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Don Pedro, Sam Vaughn finish first
McLelland-led team finally captures title
The Don Pedro Clippers capped off the 2013 season with a first-place finish at the Ceres Youth Basketball League Girls Tournament on March 16 at Ross Jr. High in Hughson.

The mother-daughter coaching tandem of Reta and Alicia McLelland helped guide the Don Pedro Clippers to the Ceres Youth Basketball League Girls Tournament title last month.

"I've coached for 26 years," Reta said. "This is my first championship. We didn't lose the whole season. The attitude of the girls was great. They were so easy to coach. They listened well and wanted to learn. That's unusual to get a team like that."

Don Pedro posted a 44-24 win over Carroll Fowler in the finals on March 16 at Ross Jr. High in Hughson.

"The crowd cheered us like we were professionals," Reta said. "The girls were so excited. They played well together."

Maycie Guinn paced the Clippers with a game-high 19 points.

Selena Zamarrita and Abigail Martinez scored nine and six points, respectively.

Taylor Brewer paced the Magic with 12 points.

Julissa Arreola and Alyssa Donaldson had six and four points, respectively.

The Clippers managed to complete a perfect run through the 2013 season despite competing at less than full strength during the tournament.

Lupita Beccera, Don Pedro's top rebounder and second-leading scorer on the year, twisted an ankle in the first game and was slowed by the injury.

"She played as much as she could," Reta said.

The Clippers experienced a major turnaround in 2013 because of their experience.

Don Pedro returned seven players from last year's team, including all five starters.

The Clippers won all 13 of their games.

"They did everything we asked them to do and even more," Reta said. "They're just tough, little players. Blaker-Kinser Jr. High is going to have a great team next year."

The Sam Vaughn Hornets lost twice to the Virginia Parks Pacers during the regular season.

The Hornets compiled a 2-1 record versus the Pacers on their way to a first-place finish at the Ceres Youth Basketball League Boys Tournament last month in Hughson.

Second-seeded Sam Vaughn defeated top-seeded Virginia Parks 36-35 for the championship on March 16 at Ross Jr. High.

"It was really competitive," said Beau Pimentel, first-year head coach of the Hornets.

"It was an exciting game," Pacers co-head coach Norman Walcott said. "We knew it was going to be close."

Daniel Villasenor led Sam Vaughn with 11 points.

Greg Brown, Baljot Sahi, Brock Dewitt and Bryce Gouker had nine, seven, five and four points, respectively.

Isaac Vizcaino led Virginia Parks with a game-high 14 points.

Gary Condit added nine points.

The Hornets outscored the Pacers 16-14 in the final period.

Sahi, Sam Vaughn's point guard, picked the perfect time to elevate his level of play.
Baljot made a 2-point basket, hit a 3-pointer and buried two clutch free throws in the fourth quarter.

His foul shots gave the Hornets a one-point lead with 5 seconds to play.

"I knew he was going to make them," Pimentel said. "He was calm. The whole team was excited for him."

The Pacers failed to get off a potential, game-winning shot in the waning seconds. Dewitt knocked the ball away from Vizcaino.

"Our defense won us the game," Pimentel said.

Sam Vaughn posted a 7-4 record this season.

"I saw a lot of potential at the beginning of the year," Pimentel said. "The kids surpassed all my expectations. Every week, I saw progress. They surprised me and taught me a lot. I'm proud of what we've done."