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Central Valley looking to bounce back
Central Valley High School struggled to a 7-20 record in its first season of varsity boys basketball last year.

The Hawks are hoping for a reversal of fortunes in 2007-08.

"If everybody stays healthy and eligible, we will be very competitive," head coach Darryl Dickson said. "This is the group that won the VOL as sophomores. They'll be playing against the same kids."

Central Valley has five returners in Sean McLeod (senior), Yama Noorzai (senior), Eric Esquivel (senior), Trevor Mew (junior) and Chris Beleele (junior).

Gerald Garcia (senior), Tony Marques (senior), Jasper Brar (senior), Stephen Fonsworth (junior), Ross Henry (junior), Robert Morgan (junior), Rick Rogers (junior), Jesse Hacker (junior), Maninderpaul Sidhu (junior), Raymond Valenzuela (junior) and Brian Blunt (sophomore) are also on the team.

Mew, McLeod, Noorzai, Garcia and Marques guided the JV Hawks to a first-place finish in conference play and 23-6 mark in 2005-06.

"We just want to go out there and make a statement," said Trevor, who led Central Valley in scoring (14.4 ppg) and 3-pointers made (70) as a sophomore. "We want to earn some respect. We didn't win many games last year."

Garcia and Marques didn't play a season ago.

Gerald wrestled.

Tony took the year off after suffering an ankle injury during a scrimmage.

"We gain a lot of experience, toughness and reliability with Gerald and Tony coming back," Dickson said.

Central Valley tied for last in the VOL at 2-12 with East Union in 2006-07. The Hawks finished behind Sierra (13-1), Weston Ranch (11-3), Ceres (10-4), Sonora (10-4), Manteca (5-9) and Oakdale (3-11).

"The goal this year is to not let teams get comfortable running their offense," Dickson said. "We have the depth to increase the intensity on defense."

"We didn't have anyone to put in last year when we got in foul trouble," Mew said. "We got numbers this year so we can get more breaks."

The top 16 teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III power ratings advance to the postseason.

"I want to make the playoffs bad," Mew said. "I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be able to. We just got to put the work in."