CMS athlete earns SCIAC honor

Senior Dan Winterbottom (Tempe, AZ) was selected SCIAC Athlete of the Week for the week of November 19-

 He led the Stags to two wins at the David Wells Classic.  He scored nearly half the team’s points in a 64-59 win over Macalester College as he exploded for a career-high 31 points on 11-15 shooting.  He shared the scoring lead at 14 in the team’s 52-48 home win over St. Olaf College. 

 In the second game, he hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired to give the team a four-point lead (which they would not give up) with 90 seconds remaining.  In the two games, he scored 45 points, had six rebounds, three assists and two steals.  He shot 69.6% from the field (16-23), 60.0% from three (6-10) and 87.5% from the line (7-8). 

 On the season he is averaging 15.3 points and has 15 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.  CMS is 3-1 overall.

Redlands’ Katayama named top athlete

It was announced today that senior guard Valerie Katayama (Huntington Beach, CA) was named the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Female Athlete of the Week for November 20-26. This marks the University of Redlands’ second honoree of the 2007-08 academic year.

In last week’s only women’s basketball game, Katayama played a huge role in bringing the Bulldogs back from a 13-point deficit to defeat San Diego Christian College by a score of 81-77. In the final 25 seconds of regulation, she scored Redlands’ final 10 points to send the game to overtime. Overall, she tallied a double-double with 24 points, including four three-pointers, and 11 assists. She also added five rebounds.

So far this season, Katayama leads the team with 13.3 points per game and 21 assists.

The Male SCIAC Athlete of the Week was senior basketball player Dan Winterbottom from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.

The conference sports information directors nominate and vote on the athletes of the week.

Cal State women survive, 47-45

It wasn’t pretty but the Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball team improved to 4-0, beating visiting Monterey Bay 47-45 Friday in a CCAA opener at Coussoulis Arena.

The Coyotes blew an 18-point lead in the last 10 minutes of the contest. They were up comfortably 40-22 with 12:25 left but only managed seven points the rest of the game.

A bucket by the Otters Dana Andrews cut the deficit to 45-43 with 1:37 to go. The visitors had the ball back with a chance to tie, thanks to a steal by Alma Lopez with 48 seconds remaining. Monterey (0-3, 0-1)  got closer on a free throw by Andrews, inching to within one 45-44.

The Coyotes (4-0, 1-0) got some breathing room on two free throws by Stephanie Barnes, making it 47-44. Andrews was fouled on a 3-point try with 11 seconds left but missed two of the three. The Coyotes Ashlee Ford then came up with the loose ball to end the game.

The Coyotes shot just 32.2 percent (19-for-59) from the field with senior Vanessa Wilt leading the way as usual. She had 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks before fouling out with 4:51 left. The only other Coyote player in double figures was junior forward Rachel Johnson, who had 12 points, all in the first half. He points came on four 3-pointers.

Ford, a sophomore point guard, also had a solid game with five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

The Otters got 18 points, 10 rebounds and a steal from Dana Andrews. The game also marked the return of 6-foot-1 junior Ja’Nae Westmoreland, who spent the last two years at San Bernardino Valley College. She tallied seven points,, five rebounds, three steals and a block.

Monterey has two other local players on its roster – Zulema Barajas, out of Alta Loma High and SBVC, and Mikeshaya Edwards, out of Eisnhower and Riverside Community College. Both are struggling with injuries and did not play.

No. 9 Coyotes surge past Monterey Bay 79-71

SAN BERNARDINO – Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball coach Jeff Oliver said he has tried nine different offenses in the last two weeks looking for one that will work.

The Coyotes made progress there although their trademark defense wasn’t quite as sharp. The end result was still a 79-71 win over a pesky Monterey Bay squad 79-71 Friday at Coussoulis Arena in the CCAA opener for both teams.

“We were better in terms of our spacing and the quality of shots we took,” coach Jeff Oliver said. “But we didn’t share the ball enough. There was too much one-on-one play going on. Too many guys thinking it was their time.”

All were pleased with the win, no matter what the drawbacks. The Otters (1-5, 0-1) are a team that has given the No. 9 Coyotes (6-0, 1-0) fits in the past and the recent showdown was no exception.

“They don’t quit. They just keep playing, whether they’re up by 20 or down by 20,” senior Lance Ortiz said. “They’re always a scarey team to play because you know they aren’t going to go away.”

The Coyotes led by as many as 11 points in the opening half, going up 40-29 on a 3-point play by Marlon Pierce with 1:54 left. But the Otters ran off the last seven points of the half and only trailed 40-36 at the intermission.

Cal State didn’t put the game away until the last six minutes. They were up by just three at 62-59 with 7:15 left when several player figured in the most spectacular play of the night.

Renardo Bass chased down a loose ball, flinging it the air before falling out of bounds. Ortiz, the smallest player on the court, went high in the air at midcourt to snag it, then unleashed a pass to Pierce for a layup that made it 64-59.

