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A season to remember for Chavez girls
Cesar Chavez Jr. High's inaugural eighth-grade girls basketball team enjoyed a memorable 2012 campaign.

The Tigers compiled a 14-4 record.

Leena Bassi, Adriana Haynes, Dream Miranda, Julia Pata, Natalia Cortez, Iesha Chahal, Viviana Rosas, Claudia Jimenez, Marissa Feliciano, Monica Cummings, Kendall Neilson, Bianca Perez, Adria Robinson, Cheyanne Brincat and Malynda Benjamin all contributed during the course of the season.

The same group posted a 3-10 mark at the seventh-grade level in 2011-12. Chavez played an eighth-grade schedule.

"I got to credit the success they achieved to their work ethic they had on and off the court," head coach Delvekio Rudd said. "These kids would ask me to have 6 a.m. practices. There was vast improvement. We had a team GPA of 3.2. That's the most notable highlight."

Chavez finished second in league behind Turlock Junior High. The Tigers had a 1-1 mark against Turlock and Mae Hensley.

Chavez won the Ripon El tournament and advanced to the finals at Mae Hensley.

The Tigers overcame deficits of 16 and 18 points in beating Turlock and Hickman, respectively, in the Mae Hensley tournament.

Chavez dealt Hickman its lone loss of the season.

The Tigers were beaten by the crosstown Warriors in the championship game.

"We avenged each loss that we had this year," Rudd said. "I think we could have gone undefeated. It just didn't work out that way."

Chavez used Princeton and Pick 'N' Roll offenses, and zone and man defenses throughout the year.

"We became better at playing team ball on both ends," Rudd said. "We could have beat some freshman and junior-varsity teams in the area. This is one of the hardest-working bunches I've coached."

Chavez players will continue their basketball careers at Ceres High and Central Valley in 2013-14.

"I believe the core of our group will be productive wherever they go," Rudd said. "These girls work really hard."