-1, 2-1-1 ESL) on the board first but it was sophomore Daniel Ruiz's three-goal finish that gave Granite a 4-4 tie in double overtime for their best finish against the Cardinals (7-4-3, 2-1-1 ESL) since a win during the 2012-13 season.

Porterville College women's basketball lost their 10th-straight game Wednesday in a 100-31 loss to Merced in the Central Valley Conference season-opener at home.

Trinity Ramirez led the team with nine points.

Merced (12-5, 1-0 CVC) is currently ranked No. 10 in the state and No. 4 in the Northern California Region.

The Lady Pirates (2-15, 0-1 CVC) are back to action next Wednesday, Jan. 15, when they travel to West Hills-Lemoore (4-12) for a 5 p.m. game.

Duran, Magana combine for seven in Lindsay's 9-0 win

Ten is a nice round number but nine was enough for Lindsay in the Cardinals' 9-0 East Sequoia League win over Corcoran Monday evening.

It took Lindsay 15 minutes to score but that doesn't mean the Cardinals (5-6-3, 2-1 ESL) weren't in control of the game from the start, giving up just six shots to the Panthers throughout the entire game.

Pushed up to forward, senior Jimena Magana scored a hat trick in less than 30 minutes of the second half than tacked on one final goal in the last seven minutes of the game to finish with a team-high four goals.

Win gives SHS first league win over GHHS ever

Since Granite Hills High School boys basketball joined the East Sequoia League back during the 2012-13 season, they'd always got the better of Strathmore in league. That all changed Friday when the Spartans came to town and topped the Grizzlies 58-50.

Owen Patterson led the team with 20 points while William Reece had 13. Trace Pugh also contributed valuable minutes and had eight points in the fourth.

Strathmore (12-4, 1-0 ESL) trailed 10-6 after the first quarter but outscored Granite 16-11 in the second to take a slim 22-21 lead at the half.

First Ever: Porterville senior’s individual Valley title led team to first Valley championship

Jorge Sanchez has a story for everything.

There's never just a simple “yes” or “no” answer. For you to truly get what he's saying, he wants you to know the whole background of it all.

The only time Sanchez ever seems to be at a loss of words is when he attempts to explain what it means to him to be a Valley champion.

Sanchez became Porterville High School’s first-ever male Central Section individual cross country champion this season when he led his team to a Division IV Valley title — the first team title in the boys’ programs history. His efforts earned him The Recorder's 2019 Orange Belt Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year selection.

Strathmore girls soccer tops Granite Hills 4-2

Two, early first half goals helped Strathmore High School girls soccer to a 4-2 win over Granite Hills in Thursday's East Sequoia League game at Spartan Stadium.

The Spartans (5-4, 1-0 ESL) scored in the first 10 minutes of the game but the Grizzlies' Celeste Ramos went one-on-one with Strathmore's goalkeeper and scored to make it a one-goal game with 31 minutes to play. However, the Spartans made it a two-goal game again in the final 13 minutes of the half.

Playing in a very physical match, Granite (6-7-1, 1-0 ESL) was able to control possession early and Yadira Hernandez chipped a goal in the seventh minute of the half when the Spartans' goalkeeper couldn't secure the ball after another Grizzly took a shot.

Here’s some sports moments from around the area this decade

More in the tank: Monache senior ran third-best course record for PR at state

Waving off help from medical personnel, the Monache High School senior made her way around the crowded finish line to grab a cup of water and wait for the rest of her team to finish.

Of course she needed a second to catch her breath, but who wouldn’t after dropping nearly 40 seconds to run a personal best time for the third-best course time in Marauders’ girls cross country history.

The 2019 Orange Belt Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year was outstanding in running her way to an 18 minute, 51.3 second-finish for 59th out of 184 in the Division I girls championship race.

Captain Claire: Monache senior was a remarkable scorer who led her team to Valley

In the pool, Claire Schrein is captivating.

As proven over her four years playing for Monache High School’s varsity girls water polo team, from the cage to the field — Schrein could do it all.

This season she led the Marauders (22-6, 6-2 EYL) back to the Valley championships while scoring over 150 goals. An All-East Yosemite League first-team selection, Schrein is also The Recorder’s 2019 Orange Belt Girls Water Polo Player of the Year.

There’s no missing Schrein in the water. The senior captain barely cracked a smile during games but she constantly demanded the full attention of all her opponents.

Granite Hills High School boys soccer lost their East Sequoia League home-opener 2-0 to Corcoran Monday.

The Grizzlies (10-2, 0-1 ESL) were down seven starters and were unable to maintain possession of the ball for most of the game.

