TCAL girls’ hoops preview

Team-by-team outlook as league season gets underway
No TCAL member played in more tournaments in the early season than the Gilroy girls’ basketball team.

The Mustangs took on anyone, anywhere. They won two of three at their own tournament. Two of three in Pacific Grove. Two of three in Burlingame. Then lost three of four at the ultra-tough Nike Hoopfest in San Marcos.

So the ‘Stangs are tournament-tested. They’ve faced a wide range of teams from Canada to Southern California, and have survived to the tune of an 11-6 record.

But now the real test begins.

The league season begins Friday – and it begins with a bang. Gilroy hits the road to take on archrival Hollister, which is off to a hot 9-3 start.

Many consider the Haybalers to be the favorites to win the league, but it looks to be a fairly wide-open race. The struggling Live Oak program will almost certainly continue to struggle. And after losing all five starters, North Salinas might join the Acorns in the cellar.

After that, though, there doesn’t appear to be any overwhelming edge held by the four remaining teams: Hollister, Notre Dame, Gilroy and Salinas and defending champ Notre Dame, led by all-state selection and 3-point bomber Jessica Ross.

Let the fun begin …

1. San Benito Haybalers

Coach: Tom Dean

2004-05: 9-3

2003-04: 18-9, 5-5 TCAL (3rd place)

Last year’s CCS finish: Lost to Salinas 60-54 in Division I semis.

TCAL opener: Friday vs. Gilroy, 7pm

Outlook: The Balers will be running every chance they get this season. With a strong transition game and an emphasis on conditioning in the offseason, look for the team to have energy to spare down the home stretch of games. Guard Trisha Lee, the team’s leading scorer, and center Jamie Hall are back for their senior seasons. Hall, a first-team TCAL selection last season, should pair with J.T. Temperino to give San Benito serious strength down low. And if last week’s 65-26 demolition of a decent Alisal team is an indication of things to come, the rest of the league better watch out.

Roster (starters in bold):

# Player Ht. Yr. Pos.

21 Dani Andrewson 5-8 Senior G*

22 Jennifer Anaya 5-5 Senior G

23 Jaime Flores 5-7 Senior G

24 Ariel Romero 5-5 Junior G

25 Johni Kieswetter 5-7 Senior G/F

31 Kristina Leal 5-7 Senior F

32 Trisha Lee 5-4 Senior G*

33 Cortney Almaguer 5-8 Senior F/C*

34 Crystina Osborne 5-8 Senior F

35 Ashley Patton 5-10 Junior G/F

43 Jaime Temperino 5-10 Junior F*

44 Jaime Hall 6-1 Senior C*

2. Notre Dame Spirit

Coach: John Given

2004-05: 8-6

2003-04: 25-5, 10-0 TCAL (1st place )

Last year’s CCS finish: Beat Valley Christian 52-46 in Division IV final; lost to St. Mary’s (Berkeley) 50-48 in NorCal Division IV semis

TCAL opener: Friday vs. Salinas, 7pm

Outlook: Defending champion Notre Dame returns TCAL MVP and CalHi Sports all-state selection Jessica Ross, and the Spirits look capable of running off another perfect record in league play this year. Ross (18.3 ppg, 36 3’s) is scoring at an even higher clip than last year, while Randy Goodenough (10.0 ppg) adds some scoring punch of her own.

Roster (starters in bold):

# Player Ht. Yr. Pos.

1 Gina Aldape 5-2 Junior G

2 Lyncee Mendalla 5-4 Freshman G

3 Lauren Schutzler 5-5 Soph G

5 Melissa Ward 5-9 Junior F

10 Caitlin Connolly 5-8 Senior F

12 Megan Taylor 5-4 Senior G*

20 Kasey Clark 5-6 Senior G

21 Britney Plummer 5-9 Senior F*

23 Briana Mendalla 5-0 Junior G

24 Kristen Santos 5-10 Freshman F*

25 Claire Griffin 5-6 Junior G

32 Amanda Callahan 5-8 Junior F

33 Jessica Ross 5-11 Senior G*

35 Randy Goodenough 6-2 Senior F*

44 Megan Romero 5-7 Senior F

3. Gilroy Mustangs

Coach: Kari Williams

2004-05: 10-6

2003-04: 13-17, 3-7 TCAL (5th place)

Last year’s CCS finish: Lost to Salinas 68-51 in Division I final; lost to Grace Davis 68-51 in NorCal Division I first round

TCAL opener: Friday at San Benito, 7pm

Outlook: The Mustangs certainly have some tourney experience under their belt. They competed in four tournaments, posting a winning record in each of the first three before going 1-3 at the ultra-tough Nike Hoopfest in San Marcos. Gilroy is paced by leading scorer Katherine Hussey, as well as the 3-point shooting of guards Kristen Campos and Shanté Mancera.

