By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Basketball playoff spots up for grabs
Placeholder Image
The Sac-Joaquin Section released its first installment of power ratings for boys and girls basketball.

If the playoffs started on Jan. 30, Central Valley High School's varsity girls hoops squad would be the No. 16 seed in the Division-II tournament. Top-seeded St. Mary's (10-3, 5-0) would play host to the Hawks.

Ceres High's girls and boys, and Central Valley's boys would not participate because all three teams finished outside the top 16 in their respective divisions.

Central Valley's girls, 14-5 overall and 5-2 in the WAC, are vying for their second straight playoff berth and conference title.

Brittany Martinez, Valerie Olide, Mia Lorenzo, Diana Carmona and Vivien Fermil are leading the way this season.

Martinez averages 10.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.2 steals per game. She's posted five double-doubles in league play.

Olide averages 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Lorenzo averages 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 2.7 assists.

Carmona averages 7.8 points, 3.2 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.3 rebounds.

Fermil averages 5.3 points and 2.0 assists. She's buried 13 of 27 3-pointers.

"We're not worried about anyone else," Hawks head coach Jesse Padilla said. "That wouldn't be fair to our girls. If we run the table, we'll move up (in the power ratings)."

Padilla figured his team would finish in the bottom half of the latest power ratings despite enjoying an impressive start to the 2011-12 campaign.

Vacaville (12-10, 3-2 MEL), Del Campo (11-10, 3-2 CVC) and Rocklin (12-10, 3-2 SFL) received higher seeds of 10, 11 and 14, respectively, because of their better league strength ratings and tougher overall schedules.

"It is what it is and we'll keep playing hard," Padilla said.

Ceres High's girls (8-11, 3-4) will try to improve on their No. 21 Division-III ranking during the second half of the season.

The Bulldogs have already shown a great deal of improvement under first-year head coach Vanessa Morris.

Ceres High, 5-15 and 3-7 a season ago, edged Central Catholic 31-29 on Jan. 5.

The Raiders (14-8, 2-5) ranked ninth in Division V.

To head coach Brian de la Porte's surprise, Ceres High's boys (5-16, 4-3) ranked 19th in Division III.

"I can't believe it," de la Porte said. "I thought we'd be in the mid 20s. We still have a chance to make playoffs. We're only three spots out. We just have to keep winning. That's the bottom line."

The Bulldogs had the fifth toughest preseason schedule in D-III. Ceres High will boost its playoff aspirations with a strong finish in league.

The Bulldogs will continue to rely heavily on senior guard Binder Atwal. Junior Jimbo Pernetti and sophomore Harman Chung both fill major roles on the team.

Central Valley's boys, 30th in Division II, have struggled this year thanks in large part to their lack of experience.

The Hawks (8-14, 3-4) have one of the youngest rosters in the Stanislaus District.

Half of the team's players are underclassmen, including sophomores Diego Sanchez, Ja'Quan Gardner, Jordan Sek and Milton Uti and freshman Jaron Dickson.

The Hawks' veteran leaders are junior Miguel Rodriguez and senior Camron Thornton.

"The goal is to finish the season strong," Central Valley head coach Darryl Dickson said. "I won't tolerate anyone not giving a full effort."