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Gardner takes VOL’s top boys honor

EU’s Agostini, SHS’s Thomason named coaches of the year

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Gardner takes VOL’s top boys honor

Manteca High guard Kiwi Gardner was voted the Valley Oak League's most valuable boys basketball player Saturday.

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED March 2, 2010 2:28 a.m.
East Union High’s girls basketball team captured its fourth straight Valley Oak League championship this season, but its string of consecutive Most Valuable Player honors was snapped during Saturday’s year-end coaches meeting.

Oakdale finished tied for fourth place in league (9-7, 19-9 overall), but its top player, junior guard Cassandra Clark, was voted MVP. East Union’s Jim Agostini was named Coach of the Year for the second time in three years.

Manteca junior guard Kiwi Gardner is the boys MVP after leading the Buffaloes to their second straight conference championship. Sierra’s Scott Thomason is the boys Coach of the Year after leading the Timberwolves (11-5, 18-10) back to the postseason despite losing the 2008-09 MVP, Christian Williams, to graduation.

Clark as MVP comes as somewhat of a surprise considering how her team fared, but she was the league’s top scorer at 18.9 points per game.

East Union’s girls (14-2, 23-6) settled on having two players on the all-VOL first team. Three different Lancers were recognized as MVPs over the three previous seasons — Christin Gowan in 2007, Rachel McDaniel in 2008 and Ashley Rose in 2009.

Junior guard Lexy Posz and sophomore forward Shalane Jackson among four area players named to the first team. Posz averaged 14 points, eight rebounds, 3.6 assists and three steals in league. Jackson checked in with 12 points and 10 rebounds per league game.
Also earning first-team honors were Manteca’s Sharon Washington (16.4 ppg overall) and Weston Ranch point guard Timnesha Wilson (14.5 ppg, 3.6 spg).

Area players on the second team are East Union senior guard Krystal Young and Weston Ranch senior guard Courtney Duran. Sierra guard Stephanie Vanni, East Union center Rachel O’Neal and Manteca forward Davina Bennett made the all-league defensive team.

Gardner was the league’s most dynamic and productive player after serving a four-game suspension sanctioned by the Sac-Joaquin Section to start conference play. He was suspended for an additional game by the team. The suspensions stemmed from light contact he made with an official during a non-league tournament game.

The 5-foot-7 guard put up big numbers throughout the season, including a 52-point effort against Pitman during the Modesto City Classic and a 41-point outburst against Weston Ranch in league. He finished the regular season with 24 points per game, 3.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 steals.

He is joined by senior teammate Ernie Pimentel — who turned in 15.1 points, 3.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals — on the first team.

Sierra and Weston Ranch, the league’s runners-up, were also represented on the first team. Sophomore center Will Ward was outstanding in his first varsity campaign in which he averaged 14.7 points, 10 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in league for Sierra. Fellow Timberwolf Trevor Nogueira, a senior guard, chipped in 12.9 points and 3.6 assists in league.

Senior Weston Ranch wing Nate Moises scored 11.9 points and grabbed 6.0 rebounds overall.

East Union senior forward Ricky Inderbitzin and Manteca senior forward Gerry Cooper were all-league second-team selections.

Sierra’s Edy Guzman, Weston Ranch’s Jason Steele and Pimentel were named to the all-defensive team.
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