Cal State’s Wilt earns second-team All-American honors

Cal State San Bernardinos Vanessa Wilt has been voted to the Daktronics NCAA Division II womens basketball all-America second team by a vote of the nations sports information directors.

In addition, Wilt was named a State Farm/Womens Basketball Coachs Association honorable mention for the second straight year despite the fact she was among the top 26 in the nation in four statistical categories.

Wilt was the only West Region player named to any of the three teams selected by the Division II sports information directors. None of the 10 all-Americans selected by the WBCA coaches committee played for West Region schools.

The 6-1 senior center from Hesperia (Sultana High School) by way of Cal Baptist led the CCAA conference in scoring (18.9 ppg), rebounding (13.4 rpg), field goal percentage (54.7) and blocked shots (71).

Wilt was in the top 12 in NCAA Division II in all four categories until very late in the season. She finished No. 2 in the nation in rebounding, No. 8 in blocked shots, No. 23 in field goal percentage and No. 26 in scoring.

 Previously this month, Wilt was named the CCAAs most valuable player and the Daktronics West Region player of the year as well as being selected to the WBCAs all-region first team.

Wilt had 25 double-doubles (points and rebounds) in 29 games and 36 for her two-year career at CSUSB, in which she led the Coyotes to two straight NCAA regional tournament appearances.

She was the CSUSB Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2006-07, earning first-team all-CCAA and first-team all-West Region honors, averaging 18.0 and 9.9 rebounds a game with 41 blocked shots.

She smashed the teams single-season record for blocked shots (old mark was 59), giving her 112 in her two seasons, one shy of the all-time career record of 113.

Wilts 388 rebounds is a new single-season record as is her rebounds per game average (13.4). She tied the teams single-game scoring record with 39 points against Cal State L.A.

In her two seasons, Wilt led the Coyotes to a 38-19 record and the programs first back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances since the school moved up to Division II in 1991-92.

A good student with a 3.3 GPA, Wilt was recently voted to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA all-District 8 academic first team.

Celeste Trahan of Elizabeth City State (N.J.) was named the Daktronics Division II player of the year averaging 23.7 points and 15.9 rebounds per game, leading the nation in both categories.

The WBCA named sophomore Johanna Leedham of Franklin Pierce as its player of the year. Leedham was a third-team selection by the sports information directors on the Daktronics all-America list.



First team

            Lauren Beckley, So., Shippensburg

            Emily Brister, Jr., West Texas A&M

            Katie Cezat, Jr., Hillsdale

            Ashley Langen, Sr., North Dakota

            Celeste Trahan, Sr., Elizabeth City St.*

            *Player of the Year

Second team

            Vanessa Wilt, Sr., Cal State San Bernardino

            Kate Lynch, Sr., Southern Connecticut

            Jennifer Rushing, Sr. Delta State

            Michelle Stueve, Sr., Emporia State

            Sheena Walton, Sr., Tampa

Third team

            Anna Atkinson, Jr., Wingate

            Jeana Hoffman, Sr., South Dakota

            Johannah Leedham, So., Franklin Pierce

            Syretha Marble, Jr., North Georgia College

            Sarah Van Horn, Jr., West Va. Wesleyan



First team

            Lauren Beckley, So., Shippensburg

            Katie Cezat, Jr., Hillsdale

            Jeana Hoffman, Sr., South Dakota

            Kierah Kimbrough, Jr., North Dakota

            Johannah Leedham, So., Franklin Pierce*

            Kate Lynch, Sr., Southern Connecticut

            Jennifer Rushing, Sr., Delta State

            Michelle Stueve, Sr., Emporia State

            Jahzinga Tracey, Jr., Indiana U (Pa.)

            Celeste Trahan, Sr., Elizabeth City St.

            *Player of the Year

Honorable Mention

            Vanessa Wilt, Sr., Cal State San Bernardino and 30 others.

