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Sports Roundup: Bullpups continue perfect start

FRESNO — The Bullpups continue to roll as they’ve started the season a perfect 5-0 with a convincing 63-33 victory over Bullard on Tuesday.

Alyssa Chapman led the Bullpups with 16 points, seven rebounds and one assist. Sapphire Jones scored 14 points and grabbed five boards, while Tinisha Edwards added eight points, six rebounds and had a team-high seven steals. Michaela Young had seven points, seven rebounds and six steals.

Hanford led early and limited the Knights to four points in the first quarter. The Bullpups had a 31-16 advantage at halftime.

The Bullpups (5-0) face TRAC opponent Buchanan (4-2) on Friday at home at 6 p.m.

Boys Basketball

HANFORD — Lemoore earned its fourth win of the season with a 70-53 blowout victory on Tuesday.

The Tigers (4-1) took down the Huskies (0-2) at home and have gotten off to a good start for a second year in a row. Last season the Tigers began the season 5-1.

Lemoore led 36-26 at halftime as they held Hanford West to 11 points in the first quarter. The Huskies closed the gap to eight entering the fourth quarter, but the Tigers pulled away as they outscored them 21-12 over the final eight minutes.

Lemoore has its next game on Dec. 13 against Nipomo (3-4) in the SLO Boys Basketball Challenge. Hanford West plays again on Friday against Roosevelt (1-1) at home at 7 p.m.

Boys Soccer

HANFORD — Hanford West played to a 1-1 tie on Tuesday against Avenal.

Each team scored a goal in the second half and neither were able to score over the final two overtime periods.

The Huskies are now 0-3-1 on the season and face Riverdale (5-2, 1-0 WSL) on Friday at 9:50 a.m. in the Lindsay Tournament.

Girls Soccer

AVENAL — The Huskies dominated in a 7-0 drubbing over Avenal on Tuesday.

Myrka Madrigal led the Huskies with two goals and other scores coming from Alexis Martinez, Alicia Gonzales, Alyssa Yrigollen, Brooklyn Beigel, Mackenzie Escalera and Perria Edmond.

The Huskies (2-2-1) scored five goals in the first half — their most in a half this season. Martinez, Yrigollen and Escalera all had one assist.

Hanford West will face Dinuba (1-1) in a road game next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

In control: Bullpups start fast, cruise to victory

HANFORD — Coming off a 1-0 loss in their season opener, Hanford, a team not accustomed to losing, came out focused and with a goal on Tuesday: attack.

The Bullpups did just that from the opening touch as fullback Kaylyn Strickland scored in the second minute, midfielder Skyler Martinez added another two minutes later and the Bullpups cruised to a dominating 3-0 victory over Fresno at Douty Field.

“Our last game wasn’t how we wanted it to go, so we needed those two goals to set us back up to where we wanted to be,” Hanford forward Sheyenne Hodge said. “[Last week’s loss] gave us a wake-up call and we took that as motivation to come on the field and do better than we did before.”

Dias’ team finished with 41 shots, 17 shots on goal and garnered 11 corner kicks in their home opener. Hanford hasn’t lost a home match since Feb. 16, 2017 when they lost 2-1 in overtime to Liberty in the CIF Central Section Division III quarterfinals. They went 9-0-1 last season.

The Bullpups (1-1) displayed an arsenal of weapons of offense and had 90 percent possession throughout a well-controlled 80 minutes. They were first to the ball and their touches were accurate.

“We’ve been pushing the last couple days at practice of being first to the ball, don’t let the other team get the ball, don’t let the other team have time,” Hanford coach DelRay Dias said. “Playing a whole 40-minute half like that was great and then coming out the second half and we played 30 minutes that was just domination.”

The first 25 minutes of the game showcased a relentless attack from the Bullpups. They had 20 shots, six corner kicks and the two goals.

Strickland’s came on a ball trying to be cleared by the Warriors. The sophomore took a dribble and cracked a shot from the top of the box for her first goal of the season.

Martinez had a through ball find her in the Warriors’ goal box as she and the goalkeeper collided, but not before she got just enough of the ball for it to slowly roll in in the fourth minute.