“There would be a big, big difference if we had those players here,” GHHS head coach Pedro Gonzalez said. “But … we don't play good. The team I have, they don't step it up and they don't play the way I tell them to play so, you know. (Corcoran), give them credit, they don't stop. They're running the whole game, they beat us every single ball. But they deserve it.”

Corcoran (7-5, 1-0 ESL) scored both goals in the second half of the game with one in the 24th minute and the final minute of the game. The Panthers possibly could've had more goals but GHHS goalkeeper Oscar Cruz made two big saves in the 37th minute.

Granite had a chance to score in the 11th minute but Daniel Ruiz's free kick went off the goal post.

“I don't have excuse,” Gonzalez said. “(We're) the whole crew so there's no excuse.”

Coach Gonzalez said the team will likely be down the same seven starters when they host Strathmore (3-6) on Thursday and possibly Lindsay (5-4-2, 0-1 ESL) on Jan. 8.

Stepping up: Porterville senior led in more ways than just scoring

For some, the idea of leading a team takes awhile to sync in.

They need a push, a captain’s title or a big moment to step up. Not Levi Davis.

As Porterville High School’s water polo season came to a close last year, Davis put in his mind that he would step up for his team and went to work about it right away. For his efforts, he’s earned The Recorder’s 2019 Orange Belt Boys Water Polo Player of the Year.

“He was part of a team of seniors that I was kind of counting on to lead the team this year in a positive way,” PHS head coach Mickey Goularte said. “Just because some of the changes, we really needed that. And Levi stepped up more than anybody into that role. He was just clearly the leader of the team and pulled things together for us. Led by example, which is tough for a lot of kids to do. “

Owen Patterson put up a double-double to lead Strathmore High School boys basketball to a tournament championship Saturday at Laton High School.

The Spartans (11-4) beat Corcoran 77-66 with Patterson's 29 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks leading the team.

Strathmore led 40-26 at the half but SHS head coach Justin St. Clair called the game an “absolute battle.” St. Clair said Corcoran knocked down 12 3-pointers and were big inside.

Can't keep her down: Monache senior led team in blocks, kills and to two EYL titles

On the back of Tia Jules' letterman jacket, it reads, “The comeback is always greater than the setback.” And when it comes to her, nothing rings truer.

After two major surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy, the Monache High School senior produced undoubtedly the best season of her three-year varsity career.

Her unwillingness to give in to any setback and always compete at the highest level exemplifies why she is The Recorder’s 2019 Orange Belt Volleyball Player of the Year.

Leading just 33-30 with 30 seconds to play, Nash Wobrock went 4-for-4 from the free throw line to give Porterville High School boys basketball a 37-30 win over Monache Friday in the 69th annual Polly Wilhelmsen Invitational basketball tournament at Redwood High School.

After being down 17-15 to start the second half, the Panthers (7-8) outscored the Marauders 14-0 in the third quarter but were outscored 13-8 in the fourth.

“Give Monache credit, they didn't give up. They fought all the way back and still had an opportunity at the end,” PHS head coach Lance Wallace said.

Top of the ladder: Monache's Sotelo went up against area's best and qualified for Area

Being the No. 1 for Monache High School’s girls tennis program is a lot for any Marauder to undertake, however senior Abigail Sotelo rose to the occasion.

Shouldering the load of the team’s top spot in this season’s highly competitive East Yosemite League, Sotelo was one of just four local players to advance to the Central Section Central Area Championship tournament in singles, and the only one to win a match.

Finishing with a 13-8 singles record, she is The Recorder’s 2019 Orange Belt Girls Tennis Player of the Year.

Taking over the No. 1 spot from three-time EYL singles champion and two-time Orange Belt POY, Maddie Giannetto, Sotelo said she felt pressure especially in her first match.

Challenge accepted: The Lindsay junior shot the lowest round of nine and season average in the area

Volleyball was her sport, not golf.

Golf was something Natalie Felix played with her dad ever since she was little but volleyball was where she invested extra time in by playing on a traveling team.

Now after three years as Lindsay High School’s No. 1 golfer, shooting the lowest round of nine in the area and advancing to Area; Felix embracing golf has made her The Recorder’s 2019 Orange Belt Girls Golfer of the Year.

On the golf course, Felix can be herself and relax.

I’m myself,” she said. “I feel relaxed because no one else is competing against me and I’m just competing against myself. So I feel relaxed and I’m usually with my dad. He encourages me a lot to do good when I’m on the course.”

But that calm wasn't always there, and Felix initially switched to golf in high school as a challenge. Getting exactly what she was looking for, Felix was named the No. 1 her rookie season.

