VACAVILLE — The City of Vacaville and its girls high school basketball teams are looking to make some noise in their respective leagues this season, and don’t be surprised if they do.
Wood, Vacaville and Vacaville Christian were all around the .500 mark last season, while Buckingham Charter struggled to a 3-18 record.
Here’s a look at this year’s teams:
The Wildcats, 13-14 and 2-8 in the Monticello Empire League a season ago, return their top scorer in Reana Hardin, along with fellow starters Ashley Steinkellner and Selena Lopez.
Coach Bob Fernandez is also looking to get some good output from newcomers Deshena Crocker, Victoria Lopez and Sanniyah Pippins.
“We’re trying to get to .500 and sneak into the back door of playoffs,” Fernandez said. We want to get back to .500. But Armijo is obviously the class of the league.”
The Bulldogs were 15-14 and 5-5 in the MEL last year, and coach Annaliese Vasquez likes what she’s seen so far this season.
Vasquez returns Julia DePonte, a two-time all league junior at point guard, Capriana Christian, a junior point guard, and forward Allie Krohn, a junior shooting guard. She she also looks to get production from Haylie Holbein, and Morgan Anala.
“We are carrying 16 girls this year and 10 are returning varsity players,” Vasquez said. “We have only three seniors. We are looking to play fast and control the tempo of our games. We have a lot of girls and good depth, so we are trying to use that to our advantage.”
The Falcons, coming off a 15-13 season, including an 8-4 record in the Sierra Delta League, are now under the direction of Tyrone Ruff, who spent the last two seasons coaching the JV boys team.
Ruff has his work cut out for him this season as VCS returns just one player overall in sophomore Georgette Delland, so he’ll need to get some quality playing time from newcomers Raquel Tucker, Sarah Moffett, Shyanne Lum, Nataliegh Kenner and Isabel Hopper.
“Some haven’t played ball or haven’t played in years,” Ruff said. “The thing I have to remember is some don’t know the game. We just start with the basics, keep their attitude up and be in position to keep them interested in the sport. The good thing is the middle school has some experience. Hopefully we can keep them together. When we get to be juniors and seniors, we should be good. They are willing to work. It’s gonna be a little bumpy . . ”
Coach Tessa Threets and the Knights struggle last season at 3-18 and just 1-11 in the Sacramento Metro Athletic League, but she’s still upbeat for a new season.
“We are excited about our strong returning group,” Threets said in an email. Seniors Juliana Page and Michelle Brooks will bring strength, motivation and hard work. Junior returners Carissa Williams, Jasmine Coutee, Ashley Brooks and Jasmine Gonzalez are experienced, confident and will be key in the chemistry of the team. Returning sophomore Cilease Hathcock is strong in the key and works hard. Newcomers are senior Selena Arana and freshmen, Jayleen Moralez, Amy Topasna, Brianna White and Shaina Mulky who are enthusiastic and will bring great determination to the court.”
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.