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Renteria shines in final game
Ceres High’s Marissa Renteria
Ceres High’s Marissa Renteria and Megan McGill reunited at the 27th annual Six County Senior All-Star Girls Basketball Game. Coached by McGill and fueled by Renteria’s MVP performance, the Read Team bested the Blue Team 63-46 on April 27 at Modesto Junior College. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Led by second-year head coach Megan McGill and senior point guard Marissa Renteria, Ceres High’s girls basketball team enjoyed its most productive season since 2005-06 this past winter.

The Bulldogs amassed a 21-8 overall record, finished second in the Western Athletic Conference standings (11-3) and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time since 2012-13.

McGill and Renteria reunited at the 27th annual Six County Senior All-Star Game.

Coached by McGill and fueled by Renteria’s energetic play, the Red Team cruised to a 63-46 victory over the Blue Team on April 27 at Modesto Junior College.

“It was really nice to get to experience that All-Star Game together,” McGill said. “It was so fun to watch her play.”

“It was an honor to play for her (McGill) again and play in the game,” Renteria added. “It was exciting. Everybody had the same drive and passion for the game.”

Renteria totaled 16 points on her way to earning Most Valuable Player honors.

“I surprised myself,” she said. “Before the game, I was very nervous. I didn’t know how I would perform. As the game went on, I got more comfortable. For me, winning was more important than my individual performance.”

“It doesn’t surprise me,” McGill said. “She’s an incredible athlete. She was able to highlight her skills in the game. She was able to shine because she was surrounded by other talented players.”

Renteria starred on Ceres High’s varsity girls basketball team for two seasons.

She welcomed the role of being a captain this year.

“I became more of a leader,” Renteria said. “I spoke up more. Junior year, I really didn’t know anyone on the team.”

Renteria garnered first-team, all-Western Athletic Conference recognition for the second year in a row.

She averaged 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 1.7 assists per game for the Bulldogs.

“She’s a fun person to coach,” McGill said. “She works hard. She’s got a great attitude. Her basketball IQ is off the charts. That’s what makes her a good point guard.”

“She (McGill) let me be me,” Renteria added. “She just let me play. I’m very grateful.”

Renteria poured in a career-high 32 points, including 23 in the third quarter, in Ceres High’s 65-55 upset win of first-place Mountain House (13-1) on Senior Night at Phil de la Porte Gymnasium. 

Slowed by injury and foul trouble, Renteria totaled zero points during the first meeting between the two teams.

“She puts a lot of pressure on herself,” McGill said. “She wants to help her team any way she can.”

“I started going to the park every day, putting up shots, getting into pickup games, and working on my craft,” Renteria stated. “It translated into my basketball season.”

A newcomer to Ceres High’s varsity girls basketball program as a junior, Renteria averaged 13.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.4 steals per game for the 6-20 Bulldogs.

She made 15 3-pointers.

Renteria buried 33 treys during her final season with Ceres High.

“One of the areas she improved in was her 3-point shot,” McGill said. “Her confidence was developed.”

Renteria also found a way to channel her nervous energy effectively with assistance from McGill.

“She helped me with my anxiety,” Renteria said. “Before games, she talked with me and tried to calm me down. She was always very supportive. If I ever needed anything, she was there for me.”

“When she (Renteria) starts playing, a lot of that (nervousness) goes away,” McGill stated.

More than a dozen colleges have expressed interest in adding Renteria to their team rosters.

She plans to play basketball and soccer at Modesto Junior College.

“I want to stay close to home for at least one year,” Renteria said. “I’m so close with my family. Right now, I don’t feel like I’m ready to move away yet.”

“She’ll do well,” McGill added. “Coach Rachel (Finnegan) will help her take her (basketball) game to the next level.”