A special year for Scorpions

Girls are practicing with balls.
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Camarillo girls’ basketball junior Lynn Leaupepe shoots while her twin sister, Dynn, watches during practice this week. © Bill Sparkes/Acorn Newspapers
It’s a celebration at Camarillo High.

The Scorpion girls’ and boys’ basketball teams captured Pacific View League championships last week.

“Camarillo is getting a lot of recognition,” said Corbin Covey, a senior guard for the boys’ squad. “We’re showing that Camarillo is a good high school where teams can have success.

“Hopefully more local Camarillo kids come here and not go to St. Bonaventure or Oaks Christian.”

Both squads open the CIFSouthern Section playoffs this weekend.

The Camarillo boys’ team (22-5 overall, 9-1 in league) plays host to Eastside (10-12 overall) tonight at 7. The Scorpion girls (18-9, 9-1) are at home Saturday night at 7 against Valencia of Placentia (13-13).

Camarillo’s girls basketball team won its first outright league title in school history. They’re also back-to-back champions for the first time ever.

Camarillo shared the crown with Rio Mesa last season.

“Expectations are different for us now,” said Michaeltore Smith, a fifth-year coach for the Camarillo girls’ team. “We want to be known as a consistent winner.

“Being a team that wins championships comes with responsibility. You don’t want to be a one-year wonder. You don’t want to let the other teams down and continue the success of the program. It’s a lot of pressure.”

The boys’ team captured its first outright league title since 1985, when the Scorpions were part of the Marmonte League.

It was Camarillo’s second Pacific View title—the Scorpions shared a title with Oxnard in 2006-07.

“The kids earned their league title,” said Allan Sadowsky, a third-year head coach for the boys’ squad.

“There wasn’t any selfish play. It was a team effort. This team has made the school proud.”

Sadowsky said he knew he had a solid team before the season started, but he didn’t expect his squad to cruise to a 9-1 league record.

Alex Martin, Brian Smith and Rhett King were surprise additions after the trio missed the 2011-12 season for personal reasons.

The three Scorpions have made a big impact on the hardwood.

Martin, a starting senior forward/ guard, is a solid defender and scorer.

King, a 6-foot-5 junior forward/ center, flourished into one of the top big men in the area. King averages seven points and eight rebounds per game.

“We couldn’t have had success without those three guys,” Sadowsky said. “They needed some time off last year. Now they’re major contributors for us.”

Covey and junior guard Jacob Alonzo form one of the top backcourts in the county.

Alonzo, who stands at 5-foot- 6, is enjoying a breakout season. Alonzo averages 16.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 4 steals per game.

“I never thought I would be having this good of a year,” Alonzo said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. My height doesn’t matter. I just use my speed and athleticism to get to the areas I want to get.”

Covey, a two-sport standout who excels on the football field, is enjoying a memorable senior year after dealing with a sprained left ankle a year ago.

Covey averages 11.6 points, 5.4 assists and 2.5 steals a game.

“I’m just having so much fun this year,” Covey said. “I hope it continues with a deep playoff run. I still feel the ankle at times, but it’s a lot better from last year.”

The Leaupepe twins, Lynn and Dynn, propel the girls’ squad.

The junior guards continued improving this season: they developed sweet midrange jumpers and better dribbling skills.

“This is probably the most basketball I’ve played in the past year,” Dynn Leaupepe said.

“My sister and I are always in the gym working on our game. It’s paying off with the league championship.”

The Leaupepe twins have received interest to play college basketball from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Davis, Cal State Northridge and the University of San Diego.

Kristi Nishimori, Viviana Sandoval and Micaela Pericone-Kapp fortify a strong lineup.

“Everyone can contribute on this team,” Lynn Leaupepe said. “We all clicked this season and are expecting a big run in the playoffs. We know we’re capable of winning a section title.”

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