Prep basketball preview: Love and basketball for Cafferatas 

Dezzirae Cafferata wants you to know she has nothing to do with the wardrobe.

The purple suit accessorized impeccably with a pink carnation? The white pinstriped number punctuated by snakeskin shoes? All personally selected and confidently worn during games by Corey Cafferata, her father and coach of the Westmoor girls’ basketball team.

"That’s his own thing," Dezzirae Cafferata said with a laugh. "He’s got two closets full and he’s been doing it ever since he started coaching."

Corey Cafferata actually began coaching his daughter when he was still in uniform himself. He was 19 and just a year removed from a record-setting 1,303-point career at Oceana when Mignon Jackson had Dezzirae and his daughter followed him through three college stops and a professional and semi-pro career while he raised her as a single father.

So while some of his basketball lessons have been passed on verbally, others were absorbed subconsciously through the hollow sound of jump shots hitting net while Dezzirae lay sleeping in a baby basket.

"She had no choice but to come with me to my games," said Corey Cafferata, who fought diabetes throughout his playing career. "And if I wanted to go shoot jumpers at 1 a.m., I’d put a blanket on her so she stayed warm and [I would] go practice."

The coach estimates his daughter has seen him play more than 1,000 games combined in the U.S. and Mexico, most reached in Corey Cafferata’s purple Race Express club team van. He has since returned the favor by chauffeuring her and her teammates to hundreds more. And now when some of Corey Cafferata’s old teammates watch his daughter on the court, they can’t believe their eyes. A 5-foot-5 guard with 3-point range and the ability to get to the basket, Dezzirae Cafferata currently leads the Central Coast Section in scoring at 23.0 points per game.

"They see her out there playing, andat times cussing, and they say ‘Is that Dezzie?’" Corey Cafferata said. "But she’s doing everything for us this year. We go as she goes."

A 3-22 team before Corey Cafferata took over in the 2002-03 season, Westmoor has used an up-tempo style to go 123-29 over the past four-plus seasons. That includes a 10-4 mark this season with a roster that boasts no player taller than 5-5. The Rams enter league play season with a Peninsula Athletic League-record 47-game Central Division winning streak, and at year’s end Dezzirae Cafferata will likely become the ninth Ram under her father’s watch to continue her career at the college level.

"I’ll definitely miss playing for my dad — I’ve been doing it all my life," said Dezzirae Cafferata, who has also grown close to her mom in recent years. "It’s tough sometimes because I live with him and we spend so much time together. But I love playing for him and we’re going to try to go out with another title."

melliser@examiner.com

PENINSULA ATHLETIC LEAGUE GIRLS » TEAM-BY-TEAM CAPSULES

North Division

El Camino Colts

» THIS SEASON: 4-11

» LAST SEASON: 1-18

» COACH: Jon Fong

» SCOUTING REPORT: The Colts have already quadrupled last season’s win total behind Brittany Lealao’s solid play.

Jefferson Indians

» THIS SEASON: 4-6

» LAST SEASON: 2-13

» COACH: Kevin Walker

»SCOUTING REPORT: Sherine Johnson (10 points, 5.3 rebounds per game) and the Indians have already beaten Sequoia and Woodside of the PAL South.

Oceana Sharks

» THIS SEASON: 6-5

» LAST SEASON: 17-10 (lost 49-44 to Mercy of San Francisco in CCS Division IV quarterfinals)

» COACH: Paul Carion

» SCOUTING REPORT: The roster size may be smaller this season, but Jasmina Bastidas and the Sharks should still be tough.

South San Francisco Warriors

» THIS SEASON: 10-4

» LAST SEASON: 6-13 (lost 63-18 to Mitty in first round of CCS Division II playoffs)

» COACH: Karyn Bosco

» SCOUTING REPORT: New coach Karyn Bosco has turned things around with guards Vanessa Castillo, Nicole Chan and Regina Dinapo.

Terra Nova Tigers

» THIS SEASON: 7-6

» LAST SEASON: 15-11 (lost 42-33 to Prospect of Saratoga in first round of CCS Division III playoffs)

» COACH: Bill Lepeltak

» SCOUTING REPORT: Val Broder and Tori Osborne make the Tigers a threat to end Westmoor’s run of dominance.

