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December 6, 2022

Saving the best for last: Sobrato clinches WV title in final league game

It took Sobrato longer than it wanted, but the Bulldogs are finally West Valley champions.
On the last game of the regular season, Sobrato earned a 39-30 win over James Lick to clinch the division title, after missing its chance to do so on Tuesday at Del Mar.
The Bulldogs now await their seeding into the Blossom Valley Athletic League tournament, which will begin Tuesday. Seedings will be announced Saturday.
The win denied Lincoln a chance at forcing a tie atop the league standings.
What the win also did was send Sobrato’s lone senior — Tauheedah Id-Deen — out on a positive note.
“We had a really good season with some minor hiccups, but the fact of the matter is tonight is senior night and she’s my only senior makes it a little sentimental,” said coach Erica Wallace. “And the fact we sent her off with a win. I’m glad I get to leave them with a good taste in their mouth.”
After enduring a 0-14 season last year in the Santa Teresa Division, she helped lead her team to a 12-2 mark in the West Valley and a 15-8 overall record.
“My family was here, my friends were here. It was a rush,” Id-Deen said. “I’m really excited.”
Id-Deen said the girls formed a bond that has allowed them to have the success they are seeing this year.
“Our team has come together. We had to build a lot of chemistry and I think with that, it really showed on the court how we come together as one and not just about individuals,” Id-Deen said.
Sobrato had to earn the win after taking a 13-point lead at the half.
The Bulldogs opened the third quarter watching James Lick go on a 10-2 run to see the lead dwindle to five.
Post player Hazel Hill was at the forefront of the battle, seeing double teams collapse on her the moment she got the ball in the paint.
“I told my shooters I need them shooting and in a position to shoot,” Wallace said. “Always be ready to get that pass and pop their shot right off of it. And also, told her (Hill) that the double team is coming late so if she catches it and does one power dribble quick, she’s open.”
She still finished with 11 points for the game. Vanessa Gonzalez led the Bulldogs with 14.
Sobrato finished strong to maintain a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
“What it came down to was defense: Our rotation was all off,” Wallace said. “Sometimes there was two people guarding one person and I just had to get them to really buckle down on defense and be responsible for who they were guarding.”
In the fourth, the Bulldogs’ made just one field goal but they did something James Lick didn’t: Make free throws.
In the final frame, Sobrato went 7-8 from the line while Lick went just 2-10.
The Comets missed 11 free throws in the second half.
While Hill may not have seen the offensive production she’s used to, she made her mark on the defensive end.
Hill came up with nine blocks and pulled down nine boards.
Now Sobrato will have to wait to find its BVAL seeding. Regardless how they do in the league tourney, the Bulldogs are in CCS, so the extra week of games will give Sobrato a taste of what’s to come.
“I’m really just trying to show the other leagues that we can contend with them, that we can play with them,” Wallace said. “Being stuck in this little bubble of C League, you play the same players over and over and I want to be able to expose them (Sobrato) to higher competition. I definitely think we will match up well against some of these teams. I’m excited.”

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