After posting a 12-2 nonleague record, the Exeter High School basketball team entered the Central Sequoia League season with high expectations.
But the Monarchs didn't get off to the start they would have liked, opening with two straight losses.
Four wins later, including Thursday's 49-30 victory over Selma, and the Monarchs find themselves in first place in the CSL - along with three other teams.
Dinuba defeated Central Valley Christian 68-53 on Thursday to make it a four-way tie atop the CSL.
Exeter, Dinuba, CVC and Selma are each 4-2.
"All the games are huge," Exeter coach Randy Reeder said. "The league is tough. We have to take it one game at a time."
Eli Garver led the Monarchs in scoring with a game-high 11 points. Jordan Bayne scored 10 points and Caleb Harden chipped in with eight points.
It was the defensive effort Reeder was most proud of.
"We played a lot better tonight," Reeder said. "We played really well. We ran our offense, and defensively we are real sound right now. I really think that's our staple. I hope we can continue to do that."
Dinuba was led by Ernesto Ruiz with 16 points, Aaron Taylor and Marcus McMaryion each scored 11, and Xaver Jones chipped in with nine.
CVC was led by Alex te Velde with 14 points.
Exeter plays at CVC on Tuesday, Dinuba hosts Kingsburg Wednesday, and Selma plays Immanuel Wednesday.
Hanford West 70, Golden West 56: Troy Stainbrook scored 15 points but the Trailblazers came up short against the Huskies in a West Yosemite League game.
Golden West led 13-9 after the first quarter, but was outscored 25-11 in the second quarter.
Paul Arreguin scored 14 points for Golden West (4-17, 1-8), and Anthony Chandler added nine.
Redwood 56, Lemoore 48: Corissa Turley turned in a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 steals as the Rangers beat the Tigers during a WYL game in Lemoore.
J C Chamalbide scored 14 points and Jasmine Black scored 11 to give Redwood (18-5, 7-2) three players with double-digit points.
Hanford West 53, Golden West 46: Julisa Barr scored a team-high 12 points in the Trailblazers' WYL loss to the Huskies.
Destinee Garcia added 10 points for Golden West (7-12, 2-6).
Central Valley Christian 4, Dinuba 3: Brent Kamper scored late in overtime as the Cavaliers beat the Monarchs in a CSL match in Visalia.
Case Knevelbaard, Josh Victoria and Kyle Vizzolini scored the first three goals in regulation for CVC (10-9-1, 3-4-1).
Golden West 5, Redwood 0: The Trailblazers moved one step closer to winning a second straight West Yosemite League title with a win over the Rangers.
Golden West (16-3-1, 9-1) needs one more win to guarantee itself at least a share of the title.
Christian Ibarra led the way with two goals, and Brandon Cordova, Santos Chavez and Miguel Casas each added one goal. Goalkeeper Tanner Cook needed just two saves to record the shut out.
El Diamante 6, Lemoore 0: Joey Chica recorded a hat trick and the Miners defeated the Tigers to stay one game behind the Trailblazers in the WYL standings.
El Diamante (14-5-2, 8-2) can set up a showdown for the WYL title if it can beat Hanford West on Wednesday.
Brandon Gomez added two goals for the Miners, Oscar Martinez scored one, and goalkeeper Diego Olivares had five saves.
Mt. Whitney 1, Hanford West 0: Wally Ramirez scored in the 20th minute and the Pioneers held on to beat the Huskies in a West Yosemite League game.
Ramirez was assisted by Jesse Castillo.
Goalkeeper Austin Aguiar finished with four saves as the Pioneers improved to 6-4 in league and 11-9-3 overall.
El Diamante 2, Lemoore 1: Marisa Lemus headed in the game winning goal on a corner kick by Mari Flores 17 minutes into overtime to give the Miners a WYL win over the Tigers in Visalia.
Flores also assisted Lemus on El Diamante's (7-12-4, 3-5-2) first goal 10 minutes into regulation.
Mt. Whitney 5, Hanford West 0: Rianna Chavez scored three goals and the Pioneers defeated the Huskies in a WYL game.
Ellie Warmerdam scored one goal and had two assists, Kendall McGovran scored a goal, and Tatum Perez finished with two assists.
Mt. Whitney improved to 6-3-1 in the WYL and 11-7-2 overall.
Central Valley Christian 1, Dinuba 0: Nicole Bouvia scored the only goal as the Cavaliers beat the Emperors in a CSL match in Dinuba.
CVC (10-7-3, 7-0-1) remains undefeated in league play
Redwood 3, Golden West 0: Maddy Messier, Alyssa Pratt and Stephanie Funk each scored a goal as the Rangers beat the Trailblazers in a WYL match.
Brittany Ontiveros, Bailey Rodriguez and Kylie McClellan each made assists for Redwood (19-4-1, 10-1) against Golden West (7-12-2, 4-6).
Mission Oak 47, Tulare Union 24: The Hawks beat the Redskins in an East Yosemite League dual to claim their third consecutive unofficial city championship in Tulare.
Erick Olguin, Erik Pacheco, Jonathan Pacheco, Mike Rincon, Delano Hendrix, Joseph Domingo, Anthony Medley, Evan Van Beek and Jacob Tripp all earned individual wins for the Hawks, who beat Tulare Western 67-8 last week.