WATSONVILLE—The Pajaro Valley High girls basketball team thought they were done for the season after last week’s Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League finale against San Lorenzo Valley High.
But a late phone call on Saturday told them otherwise.
Erika Martinez scored a game-high 15 points for the Grizzlies in a 37-30 win against No. 2-seeded Pacific Collegiate School in the SCCAL Tournament “B” Division semifinal Monday.
The Grizzlies were playing in place of St. Francis High, which was forced to back out of the tournament to quarantine for a possible Covid-19 exposure.
It wasn’t exactly a last-minute pick-up game for the No. 3 Grizzlies, but it was still on short notice. Martinez said it would’ve been great if they would’ve had one day to practice, however, it was still nice to gear up at least once more before the season is over.
“We wanted to play so we were already ready to go,” she said. “It was pretty bad today but we came back and we won.”
Pajaro Valley athletic director Joe Manfre said they were notified on Saturday if they could suit up as a replacement for St. Francis, which was initially scheduled to host PCS.
Sharks athletics director and girls basketball coach Adam Hazel confirmed Monday that they had to back out of the tournament. He said they went through the contact tracing procedure from a recent positive case, and they were instructed by the Santa Cruz County Health Department to quarantine.
Hazel said he wasn’t allowed to say more about the situation due to privacy and HIPAA rules.
Santa Cruz County has been in the less restrictive “Minimal” yellow tier, which means basketball players are no longer required to test for Covid-19 within the county, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Pajaro Valley along with Aptos High and San Lorenzo Valley High produced positive tests earlier this season and those programs had to be quarantined for 14 days.
The Cougars earned a bye in the semifinals after their game against Harbor High was scratched. The Pirates went into quarantine after possibly coming in contact with an opposing player who tested positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Pumas came into Monday’s game with a different type of issue. They had just five players available to play, but that dwindled down to four shortly before halftime.
Sophomore Mina Barivan, who had 12 points in the first half, went down with an apparent injury to her right knee. She tried to return in the third quarter, but she was unable to put weight on the knee.
The Grizzlies had a chance to take over the game with the one player advantage. They scored 25 points in the second half but they also couldn’t knock down some open shots that could’ve put away the game.
PCS was held to just 12 points in the second half, mainly because they were missing a fifth player. Yet, they managed to hang around until the final buzzer.
Stella Marshall had 11 points and Maddy Ahwal finished with five points for the Pumas.
Martinez said it was frustrating not being able to put up more points, especially when they had one extra player on the court.
“It was one less player, we should’ve destroyed them but we won,” she said.
Soquel 34, at Aptos 31: Jasmine Ackerman, a junior, had nine points and seven rebounds for the Mariners in a loss against the Knights in the SCCAL Tournament “A” Division semifinal on Monday.
Aptos junior Jaylen Dang had nine points, three assists and four rebounds; while Grace Parry had seven points and four rebounds.
Soquel sophomore Isis Yao notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Renee Parker, a senior, had five points, six rebounds and four assists for the Knights (11-5), who play at Santa Cruz High in the final on Wednesday at 5pm
SCCAL Boys Tournament
At Soquel 51, Aptos 50: Jojoe Moreno scored a team-high 17 points for the Mariners in a loss against the Knights in the “A” Division semifinals on Monday.
Cameron Saldana contributed 14 points, Anwar Ayyad had 12 points and Kelly McGinn had seven points.
Soquel senior forward Max Walters finished with a game-high 21 points, followed by Keone Sayers with 12 points and Karim Mekkoudi had 11 points.
The Knights play at No. 1 Santa Cruz on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the tourney final.
At SLV 73, Watsonville 70: Karlos Corpus scored a team-high 26 points for the Wildcatz in a loss against the Cougars in the “B” Division semifinals on Monday.
Donovan Mendoza contributed 19 points for No. 3 Watsonville, which had an eight-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars took over in the final stanza behind Kai Groleau, who scored a team-high 32 points. Asher Dolinger contributed 13 points for No. 2 SLV, which will host top-seeded PCS on Wednesday at 5pm.
PCS 76, Pajaro Valley 42: Josiah Silva scored 12 points to lead the Grizzlies, and Alejandro Nano Gonzales and Matthew Silos each added seven points.
PCS junior Malachi Douyon finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds to help beat the Grizzlies for a third time this season.
SCCAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS
Girls A Division
No. 1 Santa Cruz 48, No. 4 Scotts Valley 32
No. 3 Soquel 34, at No. 2 Aptos 31
No. 3 Soquel at No. 1 Santa Cruz, Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Girls B Division
At No. 3 Pajaro Valley 37, No. 2 PCS 30
No. 1 San Lorenzo Valley – Bye
No. 3 Pajaro Valley at No. 1 SLV, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Boys A Division
No. 1 Santa Cruz 58, No. 4 Scotts Valley 28
At No. 2 Soquel 51, No. 3 Aptos 50
No. 2 Soquel at No. 1 Santa Cruz, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Boys B Division
No. 1 PCS 76, at No. 4 Pajaro Valley 42
At No. 2 SLV 73,No. 3 Watsonville 70
No. 1 PCS at No. 2 SLV, Wednesday at 5 p.m.