By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Newbies contribute at CV
Juniors Ryan Donnelly and Kendel Johnson didn't play in a single game for Central Valley High School's varsity boys basketball team during the preseason.

Donnelly and Johnson were required to sit out 30 days to satisfy a CIF transfer rule.

Ryan and Kendel, formerly of Pitman and Beyer, both came off the bench while making their debut with the Hawks Wednesday night.

Donnelly, a 6-foot-6 210-pound junior forward/center, scored a team-high 17 points in Central Valley's Western Athletic Conference season-opening 62-47 loss to visiting Patterson.

Kendel, a 6-foot-2 175-pound guard, finished with just two points. He contributed more on defense.

"I was nervous at the start," Ryan said. "I thought it would take longer to get into the flow of the game. I was out for so long. But I prepared myself a lot for this game. I was ready."

Donnelly's and Johnson's older siblings were standout athletes at Ceres High School.

Sister Shannon Donnelly, 30, played three years of varsity basketball.

She won the Central California Conference's Most Valuable Player award during her junior and senior years. She led the Bulldogs to a 30-3 overall record, runner-up finish at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I tournament and perfect 18-0 mark in the CCC in 1998-99.

Shannon earned a basketball scholarship to Cal State Stanislaus. She had her No. 35 jersey retired in 2003. She was inducted into the Warriors' Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Shannon was a three-time All-American and four-time All-Region player at Stanislaus.

She averaged 20.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game and led the Warriors into the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time in 12 years in 2002-03.

Sister Jode Johnson, a 2010 Ceres High grad, is currently playing basketball for Modesto Junior College.

Jode was voted Ceres High Female Athlete of the Year a school-record three times.

She earned 10 varsity letters, including four in basketball, and three in both softball and volleyball.

Jode spent her first year of college at William Jessup University.

She helped lead the Lady Warriors' softball team to the Cal-Pacific Conference regular season title.

Johnson was named Cal-Pac Conference Freshman of the Year.

She hit .374 with two homers, one triple, four doubles, 16 RBIs, 31 runs and eight stolen bases while batting leadoff and starring in right field.

Jode was a role player on William Jessup's basketball team, which collected 13 wins and tied for second place in the Cal-Pac Conference.

She had a career-high 14 points in an 82-52 loss to Oregon Tech.

"He was a baby when I was in high school," said Shannon, who's 14 years older than Ryan. "He never saw me play. He's never had to experience it (playing in my shadow) so he doesn't feel any added pressure."

Ryan learned about Shannon's hardcourt exploits from their grandfather. He saved all of Shannon's articles.

"I was surprised at how well she did," Ryan said. "She dominated the game. I want to top what she did. I've been playing my whole life. That's all I do. I'm trying to get to the next level. I've learned a lot from her. We both play in the post."

"He brings a lot to the team," Shannon said. "He loves the game. He's out every day shooting with (CV teammate) Jaron Dickson. We live right down the street from each other. He knows he needs to work hard to get where he wants to go. He does want to be better than me."

Ryan tallied 10 points in the second quarter as Central Valley grabbed a 28-25 lead against Patterson.

He converted a four-point play late in the first half.

He hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline while being fouled by a Tiger defender. Ryan made the subsequent free throw.

The Tigers erased a double-digit lead in the first quarter and rolled after intermission.

"I wish they would have won," Shannon said.

Said Ryan: "Turnovers changed the momentum of the game and got them a big lead."

"Ryan gave us a huge lift," Hawks head coach Darryl Dickson added. "I was real surprised. He hasn't played all season. He's only going to get better once he gets his legs under him. The beauty is he's only a junior."