Roster (starters in bold):

# Player Ht. Yr. Pos.

2 Shanté Mancera 5-2 Senior G

3 Marissa Nowakowski 5-1 Junior G

4 Kendall Costa 5-8 Senior F*

5 Stephanie Radtke 5-9 Senior F

13 Michelle DiFiore 5-10 Senior F*

14 Katherine Hussey 5-9 Junior G*

15 Jessica Groppe 5-11 Junior F*

24 Amanda Link 6-0 Senior C

30 Kristen Campos 5-2 Junior G*

32 Sarah Whitney 5-10 Senior F

40 Logan McKenna 5-9 Senior F

4. Salinas Cowboys

Coach: Alan Takemura

2004-05: 9-7

2003-04: 19-10, 8-2 TCAL (2nd place)

Last year’s CCS finish: Beat Gilroy 68-51 in Division I final; lost to Laguna Creek 69-47 in NorCal Division I first round

TCAL opener: Friday at Notre Dame, 7pm

Outlook: Salinas returns one half of their all-league guard duo in Tana Azevedo, but loses her backcourt mate, Rebekah Fales, to graduation. For a team that rolled all the way to the NorCal Division I quarterfinals last year, Fales will be tough to replace … as the Cowboys’ non-league record (9-7) attests. But the Cowboys, who rolled all the way to the NorCal Division I quarters last year, have played a tough schedule and do own nice victory over Aptos.

Roster (starters in bold):

# Player Ht. Yr. Pos.

5. North Salinas Vikings

Coach: Darren Jackson

2004-05 non-league record: 8-6

Last year’s record: 12-13 overall (4-6 in TCAL, 4th place)

Last year’s CCS finish: Lost to Aragon 61-36 in Division II first round

TCAL opener: Friday vs. Live Oak, 7pm

Outlook: After losing all five starters from last year’s team to graduation, the Viking girls will be challenged to repeat their fourth-place finish in TCAL and return to the CCS playoffs with a very young team that features two freshman starters. However, North Salinas is off to a solid 8-6 start in non-league action behind the play of senior forward Dorine Hernandez, junior forward Nicole Martinez and sophomore center Domonique Hill.

Roster (starters in bold):

# Player Ht. Yr. Pos.

3 Michelle Sanchez 5-1 Senior G

5 Cindy Cano 4-11 Freshman G*

10 Rachelle Morales 5-1 Senior G

20 Brittany Gonzales 5-8 Fresh F*

21 Olivia Smith 5-6 Soph F

22 Dorine Hernandez 5-8 Senior F*

23 Audrey Sanchez 5-7 Soph F

25 Domonique Hill 5-10Soph C*

30 Nicole Martinez 5-9 Junior F*

32 Cashmere Pope 5-3 Senior G

33 Monica McGriff 5-8 Senior F

40 Elizabeth Fleming 5-10 Junior C

6. Live Oak Acorns

Coach: Jeff Perkins

2004-05 non-league record: 3-10

Last year’s record: 2-22 overall (0-10 in TCAL, 6th place)

Last year’s CCS finish: Did not qualify

TCAL opener: Friday at North Salinas, 7pm

Outlook: As the Acorn girls’ fourth coach in the past four years, Jeff Perkins has his hands full with attempting to turn the program around. It’s been three years since the LO girls have won a league game, and the season would probably be considered a success if they could pull one off. On the bright side, sophomores Afshawn Chakamian and Megan Gulla, in her second year of varsity play, are burgeoning top-flight talents. And the Acorns did beat North Monterey County 44-25 in their final non-league game last week.

Roster (Starters in bold):

# Player Ht. Wt. Yr. Pos.

5 Dandrell Thomas 5-4 Junior G

10 Breanne Campbell 5-5 Junior G

11 Mattie Borges 5-9 Junior F

12 Afshawn Chakamian 6-0 Soph C

13 Nikki Clancy 5-5 Junior G

15 Sarah Goodere 5-5 Soph G

21 Megan Gulla 5-8 Soph G

22 Colleen Henningsen 5-7 Junior F

23 Christina Rodriquez 5-7 Senior C

24 Annalise Curley 5-8 Junior G

33 Amanda Lytle 5-3 Senior G

41 Michelle McClintic 5-6 Junior F

– Compiled by Brett Edgerton and Jim Johnson

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