VISALIA — From winning just six games a season ago, including only one in the West Yosemite League, to advancing to the CIF Central Section Division III championship match, the Bullpups are one step away from completing a huge turnaround season.
Hanford (16-13, 6-4 WYL) will take on the No. 1 seed Edison (23-5, 9-1 CML) today at noon at Fresno State. The No. 2 Bullpups defeated 6-seed Strathmore, 22-16, in the semifinals to reach the big game. They last won a Central Section title in 2009.
Hanford led 8-3 after the first quarter and 14-7 at halftime. The Spartans outscored the Bullpups 4-3 in the third quarter, but Hanford stayed strong in the fourth quarter.
Matthew Ross led the Bullpups with a match- and season-high 12 goals. He also had an assist and steal. Clayton Gillum and Camden Hampshire each scored three goals and both had two assists. Jon Avila, Alex Perez, Cayden Smith and Rhett Torrez were the other goal scorers. Torrez led the Bullpups with three assists. Goalkeeper Ethan Moran made 14 saves for Hanford.
The Bullpups have lit up the scoring board in their two playoff matches. They scored 21 goals last week against Sierra Pacific in a quarterfinals match. Edison is on a 14-match winning streak and hasn’t lost since Sept. 20.