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CV girls basketball team poised for another strong season
Central Valley High School's varsity girls basketball squad accomplished several firsts last year, including winning a league title, qualifying for the playoffs and besting crosstown-rival Ceres High.

The Hawks will try to defend their Western Athletic Conference crown, advance to the postseason and sweep the Bulldogs this season.

"That's all we're thinking about," Central Valley head coach Jesse Padilla said. "If we don't make that, it will be a huge disappointment."

The Hawks are moving forward without three key starters in Alyssa Long, Myra Naranjo and Eva Noorzai. The trio graduated in June.

Long and Naranjo were both named to the WAC first team.

Alyssa was the Hawks' most versatile player.

She averaged 9.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.3 assists per game.

Myra averaged 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game. She buried 22 3-pointers and shot 87 percent (13 of 15) from the free-throw line.

Eva, a second-team, all-conference selection, averaged 5.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.

"We lost some key players but we still have an amazing team," Central Valley 6-foot-2 junior post player Brittany Martinez said. "We're going to try to be league champions and make it to playoffs again. We all have the same mindset. We really want it. But we got to work for it."

The Hawks' top returners are Martinez, Diana Carmona (Sr.), Vivien Fermil (Sr.) and Geena Wade (Sr.).

Brittany averaged 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 rebounds per game this past season.

Carmona averaged 5.7 points, 1.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 rebounds. She made 11 3-pointers.

Fermil averaged 4.3 points, 1.8 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals. She buried 10 treys.

Wade averaged 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds.

Mia Lorenzo, a standout on last year's WAC frosh-soph girls title squad (22-2, 11-1), will split playing time at guard with Carmona and Fermil.

"This year's my best all-round team," Padilla said. "We got more weapons. We'll have no problems in the post."

Central Valley's varsity girls compiled a 15-8 overall record and shared the WAC title (8-2) with Los Banos last season.

The Hawks struggled before reaching record heights.

Central Valley was a combined 21-81 from 2006-10.

The Hawks lost all 14 of their league games and posted a 2-21 record during their inaugural season.

Central Valley lost eight straight games to Ceres High before winning the crosstown series 2-0 last year.

"Any time you win, it makes hit fun," Padilla said.

"It was exciting," Martinez said. "We made history. We beat Ceres High, made the playoffs and won league for the first time in one year. We're the defending league champions. Everybody wants to knock us off. We all have to go 100 percent all season."