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Hawk duo garners CCC recognition
• Central Valley relied heavily on Sanchez, Neang
Max Sanchez averaged a team-leading 15.3 points per game during his final season with Central Valley’s varsity boys basketball program. - photo by Dale Butler

Max Sanchez and Grant Neang filled key roles on Central Valley’s varsity boys basketball team during the 2018-19 season.

The two seniors earned all-league honors at the Central California Conference year-end coaches’ meeting on Feb. 11 in Merced.

“It’s a credit to them,” Hawks’ head coach Mike Rodriguez said. 

Sanchez was selected to the CCC First Team.

The sharp-shooting guard averaged 15.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

“In conference play, he made four or more 3-pointers six times,” Rodriguez said. “That’s half the games.”

Sanchez will be remembered as one of Central Valley’s greatest perimeter shooters.

He made 78 3-pointers during his final year with the Hawks.

“He’s a kid that worked on his game,” Rodriguez said. “He showed up early and stayed after practice to get more shots up. His confidence helped him out quite a bit. He believes he’ll make every shot.”

Neang, Central Valley’s slender point guard, was an honorable-mention selection.

“He did a really solid job for us handling the ball,” Rodriguez said. “He’s so small and quick he was able to split defenses and traps. He’s also the guy that started our fast break and got a lot of our guys 3-point shots.”

Neang averaged 9.9 points, 4.7 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

“He turned into a really good player,” Rodriguez said. “He learned how to control the game and tempo. Being so small, he was at a disadvantage, but he was able to make layups over bigger guys.”

Central Valley compiled a 4-8 record on its way to a fifth-place finish in the CCC standings.

“The guys played hard but we couldn’t maintain our consistency through games.”