Girls ready to hoop it up in league play
Sacramento Valley League
The chance of a team escaping the SVL schedule undefeated is unlikely this season with so many teams evenly matched. Last year's co-champions Willows High and Colusa are still the favorites but just one team has a losing record so far this season.
Live Oak is 7-3 but lost by 15 to Willows in its only game against a league opponent in the preseason.
Trinity (6-5) split its games with a strong Central Valley team and all of its losses came against teams with winning records.
Durham has the worst record in the SVL so far but holds wins against Lassen, Red Bluff and Orland. The Trojans split their games with Willows, and the 4-6 record is deceiving, two of those losses were to Pleasant Valley and Paradise.
The RedHawks hope to build on a 23-4 season last year but will need to do it without leading scorer Caroline Meyers who graduated.
So far Colusa is doing a fine job with an 8-2 record and both losses were to quality opponents.
Few teams can stop senior Katie Mobley who averages a double-double a game with 18.7 points and 10.9 rebounds. As teams focus on stopping the RedHawks star center, Mattie Myers (6.5 points and 3.2 assists) and Cheyenne Rogers (7.3 points, 7.9 rebounds) have the talent to carry the team.
Savannah Miller, Emily Mobley, Yasmin Moreno and Paige Townzen all see significant playing time for the RedHawks and are capable of scoring in bunches.
Pierce already has more wins than it did all of last season but will need to keep games low scoring to contend in the tough SVL this year.
Sara Nunez leads the Bears with 10.8 points a game. Macy Cox is an all-around threat, averaging seven points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game.
Ashley Flood, Alison Ornbaun and Ellen Hansen round out the Bears starting lineup.
Size and depth may be an issue during the tough league schedule for Pierce but teams can't sleep against a defense which has held four teams under 30 points.
Inconsistency has plagued the Honkers so far but, like the boys squad, many of the players got a late start after a section championship run kept several key players off the basketball court until just before the season started.
The Honkers hold wins against league opponents Live Oak and Durham, although the Trojans avenged the loss a week later, during the preseason.
Ally Brunner spearheads the Honkers' offense with 15.1 points a game and 8.4 rebounds. Colleen Tade is dangerous all over the court with 8.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.1 blocks and 3.6 assists a game. Megan Hughes adds 7.5 points and 4.5 steals a game.
Willows has plenty of depth with four other players scoring at least three points a game.
As the Honkers get their basketball feet under them, expect a much improved second half to the season.
Williams will have a tough time in the stacked Mid-Valley League this season.
East Nicolaus (11-0) and Portola (10-2) will likely battle it out for the league title while the Yellowjackets (1-6) and Esparto (2-4) fight for the third spot.
The Yellowjackets are holding their own this year, losing close games to Chester, Pierce and Princeton.
Emilee Cranford leads the Yellowjackets with 9.8 points, 9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game. Elizabeth Rivera scores 7.2 points a game and swipes 2.8 steals. Jazmin Gomez averages 5.7 points a game and Ashlin Covarrubias pulls down nine rebounds a game.
Princeton High will try to improve on last season's third-place finish in league and will have plenty of opportunity to do so in the wide-open PVL.
Redding Adventist (5-3) and Princeton (5-5) have remarkably similar results against their common opponents which could foreshadow an entertaining battle for the league title.
Paradise Adventist (5-8) played the majority of the preseason against out-of-section opponents so it's hard to tell how well the Cougars stack up.
Champion Christian (3-5) has a win against Lindhurst and will provide a challenge. Elk Creek (2-6) lost to Princeton 41-19 on Dec. 17 but beat Greenville and Downieville earlier in the season.
Princeton features a balanced scoring attack with Maryssa Martin (11.3 points), Amanda Hansen (9.4), Mindi Perez (7.6) and Gaby Rodriguez (6.1).
The Eagles average 12 steals a game and everyone on the court can rebound. What Princeton lacks in superstars it makes up for with quality players across the board.