Benefit games raise money for scholar-athletes
by Bob Brownne
Nov 30, 2012 | 2348 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Foundation games
Tracy High’s Karsi Fyfe (center) fights for the rebound against West High’s Brittney Reyes (left) and Gabrielle Keane during the California Interscholastic Federation Foundation exhibition game on Monday, Nov. 26.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The first basketball games of the season don’t count toward any records, but they could count when it comes to financially supporting players as they advance to college athletics.

Basketball teams throughout the California Interscholastic Federation Sac-Joaquin Section set Monday, Nov. 26, aside as the day for the section’s Foundation games.

The day of contests supports the annual A. Dale Lacky Scholarships, which have recognized the section’s top scholar-athletes since 1992.

According to the tradition, the first volleyball games of the fall season and first boys and girls basketball games of the winter season would be exhibition matches to raise money for the foundation.

Steve Thornton, Kimball High’s athletic director, was coaching boys basketball at West High in 2002 when the section started the foundation games.

“My idea was, if we’re going to do it for scholarships, let’s play someone where we can draw a crowd,” Thornton said. “Some of the early season games don’t draw that well, so it was my idea to play Tracy.”

This year, Kimball High hosted Millennium and West hosted Tracy. Each school donated to the foundation half of its portion of income from admission fees, which were $5 for the general public and $3 for students.

Thornton said Kimball High will donate $460 to the foundation. Final figures from West were not available as of Wednesday, Nov. 28. The foundation awarded $35,800 in the spring of 2012, spread out over 50 awards.

Since 2002, five West High seniors and two Tracy High seniors have received $600 scholarships through the Lacky awards. Among the 2011-12 award winners was Tracy High’s Mariah Serrato, who played soccer, basketball and water polo.

The year before, West tennis player Gabriella Herrera and football and baseball player Jake Peterson each received awards.

For players, the games can also be a good way to gauge how competitive their teams will be, as a crosstown rivalry tends to be more competitive than an ordinary scrimmage.

“I think the foundation game is fun, and it’s a good way to start off the season, because it’s such a competitive game between the two schools,” said Tracy High senior guard Tammy Serrato, whose cousin received a Lacky Scholarship last year.

Varsity boys: West 64, Tracy 60

West pulled ahead by a many as 10 points in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs battled back to tie it up in the fourth.

A series of free throws at the end gave West the lead it needed to preserve the win.

“Tracy came with a lot of heart, they worked hard, I can tell, in practice, and they really brought it tonight,” said West junior guard Kenneth Daye. “It’s always intense, but normally we get off to a better start. We need to work harder and play harder.”

Daye led the Wolf Pack with 27 points and senior forward Michael Young scored 15 for West. Senior forward Josh Brakkee scored 14 for Tracy and senior forward Jeff Takahashi scored 12.

Varsity girls: Tracy 36, West 21

Tracy jumped out to an early lead, but West caught up in the second quarter and went ahead 17-15 at the half.

The Bulldogs, boosted by a couple 3-point shots from Serrato, pulled head in the third quarter and held the Wolf Pack to four points for the entire second half.

Serrato and Karsi Fyfe scored eight points each for the Bulldogs and Taylor Juarez scored seven. West’s top scorers were Emma Bell, Brittney Reyes and Nini Woodward with five each.

Varsity boys: Kimball 81, Millennium 42

The Jaguars took control at the very start to jump out to a 30-3 lead in the first quarter.

Senior DeVante Baisa and junior J.D. Schmidt scored 12 points each for Kimball and senior Evan Owens scored 11. Top scorer for the Falcons was senior Mark DeWitt.

Varsity girls: Kimball 49, Millennium 9

The Jaguars’ aggressive press forced repeated turnovers to put Kimball up 33-2 at the half.

Kimball backed off in the second half but the Falcons still struggled on offense. Junior Noni Nummba scored 13 points for the Jaguars and sophomore Allie Schmidt scored 10. The Falcons’ leading scorer was freshman Sim Bhatia.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or

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