Six girls, five boys from area make All-EYL teams

Senior Johanna Scheer of Porterville High School was named the All-East Yosemite League’s Most Valuable Player for girls water polo. Six other players from Porterville and Monache were selected to the All-EYL first and second teams. 

From the Panthers (14-13, 5-3 EYL), senior Alyssa Bodoh was a first team selection while junior Karlie Patch and sophomore Claire Lee were second team selections. The team’s honorable mentions were senior Emily Herrera and sophomore Ahna Davis.

Porterville’s season came to an end in the opening round of the Div. I playoffs when the 11th-seeded team lost 14-5 to sixth-seed Clovis North.

Monache (22-6, 6-2 EYL)

Porterville beats Strathmore, advance to tourney championship

Three different players for Porterville High School girls basketball finished in double digits for the Panthers’ 52-41 win over Strahmore in a semifinal game of the Dinuba-Orosi Holiday Classic.

Playing Friday at Dinuba High School, the Panthers’ Jazlynne Medrano led all scorers with 15 points while Madison Johnson totaled 14 and Jewelia Maniss had 13.

Coming into the fourth with a 41-32 lead, Porterville (11-1) was able to maintain a 10-point lead with their versatile players.

Lindsay drops third-straight game, loses 2-1 to Lemoore

Every year the expectations are high for Lindsay High School boys soccer.

The Cardinals enter this season on an eight-year run as the East Sequoia League champions and are pushing for another chance at the Central Section Division IV championship.

So when the team lost their third-straight game Thursday — this time in a 2-1 loss to Div. III Lemoore (8-4-1) at home after being shutout 4-0 by Div. III Mission Oak (5-4-3) Tuesday — there was some head scratching. But LHS head coach Tony Godoy said there is no reason to panic.

“If (it was) two terrible games back-to-back, where we're shutout or not creating chances in the front, now it's time to panic. Now maybe we set the bar a little lower. But I thought we played really well. A lot better than Tuesday,” Godoy said.

Eight make All-ESL water polo teams

Lindsay High School's Alexis Leon was selected the All-East Sequoia League's Most Valuable Player.

Also from the Cardinals, Berenise Rangel was a first-team selection while Isabel Rico was selected to the second team.

There were no selections listed for Strathmore and Granite Hills.

MERCED, Calif. - University of California, Merced men's soccer players Marcos Ceballos, Marco Sobrevilla and Agustin Guerrero were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Team.

This marks the program's third straight year with three All-West Region selections, good for the longest active streak in the NAIA.

All three players also earned All-California Pacific Conference First Team honors prior to the Bobcats run to the NAIA National Championship Final Site.

Ceballos, the California Pacific Conference Player of the Year and a NAIA honorable mention All-American, led the Bobcats with 16 goals (one shy of a program-high) and 1.77 shots on goal per game. Ceballos also had three assists and is one of just two underclassmen on the West Coast to tally at least 35 points this year.

Porterville College interim Dean of Instruction Joe Cascio has announced the hiring of former Moorpark College men’s basketball head coach Gerred Link as PC’s new interim athletic director. Link replaces Cascio who formerly held the position.

Morgan Hunter scores 21 to lead Monache

Driving to the basket, drawing the foul and knocking down her free throws Tuesday evening was Morgan Hunter in Monache High School's 64-34 win at home over the Sunnyside Wildcats.

The freshman center scored a game-high 21 points and went 5-of-5 from the free throw line to lead the Central Section Division II Marauders (9-2).

Div. III Sunnyside's Briajanae Wheeler led her team with 19 points and played a major role in the Wildcats (5-6) leading 16-14 after the first quarter but Hunter had nine of the team's 18 points in the second quarter to give the Marauders a 32-23 lead at the half.

Total of 22 other locals on All-ESL first, second team

Three of the top four spots for the All-East Sequoia League teams were earned by members of the Lindsay High School football program this season. 

Senior running back, Daniel Trujillo, was named the All-ESL Offensive MVP. Senior wide receiver and cornerback, Mario Diaz, was selected the Specialty Player of the Year. Cardinals’ head coach, Matt Mendonca, was voted Coach of the Year.

Receiving the only other major award was Strathmore senior defensive back, Andre Bravo, who was selected Defensive MVP. A total of 22 other local players from Lindsay, Strathmore and Granite Hills also received All-ESL honors.

Porterville High School girls wrestling enters Christmas break with a fifth-place finish at the Coyote Classic hosted by East Bakersfield High School. 

VISALIA — If the Strathmore High School girls basketball team can continue to run its full court press as effectively as it did in a 40-point blowout of Tulare Union Saturday, its undefeated streak is sure to continue.

Monache High School girls soccer had a successful weekend at the McLane Tournament over the weekend.