Baler point guard Erin Glasspool drives the lane for a layup during Tuesday night's 45-35 loss to Gilroy at home.
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Although the San Benito girls’ basketball team fell short of the
top spot in the Tri-County Athletic League this past season, the
Balers did collect five all-league honors when the TCAL announced
its year-end awards last week. Heading the list for San Benito were
seniors Nicole Rianda and Erin Glasspool, each of whom earned
first-team distinction, while Kelsey Robledo and Cyrena Salinas
corralled second-team honors and Jackie Echaorre was named to the
sportsmanship team.
HOLLISTER

Although the San Benito girls’ basketball team fell short of the top spot in the Tri-County Athletic League this past season, the Balers did collect five all-league honors when the TCAL announced its year-end awards last week.

Heading the list for San Benito were seniors Nicole Rianda and Erin Glasspool, each of whom earned first-team distinction, while Kelsey Robledo and Cyrena Salinas corralled second-team honors and Jackie Echaorre was named to the sportsmanship team.

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The Balers finished in third place with an 8-4 record, behind runner-up North Salinas (10-2) and league champion Gilroy (12-0), which received an additional honor when Tim Jones was named Coach of the Year.

Alisal senior Gaby Pantoja, meanwhile, was named Most Valuable Player in the TCAL after she led the league with more than 15 points per game.

Each of the top three teams in the TCAL received two all-league selections, with Rianda and Glasspool taking home the honors for the Baler girls. The forward Rianda and the point guard Glasspool were the main factors in San Benito’s inside-outside offense this past season.

In fact, Rianda led San Benito in scoring this winter with 11.32 points per game, while also leading the team in field goals per game and free throws. At 5-foot-10, she equaled her season-high of 21 points on two different occasions — in a Dec. 16 game against Aptos, and again on Feb. 1 against Gilroy.

The senior post seemed to improve as the season progressed, too, becoming both an inside and outside presence during the second half of the league schedule, while also posting impressive numbers against the best teams in the league.

Competing four times against Gilroy and North Salinas this season, Rianda averaged 16 points per game, including a 21-point effort against Gilroy and an 18-point effort against North Salinas the second time the two teams squared off.

Rianda was also an all-tournament selection at the Wildcatz Invitational during the regular season, and was named second team in the TCAL last season.

As for Glasspool, she was second on the team in scoring with 8.73 points per game, including 1.77 3-pointers per game as well.

In fact, the senior guard did most of her damage behind the arc, often hitting a pair of 3-pointers in nearly every game. Twice she dropped five 3-pointers in a single game — once against Pacific Grove on Dec. 18 and again on Feb. 15 against Everett Alvarez — each of which led to 19-point efforts for the starting guard.

Her season-high, though, came on Dec. 29 against Santa Teresa, when she drained eight 3-pointers en route to a season-high 27 points.

During the regular season, the 5-foot-2 point guard also earned all-tournament honors at the Wildcatz Invitational and the Dons Club Holiday Tournament.

Glasspool was a first-team selection last year as well.

Joining her and Rianda on this year’s 10-member first team is Gilroy’s Chelsea Hill and Michelle Sosa; North Salinas’ Amy Woo and Tiana Osborne; Gaby Pantoja of Alisal; Rhaisell Perez of Everett Alvarez; Sara Pacheco of Salinas; and Raquel Lopez of Notre Dame.

The Balers were awarded a pair of second-team selections as well, as both junior center Kelsey Robledo and senior 2-guard Cyrena Salinas received the distinction.

At 6-foot-1, Robledo had a season-high 18 points in just the second game of the year on Dec. 3 against Seaside, but also came on strong offensively toward the tail end of the year as well. She deposited back-to-back 14-point performances on Jan. 11 and 13 against Notre Dame and Alisal, respectively, while also chiming in with 13 points against Carlmont in the Division I postseason.

She finished third on San Benito with eight points per game.

As for Salinas, she was fourth on the team in scoring with 6.62 points per game, and like Robledo, came on strong at the end of the year as well. She averaged nearly 11 points per game in the final four games of the season, including 17-point and 10-point performances in the Division I playoffs against Carlmont and Gunn, respectively.

Other second-team selections included Gilroy’s Ashley Lambert and Ashlee Williams; North High’s Mekayla Dacpano and Julia Ashen; Kiera Paulo of Notre Dame; Juanita Valenzuela of Alisal; Alexis Warne of Salinas; and Dani Carmona of Everett Alvarez.

San Benito senior guard Jackie Echaorre was also named to the “Pursuing Victory with Honor” team, which included Julia Ashen of North Salinas; Haley Land of Salinas; Dani Hemeon of Gilroy; Kaitlyn Whitehead of Notre Dame; Eva Latu of Alisal; and Rita Castro of Everett Alvarez.

Tri-County Athletic League

MVP — Gaby Pantoja, Alisal

Coach of the Year — Tim Jones, Gilroy

First Team — All-TCAL

Chelsea Hill, Gilroy, senior; Michelle Sosa, Gilroy, junior; Amy Woo, North Salinas, senior; Tiana Osborne, North Salinas, senior; Nicole Rianda, San Benito, senior; Erin Glasspool, San Benito, senior; Gaby Pantoja, Alisal, senior; Raquel Lopez, Notre Dame, senior; Sara Pacheco, Salinas, senior; Rhaisell Perez, Everett Alvarez, senior.

Second Team — All-TCAL

Ashley Lambert, Gilroy, senior; Ashlee Williams, Gilroy, senior; Mekayla Dacpano, North Salinas, senior; Julia Ashen, North Salinas, senior; Kelsey Robledo, San Benito, junior; Cyrena Salinas, San Benito, senior; Kiera Paulo, Notre Dame, senior; Juanita Valenzuela, Alisal, junior; Alexis Warne, Salinas, senior; Dani Carmona, Everett Alvarez, junior.

Pursuing Victory with Honor Team

Julia Ashen, North Salinas; Haley Land, Salinas; Dani Hemeon, Gilroy; Kaitlyn Whitehead, Notre Dame; Jackie Echaorre, San Benito; Eva Latu, Alisal; Rita Castro, Everett Alvarez.

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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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