“We were just making really good runs,” Martinez said. “Everybody was moving, every time someone had the ball there was always multiple options for them. When we score right in the beginning of the game that defines the rest of the game for us.”

During the first half, the Bullpups were efficient in shutting down passing lanes, cutting off goal kicks and winning 50/50 balls. Madison Stewart and Hodge controlled the attacking third with multiple shots on goal.

Stewart had two shots blocked in the goal box, while Hodge had two blocked and another sail just wide of the net. Fresno goalkeeper Jada Powell made seven great saves, but the Bullpups still led 2-0 at halftime.

“The girls were chomping at the bit,” Dias said. “This team isn’t used to losing, so when you lose a game and you come back, it’s a taste in the mouth. I said to them … ‘Hey tonight’s about domination. Let’s dominate and let’s kill.’”

Sophomore Isabella Schroder was a lightning rod in the midfield and used her unmatched speed to move past defenders in the second half. She beat the defense down the line and crossed the ball, which led to shots on goal or corner kicks.

After coming close in the first half, Hodge, the 2017-18 West Yosemite League Offensive Player of the Year, finally scored her first goal of the season in the 58th minute. Martinez’s corner kick found an unmarked Hodge at the top of the box and she put a shot in the corner for the 3-0 lead.

“I took a touch realizing no one was on me and I just volleyed it in,” Hodge said.

The Warriors’ offense showed life in the 34th minute and in the last 10 minutes of the second half, but the Bullpups’ defense turned them away each time. Fresno had just three shots and two shots on goal, which goalkeeper Melody Martinez easily saved.

Up next:

The Bullpups will take part in the Pitman High Varsity Soccer Tournament beginning on Friday and ending on Saturday. Their first opponent is Turlock (4-0-1) on Friday at 11 a.m.

Lakers Tyson Chandler's work ethic molded in Hanford

Tyson Chandler started playing basketball at the age of three when his grandfather Cleotis Threadgill hung a basket on a tree on their farm in Hanford. It was on that farm that not only Chandler’s passion for basketball came alive, but also where the work ethic, that has led him to a successful NBA career, was first instilled in him.

“My grandfather nailed up, literally, a peach basket to a tree back in the day just to give me and my cousins something to do out there,” Chandler said. “That was kind of my introduction to basketball.”

Chandler, who has played for seven different teams in his 18-year-NBA career, credits his grandfather for teaching him the value of hard work and an honest effort while helping raise him.

”He showed me work ethic. I saw my grandfather, he came from the Arkansas-Texas border, drove his family down for opportunity. He and his sons actually built the house that my grandmother is still in today,” Chandler said. “I saw him every day wake up in the morning, tend to his garden and animals and then go out and work and come back and make sure everything was together. He has been my idol who I looked up to since I could have one. The way I go about my day-to-day life, being a man and the way I tend to my children. It is all patterned after him”

Chandler was raised by his mother, Vernie Threadgill, on the farm until he was nine, when they moved to San Bernardino. The family eventually moved to Compton where Chandler enrolled at he enrolled at Dominguez High School, a school known for its athletics, and became a star.

While he has called Southern California home since then, he still has fond memories of his time in Hanford.

“I got great memories; my family is still out there. I remember spending a ton of time with my grandparents and family. The memories are just incredible,’ Chandler said. “I remember the freedom of riding bikes everywhere, chasing my older cousins. It's just all the family memories I think back too.”

Chandler has done a lot since his time in Hanford. He was won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, he won an Olympic Gold Medal as the starting center for Team USA in the London Olympics in 2012 and has also been an All-Star selection.

Chandler currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, after starting the season with the Phoenix Suns, where he has played in 14 games and is averaging nearly seven rebounds per game. In the Lakers recent game, a 120-96 win over the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 2 in LA, Chandler finished with a team high 11 rebounds. 

The Lakers are currently 14-9 overall and in fifth place in the Western Conference.

While Chandler has been to big cities and has traveled the globe as part of the United States Olympic Team, and currently plays for the Lakers, he said he always embraces his time as a farm boy from Hanford.

“That is my foundation. On that farm is where everything started for me. You have responsibilities that you can’t let down because then you are letting down your family from eating, providing and just everything,” Chandler said. “You have to work to provide for them and I took still have that same work ethic. It is who I am to the core. It’s the same thing on the court. You gotta pay attention to the details, and you got go about it the same way every day.”


