Jessica Curto (shooting) has been a solid player in the post for the Balers.
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Before the start of her junior year, Jessica Curto’s family moved from the Sacramento area to Hollister. While it’s never easy for a teenager to switch high schools, Curto said the transition was made easier by her San Benito High teammates.

“The girls were so welcoming, which made the transition easier,” the senior post said. “When you’re on a team like this, you want to work hard to put yourself in the best position possible to help the team. You want to please your teammates and coaches and not let them down.”

Curto certainly has done that this season, as she is enjoying the fruits of her hard work. Last week Curto had the two best games of her San Benito career, going for a career-high 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 59-34 win over Capuchino of San Bruno followed by a 13-point, 10-rebound performance in a 50-29 victory over Independence of San Jose.

“That’s what we expect from her,” Balers coach Mitch Burley said. “She’s a good player who has been productive for us.”

Curto works hard to position herself for rebounds, establish position near the basket and set screens for her teammates. In short, she does all the little things that don’t necessarily show up in the stat sheet. The fact that Curto has scored 31 points in the last two games speaks to her experience and comfort as a starter.

Along with fellow post Ashley Sparrer, the two have given the Balers a strong inside presence and toughness in the paint.

“Ashley and I communicate a lot on the court, especially down low (in the paint),” Curto said.

The Balers entered the week with a 5-4 record. They had trouble with a previously winless Independence squad before pulling away with a strong second half. C.C. Vasquez had 10 points and Berenice Martinez finished with seven points, all in the second half.

San Benito went into halftime with a 19-13 lead before going on a 17-8 run in the third to pull away. The Balers clamped down defensively in the second half while also converting on their open shots from the perimeter.

“We must have missed 12 outside jumpers in the first half,” Burley said. “I told the girls if we start making some of those, we’ll be fine.”

Burley was also happy that Independence used a lot of on-ball screens because a couple of teams in the Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division utilize that with precision.

“We weren’t very good at covering that, so it’ll be something we emphasize in practice. That along with our shooting.”

Alyssa Ito gives the Balers stability at the point guard position, and Vasquez knows how to create space for herself even when it seems limited.

“C.C. is the one who can do everything,” Burley said. “I can ask her to guard a lot of players. Capuchino had one good player, and every time she checked in, I told C.C. to check in. She does all the right things.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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