Clovis News: Sports

Buchanan solidifies claim to No. 1 boys soccer seed

Buchanan High added the final piece to a résumé that should produce the top seed in the Central Section Division I boys soccer playoffs while welcoming back an extra weapon to lead the postseason charge.

J.P. Medina scored a goal in his first extensive action of the season as the Bears clinched the Tri-River Athletic Conference title with a 2-0 victory Tuesday night over Central in a regular-season finale at Deran Koligian Stadium.

Buchanan (18-4, 9-1) expects to be the No. 1 seed in D-I when playoff brackets are announced Saturday. The postseason begins Feb. 16, with the Bears likely to receive a first-round bye.

And Buchanan appears to be entering the playoffs with a healthy Medina, the conference MVP and an All-Bee selection last year who has missed all but one game this season with a hamstring injury.

"He makes a huge impact," said coach John Spurgeon. "It's great to have him back. He gives us another option on the attack."

Medina's goal, which came after a corner kick, put Buchanan ahead 2-0 with about 14 minutes to play in the second half.

The junior midfielder/forward played 20 minutes in his only action of the season other than a 10-minute stint against Clovis West on Jan. 12. Medina pulled his hamstring training with his club team before the start of the high school season.

"I felt good. I'm just trying to get back where I've been," Medina said. "This was a good start. I just want to help the team out. They did a great job without me."

Nana Yaw Ameyaw-Sakyi scored the only goal the Bears would need in the 19th minute when he corralled a deflected ball and sent a shot into the high right-hand corner of the net.

"I was in the right spot at the right time," Ameyaw-Sakyi said. "Coach told me to anticipate the flick."

Central (15-5-2, 7-2-1) had two good looks at the goal thwarted in the first half as Buchanan defender Nick Watson cleared a header that appeared to be going in from Enrique Cruz, and Jorge Lomeli had a shot in a breakaway situation hit off the right goal post.

The Grizzlies, who would have won the TRAC title with a victory, now turn their attention toward the postseason.

"I like our chances," coach Daren Pittman said. "We have as good an opportunity as anyone to get to the Valley championship and see what happens. But there are a lot of quality teams out there."