Hanford guard Alyssa Chapman goes up for a layup during a non-league game against Bullard on Tuesday. Chapman had 16 points and seven rebounds and Hanford won 63-33 to move to a perfect 5-0 on the season.

USC lands Kliff Kingsbury as Helton's offensive coordinator

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was named Clay Helton's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Southern California on Wednesday.

Kingsbury is considered one of the top offensive minds in football despite being fired by Texas Tech on Nov. 25. He went 35-40 in six seasons in charge of his alma mater, but the Red Raiders consistently had one of the nation's most dynamic offenses.

Kingsbury reportedly was pursued by NFL teams after his dismissal, but he chose to join the embattled Helton at talent-loaded USC, which just completed its first losing season since 2000.

"He is a brilliant offensive mind and is on the cutting edge of the game today," Helton said. "His offenses have consistently been at the top of the college football statistical rankings. With the talent on our team, along with his leadership and coaching, I truly believe that we can take our offense to new heights."

Kingsbury replaces offensive coordinator Tee Martin, who was dismissed along with several assistant coaches after the Trojans (5-7) lost five of their final six games, including consecutive losses to rivals UCLA and Notre Dame. USC's quarterbacks coach last season was Bryan Ellis, who left to become Western Kentucky's offensive coordinator.

Kingsbury's arrival should placate a large segment of the unsatisfied USC fan base that called for Helton's firing throughout the second half of the season. USC athletic director Lynn Swann realized he was going against public sentiment when last month he elected to retain Helton, who got a contract extension through 2023 earlier this year.

Kingsbury was spotted on USC's campus last week, and the Air Raid architect's interest in the job immediately excited fans who were skeptical that Swann and Helton were committed to change in the sputtering program. The school also is eager to avoid a downturn in football interest next season at the Coliseum, which is undergoing a $315 million renovation.

Few coaches have better reputations for developing exciting offenses and star quarterbacks than Kingsbury, who set several NCAA records as a quarterback under current Washington State coach Mike Leach while at Texas Tech.

After a five-year pro career, Kingsbury has coached Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, Case Keenum, Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb and others to major statistical success. Kingsbury's vaunted version of Leach's Air Raid offense has produced the nation's leading passer three times in his 11 years as a college coach.

After his firing at Tech, Kingsbury drew interest from collegiate and NFL teams seeking his quarterback expertise and offensive vision. He chose to stay in the college game at powerhouse USC, which is coming off just its fourth losing season since 1961.

USC ranked 11th in the Pac-12 last season with 382.6 yards per game. Helton, the Trojans' former offensive coordinator, took over play-calling duties from Martin for the final four games of the just-completed season, but the Trojans finished 83rd in the FBS in total offense, 91st in scoring and 108th in rushing.

The Trojans scored fewer than 20 points in four of their seven losses, and USC has scored fewer than 20 points in eight games of Helton's 3½-year tenure. Texas Tech scored fewer than 20 points only nine times in Kingsbury's six seasons in charge.

Kingsbury has no previous ties to USC, and his hiring represents a break with tradition at a school that had strived for nearly a decade to recapture the glory of its dominant era under Pete Carroll.

The school already had a decades-long history of hiring and promoting from within its vaunted football program, and it unsuccessfully replaced Carroll with two of his former assistants: Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian.

Kingsbury seems certain to create a new-look offense for the Trojans, who won the Rose Bowl and the Pac-12 in Helton's first two full seasons in charge.

After quarterback Sam Darnold left for the New York Jets last spring, the Trojans struggled with freshman J.T. Daniels behind center.

Daniels was considered the nation's top quarterback prospect when he arrived at USC, but he showed only flashes of that talent while throwing for 2,672 yards with 14 TD passes and 10 interceptions as a freshman. His 128.6 quarterback rating was 10th in the Pac-12.

Daniels' partnership with Kingsbury is tantalizing, particularly with talented receivers Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Velus Jones Jr. all expected to return along with running backs Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai.

Kingsbury will join Helton and returning defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, whose group largely performed admirably during the Trojans' miserable season despite injuries. USC must hire a new offensive line coach after Neil Callaway was fired with four games left.