The Kimball High girls basketball team reached a key destination on a journey that coach Mike Granillo and a core group of players started nearly three years ago.
On Tuesday night the Jaguars (24-3, 13-1 Valley Oak League) claimed the VOL title, the first Jaguar varsity basketball team to do so, with the Jaguars’ 58-42 win over visiting Weston Ranch High (18-8, 11-3 VOL).
Junior Ayida Peters is one of five girls who have been the core of the Jaguars’ starting lineup for the past three years.
“We’ve been working so hard over the summer, and bringing it to the fall during conditioning,” Peters said. “Just to win our league is amazing and a dream come true for us.”
In the 2011-12 season the Jaguars’ top players were mostly freshmen, including Peters, Alexis Clark, Isabella Lawrence, Sarah Nunes and Allison Schmidt, all juniors now.
“It was such a blessing. I thank the Lord to be able to come to this,” Clark said.
“It’s amazing, because most of the girls have been playing together since the fifth grade, so just to be able to do this is awesome.”
They formed the core of the 2012-13 team that went to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. All of those girls returned for this year’s team, and with the exception of the one senior on the team, Brittany Lee, are all likely to return next year.
“Watching these girls grow up to become young women and develop their skills over the last three years has been a privilege,” coach Granillo said. “They’ve been working hard for this, and that’s the joy and excitement of it.”
Clark was Kimball’s leading scorer with 22 points, including four 3-point shots, and had eight rebounds. Schmidt scored 15 and had nine rebounds, and freshman Donwanae Anthony scored six points and had 11 rebounds.
Kimball now prepares for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, which begin on Friday. Brackets will be released Wednesday afternoon.
Lodi 28, Tracy 24
Dismal shooting plagued both the Tracy and Lodi girls, who sought to break their tie for third place in the San Joaquin Athletic Association and secure a place in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs. Lodi won the play-in game on Tuesday at Lodi 28-24 to end Tracy’s season.
Tracy coach Derek Solano said that the Tracy team (12-16, 5-6 SJAA) made eight of 67 field goal attempts and five of 19 free throws, and Lodi (15-13, 6-5 SJAA) did only slightly better. Tracy held a 12-10 lead at the half and Lodi took the lead in the third quarter.
Tracy junior Toni Harrison scored six points and sophomore Jazymn Gonzalez scored five.
Delta Charter 35, Lodi Academy 32
The Dragons came from behind in the second half to win their final regular-season game at Lodi Academy 35-32, securing their place in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
Delta Charter coach Johnny Aguilar said the Dragons (16-10, 12-2 Mountain Valley League) trailed 22-18 at the half, and noted that the Lodi Academy Titans (4-17, 4-10 MVL) were effective at breaking the Dragons’ defensive press. Aguilar shifted his team’s focus to offense in the second half and consistently outscored the Titans in the third and fourth quarters.
Millennium 38, Elliot Christian 33
The Millennium girls launched a second-half comeback to overcome the Elliot Christian Eagles 38-33 at Tokay High in Lodi on Tuesday. Elliot Christian led 18-13 at the half but the Falcons (9-14, 4-5 Central California Athletic Alliance) had a 29-28 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Sophomore Ashley Hart scored 14 points and freshman Amaya Salas scored 10.
The Falcons finish league play in second place behind Big Valley Christian, but are out of the playoffs because of an agreement earlier in the season that would allow two-time section champion Brookside Christian a playoff spot, even though Brookside would not compete for the CCAA title this year.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.