Moments later Michael Earl scored inside off a pass from Pierce to give the Coyotes a 76-65 lead with 2:45 left. The host team never looked back.

Pierce netted a season-high 21, 15 of those coming in the first half. Earl contributed 16 with nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Ortiz added 11 with eight assists while Reggie Brown came off the bench for 10.

“They were giving Lance (Ortiz) a lot of attention so I think that’s why I had some open shots in the first half,” Pierce said.

“It feels great to be able to contribute. I worked hard on my shot in practice and thought it was coming.”

The Coyotes shot 51.7 percent (30-for-58) while the Otters shot 45.3 (29-for-64). Joe Mitchell tallied 25 with 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals.

Cal State will be home again tonight, with San Francisco State making a visit for a 7:30 p.m. contest.

Earl a great find for Coyote basketball team

Michael Earl was playing on the grandest collegiate stage of all -
UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. It was early in the first half and the
Division II Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes were battling the Bruins
in front of a national television audience. He leaped high to swat
away a shot from much heralded freshman Kevin Love.

There weren’t many highlights for the Coyotes. But the play marked
the arrival of a 6-foot-9 senior newcomer who should have Cal State
in the CCAA and West Region title hunt once again this season. The
Coyotes (5-0), ranked No. 9 in the NABC national poll, will host
Monterey Bay (1-4) at 7:30 tonight in a conference opener at
Coussoulis Arena.

That the Diamond Ranch High School product held his own against the
Bruins should be no surprise. He transferred from Division I Utah
State.

“He is one of those players that changes games, especially on the
defensive end,” Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver said. “When he’s not
blocking a shot, he’s changing it and that can have just as much
impact. He’s a perfect fit for what we do.”

Earl, 22, played two years at Fullerton Junior College, averaging
17.2 points and 7.9 rebounds in leading the Hornets to a state title
and perfect 37-0 record in 2005-2006.

He made an oral committment to Utah State after an early
recruiting visit there. Then-coach Dieter Horton said if Earl, one of
five players on that team that went to a Division I school, had
waited he would have had between 25 and 30 other offers to choose
from.

But Earl stuck with his word and headed to Logan, a city of 42,000
people located 90 miles north of Salt Lake City with an
African-American population of .064 percent. It didn’t take long for
the culture shock to set in.

“I had white people there asking me how I get my hair like this.
I don’t think it was racism. They just didn’t know because they
hadn’t been around black people before,” Earl said.

Earl said his easy-going demeanor helped him adjust to the
environment. Getting used to the level of play in the Western
Athletic Conference was tougher. Earl was brought in to play the
forward spot but moved to center midway through the season when a
7-foot prospect failed to progress as the coaching staff had hoped.

Earl didn’t hold up against larger, more physical foes in the
paint. He confronted coach Stew Morrill about it after giving the new
position a try but saw his playing time drop off considerably after
that.

“He can play at the Division I level. That just wasn’t the right
system for him,” Horton said. “They play grind-it-out, smashmouth
basketball. He’s athletic and lean and needs to play in an offense
with more of a flow.”

Earl finished off the school year but called his former coach and
asked him to spread the word he was looking to transfer. Earl’s
original plan was to go to Cal State Fullerton, along with former
junior college teammate Tim Denson who wanted out of Colorado State.

That plan hit a snag when many of their academic credits wouldn’t
transfer. Earl also didn’t want to sit out a year which is necessary
when going from one Division I school to another.

Oliver knew one of the assistants at Utah State which gave him an
upper hand in trying to land Earl. It also helped that Phil Jones, a
third member of that junior college powerhouse, had already signed
with the Coyotes in the spring.

Earl and Denson both followed.

“Christmas definitely came early,” Oliver chuckled.

Earl has been solid, averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds on a
balanced team that has just one player in double figures. He has a
conference-high 17 blocks, nine coming in one game against Seattle
Pacific. He earned CCAA Player of the Week honors for his showing in
that game and the one the previous night against Western Washington.

Oliver and Horton both call Earl a “late bloomer.” As a high
school freshman he tried out for the team at Ayala, but was cut. He
transferred to Diamond Ranch the following year and made that team,
marking the first time he had ever played organized basketball.

A growth spurt of seven inches between his freshman and sophomore
years helped. By the time he was a senior, many Division I schools.
were interested but most dropped off when he sustained an ankle
injury the last half of the season.

Tonight’s game will be the first at home for the Coyotes. Earl’s
parents and two younger brothers are his biggest supporters but they
have to juggle their schedules to accommodate another talented
athlete. Younger sister Nina, a 6-1 forward, is averaging 10.3 points
as a true freshman at UCLA.

“When I was at Fullerton our schedules conflicted a lot,” Earl
said. “They hated having to decide which game to go to.”

Earl hopes a strong showing this season will lead to future
basketball opportunities. But if he has other options if that doesn’t
happen. He will graduate with a degree in political science in the
spring and is debating going on to law school with a possible
emphasis in real estate law.

