As I wrote about two weeks ago, I have no idea who will win the Delta Valley Conference boys' basketball championship. It probably will be Laguna Creek with the presence of Malik Pope, but that's not a certainty.
The girls' basketball championship is a bit easier to figure out. Monterey Trail will probably repeat with Davis not too far behind. The rest of the teams are anywhere between average and crummy. Here's a brief rundown:
2012-2013 Predictions - Delta Valley Conference Girls' Basketball
1. Monterey Trail
5. Elk Grove
6. Laguna Creek
Player of the Year: Qiana Levy, Monterey Trail
Coach of the Year: Louie Corpuz, Monterey Trail
Top Newcomer: Madison Wong, Elk Grove
Head coach: Louie Corpuz
2011-2012 record: 22-6 (9-1 DVC)
Last season was not only Louie Corpuz first as head coach of the Mustangs, but was also the school’s best season ever and its first DVC championship.
But the joy that came with all of that ended quickly when the Mustangs were upset at home in the opening round of the playoffs by St. Francis, 61-50.
The lingering hurt of that game, plus losing several key players to graduation such as Summayyah Wiggins, Monterey Trail’s leading scorer, and point guard Neha Kapoor, might bring the Mustangs back to the pack a little more this season.
However, still on the squad are this season’s top two players in the DVC, senior Qiana Levy (17.3 points, six steals a game) and junior Jasmine Redmond (15 points, six rebounds, five steals a game).
Corpuz has a terrific point guard in Tiara Webb, too, so baring an injury, Monterey Trail will likely win the conference for the second year in a row.
Head coach: Karen Foster
2011-2012 record: 10-16 (3-7 DVC)
The Blue Devils are off to a 8-3 start through Christmas including several one-sided wins over Woodcreek (61-26), Pioneer (62-10) and Tracy (65-30).
Second-year coach Karen Foster has last season’s top scorer, Ashleigh Vandenbrink, back for her senior year and she’s already doing quite well. The 5-10 forward is averaging 15.6 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. Twice she’s scored 26 points this year.
Head coach: David Kendrick
2011-2012 record: 17-11 (7-3 DVC)
The Pacers will be a pretty good team this season, but if the pre-season is any indication they’ll struggle to make the playoffs. Grant has already lost to Pleasant Grove, 74-47. The Eagles are probably the area’s top team this season.
Plus, Grant has dropped games to McClatchy and Burbank and both of those clubs are very ordinary. On top of that they’ve lost 89-35 to Brookside Christian.
The Pacers are led by 6-1 junior Raynell Lynn who is averaging 12.4 points and five rebounds a game.
Head coach: Robert Johnson
2011-2012 record: 13-14 (6-4 DVC)
Johnson was Franklin’s interim head coach in 2008-09 and that year the Wildcats were 21-8 and were eliminated in the Section semi-finals by Sheldon.
That season Johnson had Gena Johnson, who is now playing for Pacific, and Kim Manlangit, currently a point guard at UC-San Diego, leading the Wildcats. But, this season there’s no one close to either one of those girls’ talents.
Johnson will rely on 5-9 senior Lindsey Bedford and 5-8 junior Ellie Hong.
“Ellie is perhaps our most versatile player,” Johnson said. “She can play anywhere from (shooting guard) to (center).”
Center Madison Wheeler, who opened the season with a 17-point performance against Granite Bay, is currently nursing an injury. Johnson hopes to get her back for the holidays and the start of the conference season.
Point guard Sabrina Wu will also play lots of minutes for Franklin.
Head coach: Greg LeCount
2011-2012 record: 11-16 (2-8 DVC)
The Thundering Herd welcomed Greg LeCount to its coaching staff this year. He hasn’t been a high school head coach since 1996 when he coached at a high school in Hawaii. But, the past seven seasons, he’s been an assistant coach for the women’s team at Foothill College in Los Altos.
LeCount has only four returnees this season including senior Xavia Jackson and junior Tierra Leisure.
Elk Grove has really struggled to score baskets this season. They are averaging only 27.5 points a game. Individually, freshman Madison Wong is the team’s leading scorer averaging a little more than ten points per contest.
The Herd has been blown out by a couple quality teams such as Pleasant Grove (70-15) and Oakmont (69-35), but has defeated Yuba City, Beyer and Cordova.
Head coach: Bridgett Singleton
2011-2012 record: 8-16 (3-7 DVC)
The Cardinals have likewise taken their lumps this season in losing by 39 to McClatchy and by 58 to Florin, but they have mustered a pair of wins over Valley and one against Natomas.
Sophomore Arianna Alvarez who had a nice season a year ago as a freshman is leading Laguna Creek, scoring at a 12.0 points per game clip.