Hazel Cruz comes off the bench to score twice sending Arvin to 1st ever championship appearance

Posted at 7:26 PM, Feb 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-24 14:31:29-05

In few places can you find such a wide range of emotions as with sports. This week Arvin senior Hazel Cruz went through a laundry list. 

In Arvin's semi final against Frazier Mountain, the biggest game of her career, an ankle injury forced her to start on the bench. "It was pretty depressing," she said. 

Third year coach Luis Tello decided to give her a shot midway through the first half. "He called her to go in," his wife Patty Tello recalled. "She forgot about the pain, she forgot about everything."

It took Cruz less than 60 seconds to score and shortly after the restart she scored again to make it 2-0. Her brace helped lead the way and the Bears hung on for a 4-2 win moving them to the school's first ever championship appearance. 

While the biggest game in school history is just hours away, Cruz is just trying to keep her team focused on the their opportunity. "I don't think there's pressure," she said. "We're making history...we didn't come here to get second place. We came here to get first."

Over the mountains framing Arvin, Rosamond stands as the only other Kern County team still alive. The two will play for a valley title Friday night but for now, Arvin coaches are just trying to control what they can. 

"They have on the back of their shirts, it says 'work for success' and that's what it is right now," Tello said. 


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