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Playoff pairings released
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The Sac-Joaquin Section released its playoff brackets for varsity boys and girls high school basketball on Sunday.

Just one of Ceres Unified School District's four teams was invited to the postseason.

The top 16 teams in each division, six total, qualified.

Central Valley High School's varsity girls were awarded the No. 14 seed in the Division-II bracket and played at No. 3 McNair (24-3, 8-2) on Tuesday. The final score was unavailable at press time.

The Hawks won the Western Athletic Conference crown (10-2) for the second straight year and entered the playoffs with a 19-5 record.

Veterans Brittany Martinez, Vivien Fermil and Diana Carmona, and newcomers Valerie Olide and Mia Lorenzo have filled key roles.

Martinez, a junior post player, averaged 10.9 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks during the regular season.

Olide averaged 9.1 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Carmona averaged 8.3 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.3 rebounds.

Lorenzo averaged 7.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.6 assists.

Fermil averaged 6.9 points and 2.2 assists. She shot a team-best 56 percent (28 of 50) from beyond the arc.

Central Valley's youth-laden boys hoops squad compiled a 9-18 overall record and finished in fourth place (4-8) in the WAC standings.

The Hawks relied heavily on senior point guard Camron Thornton and junior forward Miguel Rodriguez this year. Underclassmen Diego Sanchez, Ja'Quan Gardner, Jordan Sek, Milton Uti and Jaron Dickson also contributed.

Thornton set a school record for points in a league game with 33 versus Pacheco.

Central Valley's biggest win came against second-place Patterson (19-7, 8-4). The Tigers advanced to the postseason. The Hawks lost twice to crosstown-rival Ceres High, including 60-55 in overtime on Friday.

"We tried our best," said Rodriguez, a junior forward.

Ceres High's boys climbed as high as No. 20 in the Division-III power ratings thanks to the play of Binder Atwal, Jimbo Pernetti and Harman Chung.

The Bulldogs posted a 9-18 overall record and finished third in league (7-5) despite losing four starters from the previous season's WAC title team.

Ceres High split with co-league champion and playoff participant Los Banos. Atwal poured in a game-high 24 points during the Bulldogs' 49-38 homecoming upset of the visiting Tigers on Feb. 3.

"I'm proud of the boys," Bulldogs head coach Brian de la Porte said.

Ceres High's girls improved tremendously under the direction of first-year leader Vanessa Morris.

With junior star Bryce Ford leading the way, the Bulldogs won nine of their 24 games and placed fourth in the WAC (4-8).

Ceres High swept Central Catholic, a Division-V playoff qualifier.

The Bulldogs always played hard.

"I feel bad for them," Morris said. "They gave me everything they possibly could."