WATERFORD, CA – It has been a busy and roller coaster season so far for the Waterford Wildcats Basketball Programs and we have had the opportunity to see both the Boys and Girls teams play this season. Each team has played 13 games so far this year with mixed results. Waterford will open Southern Athletic League play January 4th.
The Wildcat’s are 7-6 but only one of their losses was by greater then 10 points. Last season the Wildcats lost a handful of games by 5 points-or-less. This season the curse of close contests seems to have followed the Wildcats. The difference from last year to this year however, is that Waterford is now winning some of these close games as well.
No one can deny that this team is full of talent. Sophomore Guard Mike Vivo might be the most talented player in the league. Posting over 20 points a game, he is capable from hitting buckets from anywhere on the floor. Seniors Ray Perez, Donnaven Berggren, and David Staley round out both skill and experience for the Wildcats and Junior David Nichols is starting to become a force at center.
The Boys team at Waterford has only gotten better as the month of December has gone on. They are on a three-game winning streak and sent a message to the rest of the Southern League went they held on to beat TVL’s Hughson 71-70 last week. That message is: This team is the real deal. They have the offensive talent to compete with anyone in the SAL and they are starting to have the defensive consistency to climb the mountain and earn a playoff spot.
Waterford’s boys team will open their league season against Gustine High School at Waterford on January 4th. The game time is 7:30 PM. We like Waterford to win their opener 65-50.
The Lady Cats have been on a reverse storyline to their brother team. They came out of the gate with a rocket start and have since struggled. They are on their first losing streak of the year having dropped the last two games. The Lady Cats have defeated perennial small school playoff contenders like Ripon Christian and Amador but have perplexingly lost to Western Sierra and struggled against Pecheco. Consistency is missing from this team that broke out into the playoff stage last season.
But this Waterford team is young and packed with weapons. Junior Alyssa Silva leads the Lady Cats and has become one of the top talents in Division 5 for the Sac-Joaquin Section. She is currently posting over 18 points a game and an incredible 9.7 steals per-game. What else about her? Her coach feels she hasn’t played at her full potential yet this season. Sophomore Taylor Brewer has made defensing the Lady Cats difficult. When teams focus on Silva an equally dangerous offensive player in Brewer makes them pay.
The Lady Cats run a system they call “Havoc.” It’s barrowed from UT Head Coach Shaka Smart. In this system the Lady Cats like to press and attack the entire game. Last season their Havoc Press was great generating astronomical amount of turnovers. This season Havoc has been down right terrifying for other teams. It has helped Waterford become the SAL leading defense 13 games into their non-conference run. If the Lady Cats can find offensive consistency this year to complement their stout defense, they could make SAL Championship run. We believe the 9-4 Lady Cats will return to the playoffs for the second season in a row.
Waterford’s girls team will open their league season against Gustine High School at Gustine on January 4th. The game time is 7:30 PM. We like Waterford to win their opener 50-25.