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March 3, 2010 > MVAL teams get early boot in NCS play

MVAL teams get early boot in NCS play

By Nick Zambrano
Photos By William Mancebo

It's been that kind of year for the Newark Memorial High School Lady Cougars: the kind of year where games have just been way too close for comfort. And games such as those proved to be an even bigger nuisance when it came down to the North Coast Section (NCS) Division 1 Championships.

After narrowly defeating the James Logan High School Lady Colts, 53-49, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in the opening round of the NCS tourney, Newark (20-12) faced another barn-burner when they squared off with the Castro Valley High School Lady Trojans on Saturday, Feb. 27, at home.

Coming into the match-up, no.-14 seed Castro Valley - the lowest seed in the Championship brackets - had already defeated third-seeded Monta Vista High, 54-42, on Tuesday's opening-round game. And the Lady Trojans managed to pull off another upset when they edged out the sixth-seeded Lady Cougars, 53-52.

Castro Valley let its presence be known early on as its defense forced numerous turnovers. With less than three minutes remaining in the opening quarter, the Lady Trojans got its first lead - one of only three for the game. On top of that, the girls from Castro Valley also managed to shut down 3-point threat Franchesca Ruta, holding her to only seven points.

However, a 9-1 run by Newark ended the quarter with the Lady Cougars on top, 17-13. The run was extended in the second quarter as the Lady Cougars opened up with seven straight points, giving them a run of 15-1. Newark would not relinquish the lead for the remainder of the quarter.

In the second half, Newark seemed to be in full control, owning a 14-point lead, 43-29, with 1:15 left in the third quarter. Chanise Powell had eight of her 22 points in the third.

Unfortunately, things went downhill for Powell and the Lady Cougars from that point on.

With three Newark players with four fouls, Castro Valley returned the favor and opened up a 13-1 run that lasted over four minutes. The run gave the Lady Trojans a 49-48 lead with less than 90 seconds on the clock.

To make matters worse, the Lady Cougars were without four members from their starting lineup: forward Taylor Norman, Powell and Ruta fouled out of the game. Kelsey Pease left the game shortly after her teammates fouled out with what appeared to be a leg injury. With those four out, the Lady Cougars' offense stalled and could not respond to Castro Valley's resurgence.

Newark coach Darryl Reina was quick to praise the effort given by the Lady Trojans.

"Give all the credit to Castro Valley," Reina said. "I hope they do well the rest of the way."

The Lady Trojans will try to keep their Cinderella story going when they face Deer Valley High on Wednesday, March 3. Log onto www.cifncs.org to find results to all NCS Tournament games

Berkeley ends Washington's season with lopsided victory
The Lady Huskies of Washington High (number-nine seed) ended its impressive year on a sour note. After fighting from the middle of the Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) pack, Washington earned an NCS bid, a vast improvement from the year before.

Before its demise at the hands of the top-seeded Berkeley High School Yellow Jackets in the second round of the NCS, Washington made good work out of California High, 63-54. In that contest, the Lady Huskies saw its scoring fuel come from all angles. Sabrina Swayzer had 15 points while fellow seniors Deja Bishop and Shay Wallace had 13 and 12 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Chessie Santeramo finished that contest with 11 points; she was 3-7 from 3-point range.

American and Mission San Jose get first-round exits
The MVAL overloaded the NCS picture as they received four bids into the Division 1 Championships. Of those four teams, American and Mission San Jose high schools were elected. Unfortunately, both teams were shown the door the second they walked through.

American, the no.-12 seed, fought mercilessly but were unable to contain the fifth-seeded Heritage High Lady Patriots, 61-44, on Tuesday, Feb. 23. American ended its year with a 15-11 record.

Mission's Lady Warriors weren't so lucky as they saw no.-seven Livermore High walk over them, 58-36. Mission was the no. 10 seed in the brackets but was unable to get its footing against the Cowboys. After getting the bitter taste of defeat, the Lady Warriors finished 19-9 on the year.

NCS Divisions II-VI recap
Of the four teams participating in the NCS Tournament from Division II-VI - Hayward (DII), Moreau Catholic (DIII), Fremont Christian (DV) and California School for the Deaf (DVI) high schools - only one was able to advance: California School for the Deaf.

The sixth-seeded Lady Eagles of CSD were able to squeak past no.-11 seeded Point Arena High School, 46-42, on Wednesday, Feb. 24. RiChara Glenn led the way for CSD, netting 20 points while getting eight steals.

However, on Saturday, Feb. 27, CSD's run came to a screeching halt when third-seeded Contra Costa Christian High ran past them 47-28 at Cornerstone Christian High's court.

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, Hayward, as the DII no.-12 seed, was upended by no.-five seeded Montgomery High School, 70-47. Also on Tuesday, in the DIII tourney, no.-11 seeded Moreau Catholic went to the sixth-seeded Analy High School and was eliminated with a 52-46 loss. And on Wednesday, Feb. 24, the 14th-seeded Fremont Christian Warriors in the DV bracket were blasted 49-26 by number-three Head-Royce High School.

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