Domo, CC potent combination for Gateway 

One is a sleek and powerful center, capable of controlling the paint offensively and completely changing another teams’ game plan defensively.

The other is equally comfortable bringing the ball up the court and shooting 3s and banging down low for putbacks and as adept at covering guards and causing steals as she is dishing assists and gathering rebounds.

They are Dominique Hunter and Camila Rosen — Domo and CC. And together, they have made it nearly impossible for anyone to give the Gateway girls’ basketball team a game this season.

The Gators (27-2) have outscored their opponents by an average of 60.2-23.2, won 14 times by 40 points or more and allowed just two opponents to score more than 40 points in a game all season (Gateway won both). Hunter, a senior, is averaging 16.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game, while Rosen is putting up 15.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 5.1 steals per game as a sophomore.

And here’s the scary part: As fourth-seeded Gateway enters the semifinals of the North Coast Section Division V playoffs tonight at 6:30 against top-seeded Branson of Ross (27-3) at the College of Marin, Gators coach Michael Coffino said his team is just now startingto peak.

"The kids are playing great, the best they have all season," Coffino said. "We couldn’t be playing Branson at a better time."

If nothing else, it should give Hunter, Rosen and the rest of the Gateway starters a relatively rare opportunity to log major minutes at maximum effort. The Gators often pulled out of their full-court press after the first quarter and subbed liberally during the second halves of games while routinely cruising to wins during an undefeated 12-0 run through the Bay Counties League Central.

Last season, Gateway finished 7-7 while competing in the stronger BCL West and Hunter said the team has used the divisional switch as a motivating factor.

"We kind of looked at it like they didn’t think we could compete," Hunter said. "This year, these playoffs are my last chance to prove people shouldn’t forget about us."

At 6-foot-1 with a soft shooting touch, a natural instinct for blocking shots and a willingness to mix it up for rebounds, Hunter would be tough to stop in any league. She also excels in the classroom (a 3.8 grade-point average) and has emerged as Gateway’s emotional leader.

"She keeps us motivated and never has any doubt before a game that we’ll win," Rosen said. "And personally, I look up to her because she’s older and I want to do the same things she does."

Hunter, Rosen and point guard Aisha Esa shared major bonding time this summer as part of the Player’s Club, a traveling team that played in tournaments in Oregon, Washington state and Chicago. Rosen’s success during the monthlong tour gave her the confidence to become even more assertive for Gateway this season.

"The summer made me even more comfortable with the girls and made me want to do even more," Rosen said. "And right now, we’re realizing we don’t want our season to end. We want to take it as far as possible."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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