Westmoor Rams

» THIS SEASON: 10-4

» LAST SEASON: 26-7 (lost 63-30 to Menlo-Atherton in CCS Division II quarterfinals)

» COACH: Corey Cafferata

» SCOUTING REPORT: The Rams have won a PAL-record 47 division games in a row under Cafferata.

Central Division

Aragon Dons

» THIS SEASON: 5-5

» LAST SEASON: 11-14 (lost 55-42 to Menlo-Atherton in first round of CCS Division II playoffs)

» COACH: Annette Gennaro-Trimble

» SCOUTING REPORT: Six-foot post players Andrea Ching and Arteivia Lilomaiava are out to show last season’s rare down year was an aberration.

Burlingame Panthers

» THIS SEASON: 6-6

» LAST SEASON: 23-7 (lost 74-47 to St. Ignatius in CCS Division III semifinals)

» COACH: Frank Firpo

» SCOUTING REPORT: Senior guard Erin Scattini and senior center Trish Malaspina form one of the top tandems in the league.

Capuchino Mustangs

» THIS SEASON: 1-10

» LAST SEASON: 8-15

» COACH: Mike Trimble

» SCOUTING REPORT: Cap edged Kennedy of Fremont 30-29, but has struggled to score points, posting more than 30 just once.

Hillsdale Knights

» THIS SEASON: 1-10

» LASTSEASON: 1-21

» COACH: Keith Halcovich

» SCOUTING REPORT: The Knights have held seven of their 10 opponents to 40 points or less.

Mills Vikings

» THIS SEASON: 10-5

» LAST SEASON: 22-5 (lost 53-42 to St. Francis in CCS Division II quarterfinals)

» COACH: Dave Matsu

» SCOUTING REPORT: Senior center Pilar Mullins is the go-to player for the defending division champs.

San Mateo Bearcats

» THIS SEASON: 8-7

» LAST SEASON: 8-16

» COACH: Steven Kryger

» SCOUTING REPORT: Wins over Carlmont and Palo Alto showed center Alisi Niupalau and San Mateo can play with anyone.

South Division

Carlmont Scots

» THIS SEASON: 9-4

» LAST SEASON: 21-9 (won CCS Division I title, lost 55-39 to McClatchy of Sacramento in second round of NorCal Division I playoffs)

» COACH: Irene Oliveira

» SCOUTING REPORT: Returning interior players Kathleen Burrell and Colleen Garrett will try to lead the defending CCS Division I champs to another title.

Half Moon Bay Cougars

» THIS SEASON: 9-5

» LAST SEASON: 9-16 (lost 40-37 to Santa Catalina in first round of CCS Division IV playoffs)

» COACH: John Carey

» SCOUTING REPORT: Jessica Morales and Erin Dahl played well in the nonleague season for the improving Cougars.

Menlo-Atherton Bears

» THIS SEASON: 8-4

» LAST SEASON: 22-6 (lost 63-60 to St. Francis in CCS Division II semifinals)

» COACH: Pam Wimberly

» SCOUTING REPORT: Wimberly earned her 600th career win when the Bears (last season’s South champ) beat Terra Nova 61-53 on Dec. 15 in the championship game of the Half Moon Bay Cougar Classic.

Menlo School Knights

» THIS SEASON: 6-6

» LAST SEASON: 21-6 (lost 52-36 to Valley Christian in CCS Division IV semifinals)

» COACH: Brooke McKinney

» SCOUTING REPORT: Jackie Shepard returns after earning second-team All-PAL honors last season.

Sequoia Cherokees

» THIS SEASON: 5-5

» LAST SEASON: 5-15

» COACH: Steve Picchi

» SCOUTING REPORT: Arleene Figueroa is a capable scorer for Sequoia.

Woodside Wildcats

» THIS SEASON: 4-4

» LAST SEASON: 6-13

» COACH: Cedell Clayton

» SCOUTING REPORT: Shakara Haynes and Debben Hoffer provide senior leadership for a team featuring five juniors and two underclassmen.

Matt Elliser

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