Central Valley’s varsity girls basketball team will face a daunting task this winter.
The Hawks will compete in the Central California Conference.
Central Valley moved from the Western Athletic Conference to the CCC as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment plan.
“We’ve played these schools before (in the preseason),” Hawks’ head coach Jesse Padilla said. “The girls are bigger and stronger. It’s more full-court pressing. I’m excited. I can’t wait until we play.”
Central Valley’s top returning players are Guadalupe Becerra (Sr.), Sunaina Dhillon (Sr.), Angelina Knights (Sr.), Anmolpreet Sangha (Sr.), Alyssa Maeyama (Sr.), Isabella Andres (Sr.) and Jennifer Novoa (Sr.).
The Hawks’ top newcomers are Maycie Guinn (Sr.), Jacquelyn Castillo (Sr.), Andrea Cortes (Jr.), Norma Garcia (Jr.) and Alanah Tavares (Jr.).
Castillo transferred from Beyer.
“This group worked hard all summer,” Padilla said.
Central Valley has good team chemistry.
“The seven seniors all hang out at school,” Padilla said. “Some of the girls have been playing together since junior high.”
Becerra and Dhillon are third-year varsity players.
“They know what I expect and what I want to see,” Padilla said. “The other girls ask them questions. They’re vocal.”
Central Valley’s CCC schedule will include games against Patterson, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Merced, Golden Valley and El Capitan. Patterson previously competed in the WAC.
The top three teams qualify for playoffs.
The Hawks struggled to a 3-18 overall record and finished fourth in conference play (2-8) a year ago.
Central Valley had its streak of consecutive postseason appearances snapped at three seasons last winter.
“I’d be happy if we finished in the top four,” Padilla said. “I’d just like to see the girls work hard and play together.”