Solano volunteers with “My Own Book”

May 6, 2013
Ariel Clay reads to a young girl during the "My Own Book" event recently.

Ariel Clay reads to a young girl during the “My Own Book” event recently.

The Solano women’s basketball team spent time at the Solano County Library recently with the “My Own Book” organization.

My Own Book is a non-profit organization that gives brand new books to underprivileged children. Team members visit kindergarten through third grade classrooms where they read books to children, talk about the benefits of the public library, and let each child choose a book to take home.
Solano’s players put a bookplate on the inside cover of each book with the child’s name on it, to cement the idea that each book is the child’s very own. The women’s basketball team was part of one of the organization’s special events to spread the joy of reading.
“This was an amazing experience,” said Coach Matt Borchert, who recounted his experience at the event. “A little girl walked in with her mom and her mom said she hates reading and it’s a chore to read every night before bed. The little girl sat down with Ariel (Clay) and the two sat and read. I never would’ve guessed the girl didn’t like to read. The mom just sat there with her jaw to the ground. She couldn’t believe what she was witnessing.”
The kids enjoyed the visit with the basketball players so much that many of them insisted that they autograph the book next to their bookplate.

Solano recaps season at annual banquet

May 6, 2013

The 2012-13 Solano women’s basketball team came together one final time on Sunday for the annual end-of-season banquet. The celebration was held on campus with parents, friends, support staff and Solano administration in attendance.

Each player was honored by the coaching staff for efforts made to help Solano record its 19th winning season. Special recognition was given to the sophomores – Cheyenne Shepherd and Lucy Santos – who were given the traditional sophomore gift, embroidered sweatshirts. Cheyenne is moving on to continue her athletic and academic careers at Cal State Maritime Academy in Vallejo. She will take a year off to have shoulder surgery and return with two years of eligibility remaining.

Lucy recently visited Eastern Nazarene University in Massachusetts. Solano has previously sent three players to ENU, most recently Presley Neufeld who just completed her junior season there.

In addition to recognizing the support staff, family members and assistant coaches, Coach Matt Borchert handed out the Player of the Year Award. The award is voted on by the players and based on several factors – including academics, work ethic, coachability, among others. Taylor Hamilton, the team’s freshman point guard who was named all-BVC this year, was named Player of the Year by her teammates.

Also, Shaianna “yaya” Rincon was awarded the Falcon Award, which goes to the player with the highest GPA.

Coach Matt, as he does every year, gave a run down of alumni  proudly stating that former guard Marian Murphy will soon be earning her doctorate degree and Kate Shipp is coaching girls basketball at American Canyon HS.

Solano spends Valentine’s Day with local kids

May 6, 2013
Taylor Hamilton reads to a group of students at Suisun Valley Elementary.

Taylor Hamilton reads to a group of students at Suisun Valley Elementary.

The Solano women’s basketball team showed some love to a local school on Valentine’s Day, spending some time at Suisun Valley Elementary School – reading, handing out Valentine’s, reciting the morning Pledge of Allegiance, and even throwing in a game of tag on the playground.

The visit was the program’s continuing effort to give back to the community. Last year, the team raised money for the Jim Capoot Memorial Fund, held a Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser and this year hosted its second annual Scout Night along with the men’s basketball team at Solano.

The visit to the school was fun for all involved. The players read books to various classrooms, spoke with an older group of kids about life in college, helped teachers hand out Valentines to younger students and showed the importance of physical fitness with a game of tag during recess.

Coach Matt Borchert had a great time as well and was impressed with the school’s community garden.

“The girls had a great time,” he said. “It’s great to get out here and be part of the community. These girls are role models on the court and now off the court as well. They love doing this as much as the kids love having them here.”

Two freshmen named all-BVC

May 6, 2013
Solano's Fantastic Freshmen, Taylor Hamilton and Ariel Clay.

Solano’s Fantastic Freshmen, Taylor Hamilton and Ariel Clay.

Solano’s two standout freshmen, Taylor Hamilton and Ariel Clay, were named to the Bay Valley Conference all-conference team, as selected by the BVC coaches.

Taylor, a point guard, was second in the conference MVP voting. She averaged 15.1 points, 5.5 assists and 4.7 steals. Her assist-to-turnover ratio was one of the best in the state. Ariel, a forward who improved tremendously as the season progressed, was second on the team in scoring (11.2), first in rebounding (6.8) and also averaged 2.3 steals per game.

The two carried Solano to a second-place finish in conference with an 11-3 record and 14-10 overall.

Solano nets two big wins to close out season

May 6, 2013

The Solano women’s basketball team recorded a big victory over College of Marin, 84-32, before holding off Contra Costa College 55-54, in the regular season finale, to finish 2012-13 on a three-game win streak.

Against Marin, Ariel Clay exploded for 18 points, and added three rebounds and three steals for the Falcons, who took a commanding 48-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. Solano gave up just 12 points in the second half. Taylor Hamilton stayed consistent with 19 points, eight assists and six steals while Lucy Santos added 12 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Ariella Harper scored 10 points off the bench.

In the thrilling win over its conference rival, Solano stole the ball on an inbounds play in the final seconds of the game to secure the win. Taylor Hamilton and Alexcia Jennings each scored 15 points for the Falcons. Cheyenne Shepherd had eight points and seven rebounds while Lucy Santos added 11 rebounds in their final game with Solano.

Solano routs Los Medanos on Scout Night

May 6, 2013
Cheyenne Shepherd, center, played in her final home game with Solano.

Cheyenne Shepherd, center, played in her final home game with Solano.

Lucy Santos with her family before the game.

Lucy Santos with her family before the game.

With dozens of Scouts watching and cheering from the bleachers, the Solano Community College women’s basketball team recorded a lopsided 68-42 win over Los Medanos College.

The second annual Scout Night drew quite a crowd of Boy and Girl Scouts, and their leaders, to the game. Scouts had the opportunity to get autographs and have their pictures taken with the men’s and women’s basketball teams throughout the night – much to the delight of the scouts in attendance.

On the court, the Falcons got a balanced effort as all 10 players contributed to the victory. Led by Taylor Hamilton’s 13 points, 7 assists and 5 steals, Solano built a 33-21 halftime lead. Ariel Clay scored nine points and Ariella Harper added nine points off the bench.

The game was also the final one at home for sophomores Cheyenne Shepherd and Lucy Santos. The two were honored, along with their families, in a pregame ceremony. Cheyenne finished the game with six points and six rebounds while Lucy added six points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Solano managed the win despite losing the edge on the boards, 48-42.

Solano drops heartbreaker to Mendocino

May 6, 2013

The Solano women’s basketball team fell to Bay Valley Conference-leading Mendocino 61-53 in Ukiah.

Mendocino controlled the game, leading 35-21 at the half. Solano mounted a small comeback in the second half, but the Eagles were too much and held on for the victory.

Taylor Hamilton led the Falcons with 15 points while Kristina Kountouris added 11.