Aptos High senior Jazmine Castañeda scored five goals in a 10-1 win against Pacific Collegiate School on Dec. 29. (file image)

APTOS—The Aptos High girls’ soccer team winning streak in preseason action continues after a dominating 10-1 victory against Pacific Collegiate School on Dec. 29.  

“We have some really amazing players and I’ve been able to take the opportunity to teach them different strategies on how to be successful and winning games,” Aptos coach Gina Castañeda said. 

Senior Jazmine Castaneda scored five goals in the first half for the Mariners, who improved to 9-0-1 this season. She has 17 goals and 11 assists on the year.

Ava Hymes had two goals and an assist, Gwen Chapman had one goal and three assists, Angelique Nunez had one goal and one assist, and Anahi Macias had a goal.

Kelsea Ford had two assists, and Summer Jacob and Ava Churchill each had one assist.

Gina Castañeda said the players have been able to adapt to different formations and lineups that she throws their way. 

“We’ve played 10 preseason games and I’m glad we have because the girls have picked it up,” she said. “They know that if Jazmine is being double marked or if a team wants to defend and park the bus, they have different ways to be able to put the ball in the back of the net.” 

Aptos’ defense also allowed goalie Kylie Nelson to have a smooth day at the office by not allowing the Pumas to attempt a shot on goal. Angie Rodriguez came in for Nelson in the second half and allowed one goal. 

The Mariners (9-0-1) host Soquel High in the teams’ Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League opener on Tuesday at 7pm.

“I think the hardest challenge for us is to keep the girls healthy, to keep them strong and prevent injury,” Castañeda said. “Also, this Covid variant is spreading like wildfire and continuing having this conversation with them to make smart choices so that they don’t get sick.” 

Boys basketball

Lowell 54, Aptos 33: Senior center Jack Spinelli had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the Mariners’ loss in the Blue Division’s third-place game at the 8th annual Aptos High/Santa Cruz Warriors NorCal Invitational on Dec. 29.

Guard Cameron Saldana finished with eight points and seven rebounds for Aptos (11-3), which plays at Soquel High (4-7) in the teams’ Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League opener on Tuesday at 7pm.

Pioneer 41, Aptos 35: Senior center Jack Spinelli had 19 points, 14 rebounds for the Mariners in a loss to Pioneer in the Blue Division semifinals at the 8th annual Aptos High/Santa Cruz Warriors NorCal Invitational on Dec. 28. 

Spinelli added three steals and three assists, and teammate Cameron Saldana, a senior guard, had 15 points and three assists for Aptos.

Game canceled: St. Francis’ game against Gonzalez was canceled Tuesday night after several Spartans players tested positive for COVID-19.

Girls basketball

Palo Alto 43, at Aptos 40: Senior forward Jasmine Ackerman scored 16 points for the Mariners in their loss to the Vikings at the Aptos High Varsity Shootout on Dec. 28.

Freshman guard Miricole Baity scored 13 points and Jaylen Dang added seven points for Aptos (8-4), which hosted Pajaro Valley today in Day 2 of the tournament.

Monte Vista Christian 41, Live Oak 13: Marissa Cortes led the Mustangs with 23 points, with five 3-pointers, six rebounds, four steals, and one block on Dec. 29.

Paloma Ramirez had 11 points, four rebounds and two steals for the Mustangs. Rhazelle Gonzales, a sophomore guard playing her first year of basketball, led MVC with eight rebounds. She also had six points, two steals and zero turnovers.

MVC (5-6) plays at Homestead on Jan. 8 at 4:30pm.

MVC 39, Leigh 24: Marissa Cortes had 17 points, six rebounds and three steals to lead the Mustangs to the non-league win Tuesday. Paloma Ramirez had 13 points, 11 rebounds and two steals for the Mustangs, who play at Live Oak on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Scotts Valley 58, Watsonville 42: Marissa Martinez finished with a team-leading 17 points for the Wildcatz in their loss to the Falcons in the Lady Sharks Shootout championship at St. Francis High on Dec. 30.

Nancy Morado had seven points and Xitlali Montesino added six points for Watsonville (5-4), which plays at North Salinas in non-league action on Wednesday at 7pm.

Kaitlin Imai had a game-high 25 points for the Falcons (7-5), who have won five-straight games and seven out of their last nine games. Scotts Valley plays at Santa Cruz (2-7) in the teams’ SCCAL opener on Jan. 4 at 5:30pm.  

Watsonville 48, San Lorenzo Valley 32: Junior Nancy Morado led the Wildcatz with 19 points, seven rebounds and five steals in their win against the Cougars at the Lady Sharks Shootout on Dec. 29.

Junior Xitlali Montesino had a double-double with 12 points and 10 steals for the Wildcatz, and senior Yvette Hernandez added 11 points, seven rebounds and seven steals.

Watsonville 63, Soledad 34: Senior Marissa Martinez and juniors Nancy Morado and Xitlali Montesino posted double-doubles for the Wildcatz in their opener at the Lady Shark Shootout on Dec. 28.

Martinez had 22 points and 10 steals, Morado had 14 points and 15 steals, and Montesino had 18 points and 15 steals.

G League

Warriors’ game pushed back: The NBA G League announced Friday that its regular season, originally scheduled to tip off on Dec. 27, will begin on Wednesday. 

The delay will give teams an opportunity to safely return players to market after the Christmas holiday and to replenish their rosters following NBA Call-Ups, according to the Santa Cruz Warriors website.

Santa Cruz was supposed to begin the regular season with home games on Dec. 29 and 30. Those two game dates will be rescheduled in the coming months, and all tickets purchased for those games will be honored at the later date.

For more information on the Santa Cruz Warriors, please visit santacruzbasketball.com or call 831-713-4400.

Reporting Scores

Coaches are encouraged to report scores and highlights to [email protected] following games. Please include your name and contact number in the email.

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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