Powerful Tigers open with four wins at Kings County Classic; Hanford West up next

By Ed Martin, Editor
Allen Perryman goes for the basket against Kennedy High School Saturday afternoon.
Allen Perryman goes for the basket against Kennedy High School Saturday afternoon.
Photo by Bill Burris, Lemoore Sports.com

Another basketball season, another West Yosemite championship? The odds are good – no, I take that back – excellent that Coach Joel Sligh’s team is the heavy favorite to repeat as league champions, and for good measure just might be one of the best teams in the Central Section.

Why? Well if the Tigers turn in the annual Kings County Classic is any indication, things may work out well for Lemoore's championship basketball hopes. The Tigers won all four games the past week in the annual Classic, held mostly at Hanford High School. On Saturday, the Tigers completed the sweep with an easy 67-43 victory over Kennedy High. The Tigers get down to more serious work on Tuesday when they host Hanford West in the league opener.

Jaylunn English looks for a dunk against Kennedy High
Jaylunn English looks for a dunk against Kennedy High
Photo by Bill Burris, Lemoore Sports.com

Do the names Allen Perryman, Jaylunn English, Matt Borba, and Spencer Stinger ring any bells? They were of course much of the backbone that propelled last year’s 20-7 team to an 11-1 WYL record and a share of the title with Hanford.

Boys' 2015-16 Basketball Schedule

The Tigers eventually lost to an older, more experienced Bullpup team in the playoffs. However, in their first matchup with Hanford in the first round of league play, Lemoore beat the Bullpups. Hanford returned the favor in the WYL finale in the Bullpups’ gym, and then went on to beat Lemoore in the playoffs.

Both Hanford and Lemoore dominated the all-WYL selections. Slight and Hanford coach Brad Felder shared the top coaching award while English and Perryman earned First Team honors, along with Roger Wilson.

"I personally do not consider us one of the favorites," said Tiger Coach Joel Sligh. "Last year was last year and we now have to prove ourselves for this year. I am hoping that we can build on the success from last year but we really have to put forth our best effort and make sure we are ready to play every game. This is always a very hard division to win and we as a team have to know that no one is just going to give up because we walked into the gym." 

The Tigers got off to a good start Wednesday night by beating Mission Oak 72-65 in the Kings County Classic opener and then easily getting past Memorial 66-56 on Thursday night. Lemoore crushed Clovis High School on Friday night 65-39.

In that opener, returning seniors Borba and English each scored 19 points to lead Lemoore. Perryman, fresh from his two-way role as a football starter, contributed 11 points. Against Kennedy on Saturday, Lemoore never trailed in the contest and used an 18-6 fourth quarter to blow past Kennedy for the win.

The Tigers will get an early jump on the WYL with a game against Hanford West on Dec. 15 in the LHS Event Center at 7:30 p.m.

Lemoore will also play in the Central Section’s top tournament, the Holiday Invitational Tournament (HIT) beginning Dec. 16 and continuing through Dec. 19. They’ll also participate in the Clovis Elks Varsity Tournament, beginning Dec. 26.

The Tigers will return to WYL play with a Jan. 12 game against Mt. Whitney in Lemoore.


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