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A season to remember
CVs frosh girls post perfect 24-0 overall record
Jocelyn Lopez and Central Valley High Schools freshman girls basketball team enjoyed a memorable 2015-16 campaign. The Hawks won all 24 of their games and posted a perfect 12-0 record in Western Athletic Conference play. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's undefeated freshman girls basketball team didn't underestimate Livingston.

Reduced to playing the role of spoiler, the third-place Wolves had trouble keeping up with the visiting Hawks.

Every other opponent Central Valley faced this year encountered the same problem.

"On any given day the best team could be beaten," Hawks head coach Julie Gant said. "I always reminded the girls."

Central Valley took care of business at Livingston on Feb. 16 as it closed out the 2015-16 campaign with a 40-22 win.

"It was a great ride," Gant said.

The Hawks compiled a perfect 24-0 overall record this year.

Central Valley won all 12 of its Western Athletic Conference games for the second consecutive season.

The Hawks went 19-1 during the 2014-15 school year.

"I'm really proud of what they achieved," Gant said.
"They worked great together. The girls that came off the bench played just as hard as the starters."

Yesenia Zuniga had a game-high 14 points during Central Valley's final game.

Naciah Smith added 12 points.

Chrystal Perales and Abigail Martinez both contributed four points.

Isabella Andres, Marianna Gomez and Jennifer Novoa finished with two points apiece.

The Hawks dominated the opening quarter. Central Valley more than tripled the Wolves' scoring output (20-6). Zuniga led the way with 10 points. Smith and Perales tallied six and four points, respectively.

Smith, Perales, Zuniga and Martinez all filled key roles on this year's team.

Naciah and Chrystal were post players.

Zuniga and Martinez were guards.

"Their strengths helped everybody else become better as a team," Gant said.

Central Valley made sure to take every opponent serious.

"The girls dedicated a lot of time to the program," Gant said. "Most of them wanted to practice all the time even during holidays. They just like being together."

Central Valley posted a combined record of 43-1 under Gant's guidance from 2014-16.

The Hawks have won back-to-back WAC titles at the freshman level.

"It's never a set goal," Gant said while talking about finishing the season undefeated. "We've been fortunate the last couple of years to get great athletes. Everyone wants to beat us. They try hard."