Buhach Colony's Silva named CCC's girls basketball MVP

Thunder star earns league MVP honor

sjansen@mercedsunstar.comMarch 1, 2013 

— Jessica Silva has compiled an impressive résumé during her high school basketball career at Buhach Colony.

The four-year starter was part of back-to-back Central California Conference championship teams. She scored over 1,400 points during her career. She played on the first team -- boys or girls -- to win more than 20 games.

Silva can add one more accomplishment to the list as she turns in her No. 3 jersey. Silva was named the CCC Most Valuable Player by the conference coaches.

"I'm glad I was not only able to accomplish the goals I had for myself, but I was also able to help the team reach our goals," Silva said. "We won over 20 games and hosted a playoff game for the first time.

"I felt I did all I could do, and I hope the program continues to build once I leave."

Silva averaged 15.8 points per game this season, but that total dipped to 14.6 points during CCC games.

Many of the CCC coaches employed every gimmick defense they could come up with to try to keep the ball out of Silva's hands and force another Thunder player to beat them.

Still, she came up with the big shots when her team needed them.

Silva sank a pair of free throws at the end of regulation to send the Thunder's CCC opener at Pitman into overtime. She then drained a 3-pointer while being fouled for a four-point play in the final minute of overtime to lift the Thunder to a 49-47 win.

Silva beat Merced with a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left in a 37-34 victory over the Bears.

"Buhach got the ball on a loose ball," Bears coach Brad Reed said. "My girl was getting back in the paint to protect the basket and that's good basketball. But you kind of have to throw good basketball out the window when you're talking about Silva because you knew that shot was probably going to be money.

"When I'm coaching my girls, I tell them she prepares for that moment. Jessica might not be the tallest or the fastest one out there, but if you give her an eyelash, she's going to kill you."

According to Reed, Silva was the slam dunk choice for MVP. Nobody else was on the ballot.

"That makes me feel good, knowing that the coaches I competed against respect what I accomplished," Silva said. "I was a little worried during the season that I wasn't scoring as many points or getting as many rebounds as I should because of the box-and-ones and other defenses.

"I felt if they had so much respect for me as a player to put a player on me the whole game they must see me as a threat."

The CCC coaches selected Buhach Colony's Shane Gentry as the Coach of the Year.

Named to the all-CCC first team were Allison Wisdom (Buhach Colony), Lexi Thompson (Merced), Alex DeChari (Pitman), Oleachea Bowers (Merced), Aubrey Glidden (Turlock) and Mayra Mora (Atwater).

Brianne Hunter (Atwater), Dalonna Jones (Merced), Cady Riley (Pitman), Brandy Coward (Buhach Colony), Beatriz Munoz (Golden Valley) and Tekerra Borden (Merced) were named to the second team.

Western Athletic Conference

Los Banos senior Alexis Barcellos earned herself a spot on the all-WAC first team after averaging 14.4 points during conference play.

Central Catholic's Margaret Gallo was named the conference MVP and the Raiders' Alison Murata Nichols was selected as the Coach of the Year.

Los Banos' Jacquline Arettche and Livingston's Ashlee Sharp received second-team honors.

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