Sharing’s overrated: Scorpions want their own league crown

Girl dribbles and defends a ball.
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Last winter, the Camarillo High girls’ basketball team captured its first Pacific View League crown in 11 years.

However, the Scorpions had to split the title with their rivals, the Rio Mesa Spartans.

Camarillo doesn’t believe in sharing.

“It’s our goal to get our own title,” senior guard Viviana Sandoval said. “We don’t want to share with anyone.”

The Scorpions made a deep run in the postseason last winter, advancing to the CIF-Southern Section quarterfinals.

ACHS head coach Michaeltore Smith doesn’t care about old news.

“The past is the past,” the fifthyear head coach said. “Last year was exciting. . . . It was great.

“That team is gone. It’s a new team with new faces. We’re chasing a championship just like last year.”

Juniors Geraldynn and Geralynn Leaupepe—known to teammates as Dynn and Lynn—are ready to dominate the league again.

The versatile Leaupepe twins can play all five positions.

Lynn and Dynn Leaupepe, along with senior forward Micaela Pericone-Kapp, are Scorpion team captains.

“They’ve embraced being captains this season,” Smith said of the Leaupepe sisters. “Everyone thinks they’re seniors. They have plenty of experience. They’re ready to be captains.”

The Leaupepes start in the backcourt. Since Camarillo lacks size, they’re not afraid to wreak havoc in the post.

Lynn Leaupepe and Rio Mesa’s Riley Abraham were co- MVPs of the league.

“The Leaupepe twins are a huge asset to our team,” said Pericone-Kapp, an All-Pacific View second-team selection in 2011-12. “They’re each great basketball players, but together they’re dominant.”

Pericone-Kapp boasts a solid post game, but she’s also the top outside shooter for the Scorpions.

She possesses a solid midrange jump shot.

The senior, who transferred from Newbury Park after her freshman season, has been on the Camarillo varsity roster for three seasons.

Sophomore Samantha Pericone Kapp, Micaela’s younger sister, is a physical guard.

The Leaupepe twins and the Pericone-Kapp sisters compete in the shot put and discus events for the ACHS track and field team.

Nobody’s guaranteed a starting gig. Players have to earn minutes.

“There are no official starters,” said Sandoval, a former ACHS softball outfielder. “You have to prove it to (Smith). If you get a starting spot during the season, it doesn’t mean you’ll start all year.

“You have to show if you want it. It makes you work hard at all times.”

Sandoval said she hopes to enroll at the University of Chicago and become a pediatrician.

She’s a Derrick Rose fan who appreciates the Chicago Bulls point guard’s ability to push the ball and play smart basketball.

Sandoval said she learned how to be a better team member from former point guard and team captain Breanne Gascon.

“She always told me to communicate with my teammates,” Sandoval said of Gascon. “Some of the girls are new to varsity. With me being a senior, I need to help them adjust to the varsity level.”

Sandoval, Micaela Pericone- Kapp and Kristi Nishimori are the only seniors suiting up for Camarillo. Nishimori earned a spot on the league’s honorable mention list last year.

Nishimori is a member of California Scholarship Federation, National Honor Society, Invisible Children, Free the Children and the Junior Statesmen of America.

Junior guard Cindy Galvan is the Scorpions’ top newcomer. Galvan was the junior varsity team’s MVP last season.

Junior guards Kirstin Randall and Kiley Cundiff-Nichols are the defensive ball hawks.

Last season, Camarillo went 23-7 overall and 9-1 in league. Its only league loss came at the hands of Rio Mesa.

“It’s going to be intense when we play Rio Mesa,” Micaela Pericone Kapp said. “We’re going to prove ourselves on the court. The rivalry gives us added adrenaline and motivates us to work harder.”

Junior Mary Luna, sophomore LaDauna Skeeters and freshman Sydney Arikawa also contribute for Camarillo.

“We have a fast team with guards that can play down low,” Smith said. “It should be another exciting season.”

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