To the victor go the spoils.
After leading the Merced High School boys basketball team to a Central California Conference championship, senior Jared Pazin edged Golden Valley’s Cyrus Allen and Atwater’s Reggie Ricks for the conference MVP award.
“Reggie is a great player and Cyrus is a great player,” said Bears coach Hector Nava, who was named the CCC Coach of the Year. “The thing about Jared is he made critical shots for us. He made critical decisions on the court that made him the MVP. Our record speaks for itself.”
The Bears finished 11-1 in the CCC, three games ahead of second-place Golden Valley and El Capitan.
Pazin was a big reason why, as the senior guard averaged 19.5 points per game.
“He was our everything,” Nava said. “We knew he was a great shooter, but I told him if he wants to become a great player, then he has to become a great dribbler and great at penetrating. He has a great point guard vision. He just worked hard every day on his dribbling, ballhandling, and he became great at penetrating for us.”
Allen and Ricks were named to the all-CCC first team. They were joined by Merced’s Jeremy Redwine, El Capitan’s James Sellers, Turlock’s Mustafa Johnson, Golden Valley’s Silvestre Llamas and Pitman’s Dominick von Waaden.
The second team was comprised of Mark Sellers (El Capitan), Angel Serena (El Capitan), Isaiah Hill (Atwater), Isaiah Marable (Pitman) Isaac Cropper (Golden Valley), Isaiah Aguirre (Merced) and Dhameer Warren (Merced).
Atwater’s Ashton Jantz, Merced’s Xavier Stewart, Turlock’s Arik Bains and Cameron Sherwood, El Capitan’s Marcus McCutchen, Buhach Colony’s Jeremy Sicairos and Skyler Coffey, Golden Valley’s Etrell Bowers and Pitman’s Kamio Borja received honorable mention.
All-CCC girls basketball – After leading Atwater to the playoffs, seniors Jasmine Xiong and Alondra Ponce were named to the all-CCC first team.
Turlock sophomore Jaydon Williams was named the conference MVP by CCC coaches.
Joining Xiong and Ponce on the first team were Pitman’s Kaylin Randhawa and Andrea Selkow, Golden Valley’s Abbee Croninger, Turlock’s Shae Glasgow-Williams and Sarah Musselman and Merced’s Raelynn Blackwell.
Earning second-team honors were Kelsey Valencia (Atwater), Delia Moore (Golden Valley), Amaya Ervin (Merced), Cerah Moren (Pitman), Jada Washington (Turlock), Hope Salsig (Turlock) and Diana Lopez (El Capitan).
Local players receiving honorable mention include Atwater’s Lexi Valencia and Eileen Martinez, Buhach Colony’s Krista Fregoso and Vanessa Lopez, El Capitan’s Daisy Arroyo and Alex Serena, Golden Valley’s Kat Tern and Kayla Commons and Merced’s Donya Pierce and Kiara Graves.
Mariposa girls open NorCal Regionals – The Mariposa girls basketball team was the only local team to qualify for the CIF Northern California Regional playoffs. The Grizzlies (25-4) reached the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs before bowing out to eventual section champion Argonaut 43-35.
The 11th-seeded Grizzlies will open the NorCal playoffs Wednesday night against No. 6 San Joaquin Memorial (23-8) at 6 p.m. in Fresno.