Heading into Friday’s opening games, Heritage appears to have a chance at unseating Deer Valley as BVAL royalty. The Patriots enter league play 13-1, the one defeat coming against Amador Valley. Heritage is led by junior guard Erin Asher, as well as senior Kiah Knox and junior Sabrina Engelstad.
Heritage opens the league slate at home against defending champ Deer Valley on Friday night.
Liberty has also become a contender throughout preseason. The Lions stand at 11-3 heading into Friday’s matchup against Pittsburg. Senior center Bernadette Fong has averaged 12.5 points per game and come down with a team-high 32 rebounds. Senior guard Kaadzie Quaye netted 12.3 points per game during the preseason.
The Wolverines hold a 9-5 record so far this season, facing tough competition from around the Bay Area. Senior guard Monique Mulder and sophomore forward Maranne Johnson, an Antioch transfer, have been forces for Deer Valley this season.
Pittsburg so far owns a respectable 7-8 record. The Pirates went 6-4 throughout BVAL play last year, earning a playoff berth. This season, Pittsburg is led by senior forward Keshia Ward and her 13.9 points per game.
Freedom (6-9) starts its league season on Friday night hosting Antioch (1-12). The Falcons have already matched their win total from last season and pose scoring threats in junior guard Elsa Ross and senior forward Ashawnti Bloodsaw.
Freedom junior receiver/defensive back Darrell Daniels, the BVAL MVP, was recently invited to the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio. The event brings together several of the top prep football players from the nation and puts them through an NFL-style combine in front of college scouts.
Daniels said he completed the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds and the shuttle drill in 4.4. Several Division I schools are interested in the Falcon, including California, Oregon, Oregon State and Brigham Young.
“It was a great experience for me to go out there,” Daniels said. “For me to be invited, it felt good. It doesn’t really happen out here.”
– Compiled by Justin Lafferty