Central Valley’s varsity boys basketball team struggled to a 9-18 overall record and won three of 10 games on its way to finishing in fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Second-year coach Mike Rodriguez has high hopes for the 2018-19 Hawks, who will rely heavily on 3-point shooting.
“I don’t want to put a prediction on wins,” he said. “We’re definitely capable of making playoffs. But it will all depend on how well we shoot the ball.”
Central Valley’s top returning players are Max Sanchez (Sr.), Daniel Villasenor (Sr.), Grant Neang (Sr.), Tony Gaut (Sr.) and Munraj Singh (Sr.).
Sanchez earned second-team all-WAC honors as a junior.
He averaged 10.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
The Hawks’ top newcomers are Jaeden Merchant (So.), Kadin Manor (Jr.), Angel Zamarippa (So.) and Jonathan Vierra (So.).
“Our strength is shooting the ball. We have experience. We also have more depth this year.”Coach Mike Rodriguez
“Our strength is shooting the ball,” Rodriguez said. “We have experience. We also have more depth this year.”
The Hawks will compete in the Central California Conference this year.
Central Valley relocated from the WAC to the CCC as part of the section’s league realignment plan.
“Overall, it’s a step up in competition,” Rodriguez said. “There are no pushovers.”
The new-look CCC consists of seven teams: Central Valley, Patterson, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Golden Valley, Merced and El Capitan.
The top three programs qualify for the playoffs.
The Hawks last participated in the postseason in 2016-17.
“We’re capable of being competitive,” Rodriguez said. “I scouted some of the teams. There are going to be a lot of close games.”