Working with his father who is in real estate has piqued his
interest in that field.

“I love basketball but you can’t play forever,” he said. “You
have to have something to fall back on.”

Bulldogs in transition, but Ducey still optimistic

The Lee Fulmer Memorial Tournament has become a tradition at the University of Redlands. The event, named for the man who coached the Bulldogs from 1955-1970, is in its 60th season.

The 2007 event starts Thursday and runs through Saturday. The new-look Bulldogs (1-2) will square off with UC Santa Cruz in their opener at 8 p.m. Thursday.

The field also includes Pomona-Pitzer, Chapman, Cal State East Bay, Whitworth (Wash.), West Coast Baptist and Southwestern (Ariz.)

There will be four games each day with action starting at 2 p.m.

Redlands has won the event seven times, including three of the last four. Chapman has won three times, with the most recent in 2005. Whitworth won in 2002.

The Bulldogs now are coached by Jim Ducey, who previously headed the women’s program. He steps in for the “retired” Gary Smith.

The team is in transition while moving from a frantic, up-tempo game to a more conventional offense.

“When we use our break it’s pretty much the same,” Ducey said. “But the guys are getting used to working off each other and using the shot clock, which they never had to do. On defense they used to pressure the ball up front. Now we’re back more toward the basket.”

The starting lineup consists of senior guards Dave Thomas (9.3 ppg) and Daniel Markus (8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), senior forward Matt Loretz (7.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg), sophomore point guard Patrick Coffey (10 ppg, 3 apg) and freshman forward Matt Dietrich (5.3 ppg). Thomas was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player last year.

Sophomore guard Justin Sobczyk (11 ppg) is the leading scorer.

This year the SCIAC will hold a conference tournament at the end of the year with the winner getting an automatic playoff bid. Ducey likes the idea.

“It is good for teams like our ours that are in transition and going to be much better by the end of the season,” he said.

Ducey may be running the show now, but Smith isn’t exactly in full retirement mode. He is at Grinnell College in Iowa, which runs the same system Smith used to set a national scoring record in the 2004-2005 season at Redlands.


COYOTES NO. 9

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team is ranked ninth in the Division II national poll released Tuesday. The Coyotes were not in the preseason poll but moved in after their 5-0 start. All of the wins were on the road.

The Coyotes were 1-1 against Division teams which don’t count. They beat Weber State and lost to UCLA.

Coach Jeff Oliver is thrilled with the start, especially since there still is considerable room for improvement.

“Our defense is phenomenal, better than it was at any point last season. That’s a good thing because our offense has been atrocious,” he said. “We have to start getting better at that end.”

The Coyotes make their home debut Friday at Coussoulis Arena against Monterey Bay at 7:30 p.m. and will host San Francisco State on Saturday.


FOOTHILL CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAM NAMED

Sophomore Krystyna Tuitelle (Pacific HS) of San Bernardino Valley College was named Most Valuable Player of the Foothill Conference in a vote of member coaches.

Also representing the Wolverines on the first team are sophomores Brooke Goodyear (Cajon HS) and Amanda Kury. Second-team honorees included sophomore Sarah Vasquez (Colton) and freshman Sebastiana Lopez (Rim of the World). The honorable mention list included sophomore Ashley Zamora (Rialto) and freshman Chypre Shaw (Pacific).

Victor Valley also is represented with freshman Emily Carlstrom selected to the first team and sophomore Krystal Harvey and freshman Keesha Thomas making the second team. Freshman Tamika Culpepper and sophomore Jennie Burdette earned honorable mention honors.

RCC PLAYERS SALUTED

Ten football players from Riverside Community College earned All-Mission Conference honors. The group is led by first-team running back Jamaal Scott (San Bernardino HS) who rushed for 750 yards on 148 carries (5.1 ypg) in just eight games.

Second-team selections included offensive tackle Ryan Henry (Upland), defensive tackle Joseph Jones (San Bernardino) and defensive back Shamon Wright (Colton).

First-team choices also included sophomore defensive tackle Bernard Afutiti (Kaiser) and sophomore guard Ula Matavao (Eisenhower HS/Chaffey College), both of Mt. SAC.

LOCALS RETURN

Three local players now competing at Cal State Monterey Bay will return home for basketball games Friday at Cal State San Bernardino and Saturday at Cal Poly Pomona.

The Otters’ roster includes center Ja’Nae Westmoreland (Rialto HS/San Bernardino Valley College), guard Mikeshaya Edwards (Eisenhower HS/Riverside CC) and guard Zulema Barajas (Alta Loma HS/SBVC) – all juniors. Westmoreland has earned the most playing time thus far. He started two of four games and averaged 6.5 rebounds and 4 points.


ON THE AIR

Oliver will be a guest on Inland Empire Sports Talk, which can be heard from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday on KTIE (590-AM).