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Hawks upset Cougars
Julie Calderon turned in a gutsy performance, and got plenty of help from her Central Valley High School varsity girls basketball teammates in a 49-42 upset of Weston Ranch Thursday night in Ceres.

Despite being slowed by a left hamstring injury that was sustained two days earlier in a 55-44 loss to Sierra and re-aggravated at Wednesday's practice, Calderon managed to score 15 points.

"I don't care if I'm sick or one leg is chopped off," Julie said. "I'm going to play in whatever condition I'm in."

Sophomore Alyssa Long finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the last-place Hawks, who snapped an 11-game losing streak on their way to securing their first Valley Oak League victory (1-8).

"We knew we had to up our game," Long said. "She (Julie) inspired us to play better. She's got more heart on the team than anybody. This is her passion."

Tied at 7-7, Central Valley outscored Weston Ranch 18-7 in the second quarter for a 25-14 halftime lead. The Hawks seized the momentum with their top two players (Calderon and Phylicia Martinez) on the bench. Coach Padilla turned to Lizette Covarrubias, Amanda Lopez, Alyssa Long and Samantha Mustaca, who scored eight, five, three and two points, respectively. Gigi Sahota and Miranda Espinoza also logged playing time during the impressive run.

Calderon caught fire after intermission. She accounted for 12 of Central Valley's 24 points, including 11 in a five-minute span to extend the Hawks' lead to 14 early in the fourth quarter. Julie warmed up by herself before the game.

"It was very painful every time I'd shoot and land," she said.

The two teams combined for 33 fouls during the VOL clash.

"We frustrated them," Calderon said.

The Hawks entered the game winless in league.

With the loss, the Cougars (4-4) dropped from third to fourth in the conference standings.

"This is a big win for us, considering they beat East Union (20-1 overall, 9-0 VOL)," Long said. "This is going to get our momentum going for the rest of the season."

"It's an overwhelming feeling," Calderon added. "I'm really proud of every single girl on the team. Hopefully, we can keep it up."


Central Valley High School's sophomore girls basketball team got off to an uncharacteristic slow start against Weston Ranch.

"We missed so many shots and had too many turnovers," head coach Mike Reynolds said.

The Hawks settled down in the second half and pulled away for a 46-32 victory over the Cougars on Thursday in Ceres.

"We played smarter," Reynolds said. "That was one of the biggest things. We didn't turn over the ball and we finished. We also forced a lot of turnovers."

Myra Naranjo tallied a game-high 10 points for Central Valley, which moved to 6-3 in the Valley Oak League standings. Vivian Fermil, Melissa Minerva, Anicia Camarillo, Eva Noorzai, Jessica Berndt and Jeanette Garcia contributed nine, eight, seven, six, four and two points, respectively.

The Hawks broke the game open with a 19-8 run in the third quarter. Six different players scored for Central Valley, including Naranjo (seven points), Fermil (three), Camarillo (three), Noorzai (two), Berndt (two) and Minerva (two).

"Our shot selection and ball rotation was a lot better," Reynolds said.

The Hawks held a 21-15 lead at intermission.

Ceres High falls twice

Ceres High's sophomore girls basketball team remained winless in league after dropping a pair of games on the road last week.

The Bulldogs combined to shoot just 18 percent (16 of 82) from the field and commit 56 turnovers against Sierra and Weston Ranch.

Guard Morgan Wright poured in a team-high 18 points and pulled down four rebounds during Ceres High's 41-29 loss to the Timberwolves on Thursday in Manteca.

Cherise Azevedo added eight points and six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 0-9 in the Valley Oak League standings.

Daejione Jones had two points.

Ranjoth Sandhu added one points.

Sherhea Hamilton and Sabrina Rinsamout collected seven and four rebounds, respectively.

Ceres High shot 16 percent (6 of 38) from the floor, 68 percent (15 of 22) from the free-throw line and committed 26 turnovers.

Down by two points at intermission, the visiting Bulldogs struggled to keep pace with Weston Ranch in the second half on their way to a 49-35 loss on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Ceres High turned the ball over 30 times during the course of the VOL contest.

Wright led Ceres High in scoring with 17 points. Sandhu tallied five points and seven rebounds. Azevedo contributed six points. Hamilton had three points and five rebounds.

The Cougars outscored the Bulldogs 32-20 after intermission.

Ceres High shot 23 percent (10 of 44) from the field and 54 percent (15 of 28) from the charity stripe for the game.