Viking: Tara

Tara Fry takes aim at the goal for Kingsburg. 

Josh Butters/Special to the Enterprise Recorder

KINGSBURG — Hanging from light poles around the Kingsburg High swimming pool are Central Section championship banners for the school's boys and girls swim teams.

But no banners for water polo. 

The Kingsburg girls water polo team is hoping to change that in short order.

The Vikings, the top seed in the Central Section Div. III playoffs, took the first steps in a possible title run with a 19-1 blowout win over Hoover in Saturday's Section quarterfinals.

Second-year Kingsburg coach Emily Dewey said she was curious if the program has ever won a section title. She asked the administration, but received no definitive answer.

Still, it's something she believes the team can do after falling in the semifinals last year.

“I hope that happens,” Dewey said. “Last year, we won a playoff game as a seven seed, so we know anything can happen.”

The Vikings did not overlook their first playoff competition after cruising to the Central Sequoia League title.

Kingsburg (18-4) led the eighth-seeded Patriots 7-0 after the first quarter and was never threatened. Nine players scored for Kingsburg.

Hoover's only goal came with 1:40 left in the second quarter with the Patriots having a man-up opportunity.

But Kingsburg answered just under a minute later to push the lead to 9-1 at the half.

With Dewey giving younger players a chance to play in later stages of the game, the Vikings still outscored Hoover 10-0 in the second half.

Dewey said the lopsided score gave the team opportunity to work on things for a potential long, post-season run.

“They really did a good job of implementing some of our drives we've been working on,” Dewey said. “It wasn't just one girl that stood out. Everybody did their part.”

Sofia Righetti led the Vikings with four goals and two steals. Tara Fry had three goals, two assists and two steals. Mikayla Vierra, Bridgette Garcia, Jillian Gipson, Shay Hanson and Jessica Burch-Konda each scored twice. Megan Buendia and Bianca Valenzuela both tallied once. Burch-Konda and Garcia also had three assists apiece.

Kingsburg had to wait until late Monday to find out if it would face either No. 5 Mission Oak or No. 4 Lemoore in the semifinals. Kingsburg defeated both teams earlier in the season 14-1 and 11-2, respectively. 

In the other semifinal, No. 2 Sierra Pacific hosted No. 3 Yosemite. Earlier in the year, Kingsburg topped Sierra Pacific 12-2 and lost a one-goal game to the Badgers.

The semifinals were late Tuesday. The Div. III championship is Saturday at the pool of the higher seed. 

John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or jmurphy@hanfordsentinel.com.

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