Vista girls' basketball ready for league play

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A 12-4 preseason record has Vista del Lago varsity girls’ basketball coach Marty Benjamin excited for the upcoming league season.

The Eagles are led by three returning starters in senior Lindsey Moody, and juniors Ceonna Pipion and Mia Perez, but also start two freshmen, Kira Sadler and Linnea Jakubicka. Benjamin has received the solid play and leadership he’s expected from Moody, Pipion, and Perez, and Sadler and Jakubicka have not looked out of place in the starting lineup at the varsity level.

The Eagles wrapped up December by placing third at the Jan Vitell Tournament at El Dorado High School held last Thursday through Saturday. Vista’s only loss came in the second round on Friday against Del Oro, 66-46. The Golden Eagles are one of the top teams in the area. Vista trailed by only six at the half, but was outscored 27-13 in the third quarter, which ended any chances of winning.

Vista opened and closed the tournament with solid wins over Hamilton, 48-31, and host El Dorado, 47-37, respectively. Lindsey Moody, who scored 37 points during the three-game tournament, including 16 against El Dorado, earned all-tournament honors. In the win over El Dorado, Moody also became the program’s all-time leading rebounder with 838, passing Ceonna’s sister, Caprina, for first place. Moody is closing in on another school record held by Pipion, as she’s only 87 points away from being the program’s all-time leader scorer.

Sadler scored 13 points in the win over Hamilton, while scoring 12 in the loss to Del Oro. Ceonna Pipion finished with 13 against El Dorado.

Vista (12-4) opens Capital Athletic League play at home Friday against Rio Americano (4-10).

“A 12-4 preseason is as good as I envisioned our record being,” Benjamin said. “We haven’t lost to a team that wasn’t better than us. We’ve been competitive in every game except against Clovis. I like how we’re playing. We’re a little inconsistent, but not enough to where it’s cost us a game.”

Benjamin said Sac High and Christian Brothers figure to be the top teams in the Capital Athletic League.

“Those schools always have quality teams, and this year is no exception,” Benjamin said. “I feel we’re as good or better than everyone else. I’m excited to see how we do in the league season.”