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Exciting season ahead for SAL girls basketball
Turlock Christians Aimee Jones defends Central Valleys Mia Lorenzo. - photo by DALE BUTLER / The Journal

With the season underway for the varsity girls’ basketball Southern Athletic League, we look at Denair, Delhi and Turlock Christian High’s squads for the 2013-14 campaign with a new season, different team, and a disparate perspective.

TC’s squad has been a force in the SAL the last three years posting up a whopping 40-2 record, but this year after losing four key seniors, including star Halie Bergman, things appear to be in the rebuilding process despite posting a 25-6 overall record last year and a second round loss in sectionals.

“It’s a young team; a different team,” TC head coach Edwin Santiago said. “We’re young, we make young mistakes, but we’re playing to win.”

This year will also be the last season in which the Eagles compete in the SAL as they will be joining the Central California Athletic Alliance next year.

“We’d like to leave our signature on the court no matter who we play, but we would like to go out on top in the SAL in our final year,” Santiago said. “It doesn’t bring any extra motivation, though. We just want to play our very best.”

The Eagles will make up one of the youngest teams in the SAL and roster only one senior in this upcoming season along with six sophomores who will be great assets to this young team.

 “We do expect big things from the team,” Santiago said. “We’ve suffered some injuries. So some younger players have had to step up. All 11 players will contribute significantly to our success.”

Some key players to watch will be Victoria Vieira who is currently banged up, Cassie Balswick, Meghan Mark, Kaylene Baskin and Mikayla Yagi.

Last year, the Denair Coyotes put up a 6-17 overall record and 3-11 in the SAL, while struggling to finish off games late in the season. However, this upcoming season looks to be quite different from last.

“We had trouble with chemistry as a team last year so now this season they are all good friends and hangout outside of basketball, so I think their personal goals are keeping their friendships and  strength on the court, because this team is very united and can play together,” Denair head coach Daniel Rodriguez said.

In his third year in the reign as Denair head coach, Rodriguez is hoping to make a playoff run, and make it the second appearance in the last three years after a nine year hiatus.


“I think we have always been an underrated team and hopefully this year is a year I can speak and say we will come out a little on top,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully they work a little better than last year after making the playoffs in my first year two seasons ago, if we get that shot again as top three team then we will make playoffs this year.”

The Coyotes biggest thing is playing as a team and playing good solid defense Rodriguez mentioned.

“Defense is what were based on this year, pressing teams and running down the court. Defense, defense, and defense,” Rodriguez said. “Just trying to press and were running and gunning hopefully, but we will see how it all goes.

With one sophomore on the squad last year, returning as a junior this season, Ashley Ramaley will be a tremendous help for this year’s team adding a multi dimensional look.

“This year we are a little bit older and have some size so we have some skill now and experience to help us out,” Rodriguez said.

Katelea Petty and Kailyn Brammer will be some of the leaders on the team. Petty can be the post player down low and Brammer is the outside shooter and guard who can handle the ball.

“I think in league, the girls are looking forward to beating TC this year, hopefully, since everyone is going after them for putting a rampage on everyone the last three years,” Rodriguez said. “It will be a lot of good competition everywhere a lot of solid teams, I don’t know what to expect, but we will see.”

It’s another rebuilding year and another new head coach for the Delhi Hawks 2013-14 season as Arcelia Arteaga takes over a team that was winless in league and only managed to capture four wins all season last year.

The team is split down the middle with four seniors and juniors and only one underclassmen — sophomore Lisette Castorena.