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Sierra Pacific leads All-Valley teams

Sierra Pacific goalkeeper Emma Enquist makes one of her 13 saves during the CIF Central Section Division III quarterfinals match against Tulare Western. Enquist was named to the Division III All-Valley First Team for her performance this season.

The CIF Central Section Division I-III boys and girls All-Valley teams were released earlier this week and plenty of local talent was recognized.

Sierra Pacific, the runners-up in the boys and girls CIF Central Section Division III championship games had a combined 12 players selected to the All-Valley teams.

For the boys, juniors Karter Pate, Ethan Soares and senior Michael Mason were selected to the First Team. Junior Ryan Simmons was selected to the Second Team and seniors John Mello and Lucas Cameron were selected for Honorable Mention.

Sierra Pacific (19-7, 10-0 ESL) accomplished a lot this season. The Golden Bears were East Sequoia League champions for the first time and finished a perfect 10-0 in league, also a first. They defeated league opponent Strathmore for the first time in school history and did it twice. It was also their first appearance in a Central Section championship game.

The boys team earned the 3-seed in the Division III bracket and defeated 11-seed Yosemite 20-7 in the quarterfinals followed by a 13-10 semifinals victory over 7-seed Tulare Western. They eventually lost to 1-seed Edison 10-9.

Sierra Pacific’s girls went 21-8 and finished 8-1 in the ESL, good for second. Juniors Victoria Blanchard, Emma Enquist and Hailey McGaha made the First Team after spectacular individual seasons. McGaha led the team with 113 goals and was second on the team with 76 steals. Blanchard was second on the team in goals (73), assists (41) and led the team in steals (88). Enquist made, in her first season as a full-time goalkeeper, made 213 saves and was crucial to keeping her teams in close games.

Rylee Lord was one of three freshmen to be recognized in Division III as she was selected to the Second Team for her efforts. Lord scored 50 goals, had 35 assists and 58 steals in her freshman campaign. Her goals and assists were good for third on the team and her steals were fourth on the team, one behind Victoria Lloyd for third.

The girls bulldozed through the Division III bracket with 14-3 and 15-6 wins over Tulare Western and Yosemite. Sierra Pacific was down one heading into the fourth quarter in the championship game against Kingsburg, but lost 12-10. Except for one player, the entire team will be returning so the girls should show up in next year’s All-Valley team as well.

On the boys Division II team, Lemoore had five players make the All-Valley teams. Seniors Spencer Denney and Cameron Olson made the First Team and seniors Alex Eastridge and Bill Chedester made the Second Team. Senior Christopher Bonham made Honorable Mention.

Lemoore (20-10, 8-4 WYL) finished third in the West Yosemite League this season and earned themselves a birth in the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs. As a 5-seed, Lemoore upset 4-seed Kingsburg 11-9 after a first-round bye. They lost their next game against 1-seed Garces Memorial in a tough 13-10 battle.

Junior Matthew Ross was the lone player who made Honorable Mention for Hanford. The Bullpups (6-17, 1-11 WYL) struggled in 2017, but Ross put up more than respectable numbers for his team.

He scored 106 goals, 55 steals and nine assists on the year. His goals and steals were tops on the team as well as his average 5 points per game.

Hanford went into the Division III bracket as the 9-seed and lost in its opening-round playoff game against Exeter 11-9.

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Noe Garcia can be reached at (559) 583-2431 or Follow Noe on Twitter at @noecarlosgarcia.

Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Sentinel

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