Vista Murrieta’s girls basketball team found itself ranked fifth in CIF Southern Section Division IA this past week, according to pre-season polls through Dec. 11.
The Broncos are coming off a stellar performance in the San Dimas Invitational Basketball Tournament, in which they won four straight games to clinch the championship. Last year's Southwestern League fourth-place finishers are now the owners of an 8-2 record.
Serafina Maulupe is the Broncos' team leader and top scorer. The Vista Murrieta senior has been averaging 15.3 points a game while playing oustanding defense.
One of the keys to this year's early success has been due to two newcomers to Bronco basketball. Freshmen Jaelyn Brown and Brittany Reed have been a couple of surprising sparks for Coach Chris Jones’ team. Brown has averaged 14.9 points per game; Reed 9.6.
The Broncos also have Yuendie Guridi with a 7.3 average, while Alexis Rivas has 3.9 and Leitasi Cravens 2.4.
The rest of the Bronco varsity consists of Tatiana Navarro, Alexis Marshall, Macey Nelson, Megan Escobar, McKenzie Kramer and Breanna Williams.
Vista Murrieta will next play Sierra Canyon High School in the West Coast Holiday Festival after Christmas.
The Murrieta Valley Nighthawks finished second in the Valley Invitational in Redlands. Coach Scott Richards’ team is now 7-3. Murrieta Valley took the No. 15 spot in Southern Section Division 2A.
The Nighthawk attack is lead by seniors Karen Wolf, averaging 11.4 points a game, and Deshea Wilkes with 9.1. Sophomore Ariana Hernandez is second in scoring with a 10.4 average while Aliah Marshall scores 8.2 a game and Brynn Dahmer 5.8.
Murrieta Valley’s varsity roster is rounded out by AJ Williams-Johnson, Savannah Corredor, Julia Cardenas, Alex Morrison, Janeth Castillo and Isabel Munoz.
Murrieta Valley will host Beaumont Dec. 26 in the opening game of the Nighthawk Classic.
The Mesa Rams have been ranked 15th in Division 3AAA in the CIF Southern Section. Murrieta Mesa Coach Robert Gergins is looking for a break-out season this year.
The Rams have competed in the Southwestern League for the past two seasons without a victory. With more depth in the line-up, Gergins is looking to remedy the situation.
The Rams are currently 7-3 and are led by senior Shayd Bowers. She has been averaging 12.6 points a game and plays with a high level of intensity. Sophomore Mikayla Green has been an outstanding rebounder and has a 11.4 scoring average.
The rest of the Ram line-up includes Maria Suarez, Naomi Atchison, Jessica "JJ" Brogden, Breanna Hernandez, Kiersta Tanner, Octavia Williams, Katie Smith, Jackie Pulatie and Camille Bell.
Murrieta Mesa were set to face the Broncos from Banning High School Wednesday in tournament-opening action for the Bette Smith Classic in Hemet.
Check back for schedules and come out and catch some great high school girls basketball.
1. Canyon Springs
2. Bishop Amat
4. Newbury Park
5. Vista Murrieta
7. Huntington Beach
11. AB Miller
13. La Quinta/La Quinta
14. El Rancho
15. Aliso Niguel
16. Paloma Valley
1. Orange Lutheran
2. West Torrance
4. Culver City
5. Redondo Union
7. Redlands East Valley
8. Oak Hills
9. Valley View
15. Murrieta Valley
1. Laguna Hills
2. El Dorado
5. La Habra
7. Rio Mesa
8. Diamond Ranch
12. North Torrance
14. Beverly Hills
15. Murrieta Mesa