The Mt. Whitney boys basketball team is now in control of it's own destiny as it tries to win a third straight West Yosemite League championship.
And the Pioneers owe a big thank you to crosstown rival Golden West for that opportunity.
The Trailblazers defeated Lemoore 56-55 on Wednesday night in Lemoore to hand the Tigers their third league loss of the season.
Mt. Whitney defeated Hanford 62-51 to move into a first-place tie with the Tigers with just one game remaining in the regular season.
The Pioneers close out the season at home against Redwood on Friday. Lemoore finishes at Hanford.
Golden West 56, Lemoore 55: The Trailblazers led 45-36 heading into the fourth quarter and held on for their second West Yosemite League win of the season.
Paul Arreguin, Jose Cortez and Anthony Chandler each scored 14 points to lead the way for Golden West.
Ty Oaks scored a game-high 18 for Lemoore (15-10, 8-3).
The Trailblazers (5-18, 2-9) close out their season against El Diamante on Friday at home.
Mt. Whitney 62, Hanford 51: Garabed Kalanjian scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Pioneers to a road win over the Bullpups.
The Pioneers took control of the game early, outscoring Hanford 24-14 in the first quarter and taking a 39-21 lead into halftime.
Dannon Frigulti scored nine points, and Ethan Moore added eight points for Mt. Whitney (15-9,8-3).
Tulare Union 47, Mission Oak 34: Binny Bhakta scored 20 points as the Tulare Union girls basketball team clinched eligibility for the Central Section playoffs with an East Yosemite League win against Mission Oak Wednesday night in Tulare.
Na'Chelle Terry added 12 points for the Redskins (14-12, 5-4). Cassandra Cunha led the Hawks (9-17, 1-8) with eight points.
Lemoore 54, Golden West 35: Julisa Barr and Rayray Harris each scored seven points, but the Trailblazers came up short against the Tigers in a WYL game.
Destinee Garcia added six points for Golden West (8-14, 2-9).
No. 8 Foothill 2, No. 9 Mt. Whitney 0: The Pioneers saw their season come to an end against the Trojans in the first round of the Central Section Division III playoffs.
The defending Division III champions finished the season with a 13-10-3 overall record.
"We had a lot of changes this season," Mt. Whitney coach Rodney Aguiar said. "We lost 13 seniors, nine starters off last year's team, but the boys did a great job of growing up fast. I'm proud of how they played. I'm happy with how we finished our season other than the disappointing loss."
Foothill scored early in the game, but Mt. Whitney settled down and managed to keep the Trojans off the scoreboard until late in the game. With about five minutes remaining and with Mt. Whitney pressing, the Trojans managed to counter and score their second goal of the game.
"We had hoped we would've gotten a home game," Aguiar said. "There's no knowing for certain how we would've done, but maybe nerves affected us. We might have settled down sooner in the game if we were at home."
Even though the Pioneers saw their season end prematurely, they are excited about next season.
"I return my whole defense and most of my midfield," Aguiar said. "Eber Ramirez and Blake Aguiar are tough losses because they were good captains and leaders, but we have something to build around."
No. 8 Clovis West 4, No. 9 Tulare Western 2: The Golden Eagles eliminated the Mustangs with a win in the opening round of the Central Section Division I playoffs.
Tulare Western's season ends with an overall record of 11-9-4 after a third place (6-3-1) showing in EYL league play.
Monache 68, Tulare Western 58: The Maurauders beat the Mustangs in overtime of an EYL game in Monache after giving up a 10-point lead in the final two minutes.
Monache led by only one point at halftime before outscoring Tulare Western 21-9 in the third quarter. The Mustangs limited the Maurauders to only four points in the fourth period to force overtime, but ran out of gas in the extra period won 13-3 by the hosts.
Sal Arredondo led Monache with 19 points, followed closely by Adam Kittrell with 18. Kobe Portillo scored 16 for Tulare Western, followed by David Booker with 12.
JC Men's Basketball
COS 63, Porterville 43: Tulare Union grad Will Stallworth scored 14 points to lead the Giants past the Pirates in a Central Valley Conference game in Porterville.
College of the Sequoias (19-8, 8-2) was tied with Porterville (1-20, 1-9) at 25 after struggling to shoot during the opening half but outscored the hosts 38-18 in the second half with a strong defensive performance that led to easy transition baskets.
Bill Borekambi scored 11 points for COS. Tulare Union's David Love and Larry McMorris each scored eight. Porterville's leading scorer was Tyrone Hall with 12.