Girls' basketball roundup, 2/8: Pajaro Valley, St. Francis win long-awaited league titles

Pajaro Valley senior point guard Jayleen Solorzano (5) shoots against a pair of Gonzales defenders during Wednesday night's PCAL-SL game in Watsonville. — Tony Nunez/Register-Pajaronian

It took all of three seconds for Pajaro Valley to take the lead against Gonzales in Wednesday night’s Pacific Coast Athletic League Santa Lucia division game.

The Grizzlies had a chance to win their first-ever league title, and they played like it.

“In our minds we knew that this was it,” said Pajaro Valley second-year coach Lupe Quintero. “They came out and said, ‘let’s go get it. Let’s go make history.’”

Pajaro Valley did just that.

The Grizzlies thumped visiting Gonzales, 59-17, to win the PCAL-SL title outright a night after clinching a share of the championship with a 60-36 win at Greenfield.

Senior point guard Jayleen Solorzano scored the game’s first points three seconds in, and the state’s leading scorer put on another showcase over the next 31 minutes, finishing with 30 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. 

Senior wing Michelle Ibarra added 17 points and nine rebounds to help Pajaro Valley improve to 19-4 overall and 9-0 in PCAL-SL play — both marks being program records.

“I’m so proud of them,” Quintero said. “It was all about them. It has to be fulfilling for them after all the work they’ve done. This was what they wanted.”

“This," being a league title, and a spot in the upcoming Central Coast Section playoffs, a perk of winning the PCAL-SL.

The Grizzlies, winners of their last 12, will make the program’s third trip to the postseason, and first since the 2015-16 season.

“We’ll see how far we can go, but I know we don’t want to go to CCS and lose in the first round,” Quintero said. “We’ve been talking about CCS from the beginning — since the offseason, really.”

Pajaro Valley, which finishes up the regular season against Pacific Collegiate School on Tuesday at Kaiser Permanente Arena, wasn’t the lone local team that earned a playoff spot this week.

It wasn’t the only team to win a league title either.

St. Francis captured no worse than a share of the PCAL-Cypress title on Tuesday after it beat King City, 58-36, on senior night, and Carmel beat Stevenson on the same night.

St. Francis interim head coach Adam Hazel informed the Sharks at the start of the team’s 7 a.m. practice the next day. 

It is the program's first title since the 2010-11 season.

“They were pretty excited, but I made sure to tell them that we were sharing it at the moment and we have a chance to win it outright if we handle our business,” Hazel said.

Senior point guard Janessa Yniguez had 17 points in the title-clinching win, and senior center Tanya Gallo added nine.

Hazel, who stepped in to coach the team three games into the season, dished a great amount of credit to Yniguez and Gallo — the team’s lone seniors — for this year’s success.

“It’s a real credit to our seniors,” Hazel said. “I, by no means, think I’m John Wooden… They’ve carried the team. They’ve been such great leaders.” 

In other girls’ basketball action from Jan. 31-Feb. 6:

Ceiba 33, at Trinity 25 - Summer Hashimoto scored 13 points, Kianna Lomeli added 11 and the Spartans kept themselves alive in the PCAL-Arroyo with a win on Wednesday night.

Ceiba (8-3, 8-2) plays Pacific Point Christian on Saturday at Aromas Middle School at 3:45 p.m.

At M.V.C. 47, San Benito 42 - Hanna Harvey’s double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) powered the Mustangs over the Haybalers in Wednesday’s PCAL-G win.

Aleah Rafat and Madison Hill each added eight points and four rebounds.

M.V.C. (17-6, 5-4) closes out its regular season on Tuesday at league-leading North Salinas. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Alisal 51, at Watsonville 24 - The Wildcatz dropped their PCAL-Mission game on Tuesday.

M.V.C. 60, at Gilroy 29 - Hill had 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists for the Mustangs in their PCAL-Gabilan win on Monday.

Rafat added 15 points and six rebounds, and Paloma Ramirez chipped in 11 points.

Ceiba 38, Marina 30 - Maya Carrisales had 13 points and seven rebounds, Fenesia Braga added 10 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks and the Spartans notched another PCAL-Arroyo win on Feb. 2.

At Alvarez 69, Watsonville 50 - Jenny Vazquez had her first double-double of the season for the Wildcatz, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a PCAL-Mission loss on Feb. 1.

Ruby Galvan chimed in with 10 points for Watsonville.

At Aptos 60, Harbor 22 - Hannah Hocom (12), Abby Pardue (12) and Natalia Ackerman (11) scored in double figures as the Mariners clinched a share of their second consecutive Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League championship on Feb. 1.

Stevenson 47, at St. Francis 44 - Yniguez scored 19 points in the Sharks’ PCAL-Cypress loss on Jan. 31.

LINE OF THE WEEK (Jan. 31-Feb.6)

Jayleen Solorzano, Pajaro Valley - Had 30 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists against Gonzales on Wednesday.

UPCOMING GAME OF THE WEEK (Feb. 8-14)

SCCAL Championship Game; Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m. - The two remaining teams of the SCCAL tournament meet at Cabrillo College.

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