Weekly roundup, 3/22: Santa Cruz Warriors clinch Pacific division title


Local softball teams win league openers; track stars notch wins

Damion Lee scored a team-high 28 points, Kendrick Nunn chipped in 18 points off the bench and the Santa Cruz Warriors clinched the Pacific division title with a 120-116 win over the Capital City Go-Go on Wednesday in Santa Cruz.

Marcus Derrickson was 5-of-5 from behind the arc and finished with 17 points for the playoff-bound Warriors (32-16), who finish off the regular season with a back-to-back against the Agua Caliente Clippers at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz starting tonight.

Santa Cruz currently holds the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, and will need to sweep its series against the Clippers (26-22) to have a chance at the top seed in the upcoming playoffs.

In other local sports action from March 14-21:

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HS SOFTBALL

Watsonville 2, at Salinas 1 (9 innings) - The Wildcatz scored a gutsy win on Tuesday to open Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan division play.

Senior Juliana Wilson belted a solo homer and earned a pair of walks for Watsonville (5-1, 1-0), which welcomes in Santa Catalina on March 27 at 4:30 p.m.

Senior Jessica Rodriguez earned the win for the Wildcatz, striking out seven and surrendering seven hits.

Aptos 1, at SLV 0 - Freshman Ada Neu tossed a complete-game one-hitter with 10 strikeouts and scored the game-winning run for the Mariners in their Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League opener on Tuesday.

Junior Shea Garcia doubled to score Neu in the sixth inning and the Mariners held on for the win.

At MVC 7, Alisal 3 - Senior Samantha Baer hit a two-run homer at the plate and tossed a two-hitter in the circle to lead the Mustangs to a PCAL-Cypress win on Tuesday.

Baer also notched nine strikeouts in the complete-game win.

Freshman Mariah Montalvo clubbed two doubles and had two RBI.

St. Francis 14, at Seaside 1 - Freshman Alicia Mendez struck out 12 batters and smashed a home run in the Sharks’ PCAL-Cypress blowout on Tuesday.

Mendez also tripled and freshman Sabrina Noto hit a three-run homer for St. Francis.

Watsonville goes 2-1 - The Wildcatz on March 16 dropped the opening game of their tournament against Soquel, 7-6, but bounced back with a 5-3 win over Aragon and a 22-1 rout of Durham.

Watsonville had just four hits against Soquel, as freshman Marissa Martinez took the loss in the circle after two innings.

The offense rebounded against Aragon. Watsonville had 10 hits, and Wilson and Martinez each homered.

Wilson also smacked a pair of home runs against Durham, and finished 4-for-4 with six RBI and three scored runs. Sophomore Juliana Hernandez was 3-for-4 with two homers, seven RBI and two scored runs.

Rodriguez notched both wins in the circle for Watsonville.

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HS BASEBALL

At Christopher 5, MVC 0 - The Mustangs were limited to just two hits in Wednesday’s PCAL-Gabilan loss.

M.V.C. (7-2, 4-1) had won four straight to open league play. The Mustangs swept Gilroy in a two-game series, winning 13-2 on March 15 and 12-0 on Tuesday.

In March 15’s win, junior Roberto Nunez homered and the Mustangs tallied 14 total hits.

Nunez also homered on Monday, as did senior Dominic Felice and juniors Aidan Lee and Tyler Keenan, who also doubled and had three RBI.

The Mustangs will try to get back to their winning ways when they host Salinas on March 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Aptos 8, at Scotts Valley 5 - Senior Josh Barry went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two scored runs in the Mariners’ SCCAL win on Tuesday.

Junior Luke Keaschall was 2-for-3 with two scored runs for Aptos, which opened SCCAL play on March 15 with a 2-1 win over San Lorenzo Valley.

Senior David Eichhorn recorded seven strikeouts in the victory over S.L.V.

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BOYS’ TRACK AND FIELD

Mandujano, Hernandez win two - Watsonville seniors Jesse Mandujano and Rodrigo Hernandez each won two events in Tuesday’s PCAL-Mission meet at Gilroy.

Mandujano won the 400- (53.71) and 800-meters (2:13.43), and Hernandez placed first in the shot put (43-6.5) and discus (113-07).

Watsonville seniors Ricardo Alvarado and Daniel Knight won the triple jump (38-8) and long jump (19-2), respectively, and also ran a leg in the winning 4x400 relay (3:56.61).

Parker, Castillo star for squads - St. Francis senior Justin Parker and Monte Vista Christian sophomore Daniel Castillo each won two events in Tuesday’s PCAL-Cypress cluster meet at Monterey Peninsula College.

Parker won the 100 (11.61) and 200 (24.27) for the Sharks.

Daniel Castillo was first in the triple jump (39-4) and long jump (18-7).

Matys closes in on record - Aptos senior Hunter Matys sped to the fourth-best time in program history in the 100 in March 14’s SCCAL meet against Scotts Valley.

Matys notched a winning time of 11.07 in the 100, and also picked up a win in the long jump (22-0).

Junior Lytrell Francis won the triple jump (40-3.5) and 300 hurdles (45.66).

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GIRLS’ TRACK AND FIELD

Peralta-Celedon, Ruiz both double-winners - Watsonville freshman Mayra Peralta-Celedon and sophomore Layla Ruiz each won a pair of events in Tuesday’s PCAL-Mission meet in Gilroy.

Peralta-Celedon won the 400 (1:04.96) and the long jump (14-3). Ruiz cruised to victories in the 800 (2:28.37) and 1,600 (5:34.86).

Pajaro Valley junior Katelyn Strader was also a double-winner, taking first in the high jump (4-6) and discus (95-5).

Jimenez leads M.V.C. - Monte Vista Christian senior Faith Jimenez finished first in the 300 hurdles (53.38) and triple jump (30-3) in the Mustangs’ PCAL-Cypress cluster meet at Monterey Peninsula College on Tuesday.

Ruiz dominates league meet - Ruiz won the 800 (2:29.87), 1,600 (5:35.58) and 3,200 (12:08.81) and also ran a leg for the victorious 4x400 relay (4:26.48) in March 14’s PCAL-Mission meet with King City and Monterey.

Zlatunich a triple-winner  - Aptos junior Kailea Zlatunich won the 800 (2:36.54), 1,600 (5:39.68) and 3,200 (12:48.16) in the Mariners’ SCCAL meet with Scotts Valley on March 14.

Aptos seniors Indra Lyons and Peyton Masuen and freshman Elizabeth Churchill were all double-winners. Lyons was first in the 100 (13.13) and 100 hurdles (15.76). Masuen had winning tosses in the discus (95-1) and shot put (28-3). And Churchill placed first in the triple jump (31-7) and 300 hurdles (56.44).

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BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL

Pajaro Valley 3, Seaside 1 - Christian Quintero (9), Marcos Arreola (8) and Esteban Fernandez (8) combined for 25 kills in the Grizzlies’ 25-21, 18-25, 25-17, 25-21 PCAL-Mission win on Tuesday.

Dennar Ocampo made 26 assists, four aces and three digs for Pajaro Valley.

Aptos 3, at Mt. Madonna 2 - Senior Jackson Shirley had 19 kills, eight digs, five blocks and two aces as the Mariners improved to 4-0 in SCCAL action with a big win over the Hawks on Tuesday.

Junior Josh Powell had 22 digs and junior Bryce Edwards made 45 assists.

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