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CV, CHS compete at Pitman
Tatyanna Valencia
Tatyanna Valencia (30) and Central Valley’s girls basketball team topped Sandra Espinoza (5) and crosstown-rival Ceres High 55-30 at the Pitman Tournament on Dec. 29 in Turlock. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley High School’s girls basketball team showed flashes of excellence while competing at the Pitman Tournament, Dec. 27-29, in Turlock.

The Hawks compiled a 1-2 record and moved to 4-11 on the season.

Central Valley lost all eight of its games during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

“Our hard work is paying off,” second-year head coach Ryan Donnelly said. “Getting some wins has definitely helped their confidence. They’re having fun out there.”

The Hawks closed out tournament play with a 55-30 win over the crosstown-rival Ceres High Bulldogs on Dec. 29.

“The girls seemed to play with more energy this time,” Donnelly said. “One of Ceres’ main players (Mia Rodriguez) was out hurt. That helped us.”

Central Valley avenged a 55-47 loss.

The Hawks defeated the Bulldogs 38-28 on Nov. 26.

“The girls enjoy playing Ceres,” Donnelly said. “When you face a team three times, it makes it a little challenging. I look at it like just another game.”

Central Valley turned the third meeting between the two teams into a blowout during the second half.

“We got a little more aggressive, offensively and defensively,” Donnelly said.

Alyssa Rojo scored a team-high 17 points to lead the Hawks.

Kareena Kang drained three treys and finished with 14 points.

Jasman Kaur scored 10 points.

Delia Vidal tallied six points.

Makayla Dennison and Tatyanna Valencia each had four points.

Central Valley lost 49-39 to Hughson on Dec. 28.

The Huskies topped the Hawks 70-28 on Dec. 9.

“The first time we played Hughson, we lost by 42 points,” Donnelly said. “We played better this time.”

Kang paced the Hawks with 14 points. She drained four treys.

Vidal tallied 10 points.

Dennison and Rojo netted six and five points, respectively.

Kaur and Valencia both had two points.

Central Valley got within six points late in the fourth quarter.

“We outscored them in the second half,” Donnelly said. “That’s a positive.”

Central Valley opened the tournament with a 59-29 loss to host Pitman on Dec. 27.

“Pitman played a solid game,” Donnelly said. “We made a lot of mistakes. We struggled with rebounding. That killed us.”

Kang made three treys on her way to tallying a team-high 15 points.

Rojo added nine points.

Dennison and Kaur chipped in with two points apiece.

Kang totaled 43 points and buried 10 treys at the Pitman Tournament.

“That’s her best shooting performance throughout the season,” Donnelly said. “She’s only a sophomore. She’s finally getting adjusted to the varsity level. I know she works a lot on her shot outside of practice.”

Dawgs winless at Pitman

Ceres High School’s girls basketball team dropped all three of its games while competing shorthanded at the Pitman Tournament, Dec. 27-29, in Turlock.

The Bulldogs could have used co-captain Mia Rodriguez’s help. The fourth-year guard was sidelined with a hand injury.

“It changed the game plan a lot,” head coach Mike Estrada Jr. said. “I had to find different ways to get everybody involved to help our team be successful. It didn’t work out.”

“I’m sure Mia was itching to play,” he added. “She tried to help the other girls from the bench. Hopefully, she’ll be ready for league.”

Ceres High lost 55-30 to crosstown-rival Central Valley on Dec. 29.

The Hawks won two of three games versus the Bulldogs this season.

“It’s not fun losing to teams you beat before,” Estrada said. “They just outhustled us. They beat us on the boards. We weren’t making the right decisions. We had a lot of mental mistakes.”

Celeste Leon scored a team-high 17 points during Ceres High’s third meeting against Central Valley.

Alayna De La Torre added six points.

Sandra Espinoza and Citlali Miranda both collected two points.

Carmen Espinoza had one point.

Central Valley took control of the game after intermission.

“We played okay in the first half,” Estrada said. “Fatigue set in during the second half.”

Ceres High lost 56-33 to Turlock on Dec. 28.

Leon tallied a team-high 13 points.

Jaleen Melendez had eight points

Sandra Espinoza had six points.

De La Torre, Valeria Arroyo and Carmen Espinoza all contributed two points.

Ceres High lost 64-31 to Sonora on Dec. 27.

Leon poured in a team-high 17 points.

De La Torre and Sandra Espinoza contributed six and four points, respectively.

Arroyo had two points.

Melendez added one point.

Ceres High was outscored 175-94 at the Pitman Tournament.

“The expectation was to compete the best that we could,” Estrada said. “We expected to win one or two games.”

The Bulldogs head into Western Athletic Conference play with a 3-10 record.

“I figured out what I need to do as a coach to get our team in better situations to be successful,” Estrada said.