La Verne edges Redlands in golf event

The University of La Verne golf team earned yet another victory in SCIAC competition by taking top honors at the SCIAC #3 Tournament Monday at the friendly confines of Sierra La Verne Country Club.

The Leopards finished with a four-player team total of 294 to prevail over Redlands (297) by three strokes. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps finished third at 300 followed by Cal Lutheran (308), Pomona-Pitzer (309), Occidental (317) and Whittier (350).

Chris Davis earned medalist honors with the top individual finish of the day with a round of 72 (37-35). Teammates Mitchell Fedorka and Ryan Waring were among five players who tied for second one stroke back with respective rounds of 73, while Rizal Amin contributed with a 76.

The Leopards break from conference play to compete at the West Region Invitational held April 8 at Berry Creek Country Club in Texas.

Former Cal State star nowat Rio Grande

It looks like former Cal State San Bernardino basketball big man Ivan Johnson has adapted quite well after his trade from the Anaheim Arsenal to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA’s D-League.

Johnson averaged 13.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.90 assists in 35 games in Anaheim. He has played in four since joining the Vipers and is avergaing 14.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

It looks like the trade had more to do with need for both teams than performance, or lack there of. The Vipers needed a big man and Johnson is the biggest that team has. That was not the case in Anaheim which boasted a 7-footer in Marcus Campbell, out of Mississippi State.

Ironically the trade also involved a true local in Mike Efeverbha who went to the Arsenal from Iowa as part of the three-way trade. He prepped at Ganesha and starred at Cal State Northridge and filled the need Anaheim had for a guard.

The move also gets Johnson closer to his native San Antonio. The Vipers are based out of McAllen, Texas which is in the Southern tip.


Canes, former SBVC star come up short

Well the No. 7 seeded University of Miami Hurricanes gave it the good ole college try but came up just short, losing to No. 2 seeded Texas in the NCAA South Regional in Little Rock, Ark.

Former San Bernardino Valley College standout Lance Hurdle did his part with 11 points on 3-for-12 shooting from the field. He went 5-of-6 from the line and hit all four tries in the last 47 seconds to go in the game to keep the Canes in striking distance.

Miami trailed by 15 with four minutes left and rallied to make it a game.

Hurdle, a junior guard, didn’t seem to figure to prominently in the team’s plans early but earned a spot in the starting lineup halfway through conference play. Talk about coming up big – Hurdle had a season-high 20 against North Carolina. Hopefully he set himself up for a more important role next season.

Former Mt. SAC star earns D2 All-American honors

Kentucky Wesleyan’s Jeff Fahnbulleh received third-team All-America recognition from both Basketball Times and Daktronics (SIDs) after leading the Panthers back to national prominence by compiling a 24-8 record and a record breaking 34th trip to the NCAA tournament.

The 2008 Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year finished second in the nation in rebounding (12.1 rpg) and third in the GLVC in scoring (19.1 ppg). He shot a second-best 57.8 percent from the field, and a third best 37.5 percent from the arc and 78.3 percent from the free throw line (78.3) for the Panthers.

The 6-7, 260-pound senior center from Los Angeles, posted 19 double-doubles and was one of just two players in the GLVC this season to post 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds in the same contest with 25 and 23 respectfully against SIU Edwardsville. He became the 39th Panther to surpass the 1,000 point milestone with 1,009 in two seasons at KWC.

Fahnbulleh, a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, received first team All-Great Lakes Region honors from NABC and Daktronics, selected a GLVC-high Player of the Week three times and named to the NABC All-Star squad. He started the year as a preseason Sporting News honorable mention All-America selection followed by earning Disney West All-Classic team recognition.

SBVC’s Burel decided on four-year college

San Bernardino Valley College football standout Sylvester Burel (Redlands East Valley) has signed with Division II Gannon University in Pennsylvania. Burel was the top receiver for the Wolverines last season with 33 catches for 494 yards, with a long of 54 yards.

SBVC coach Pat Meech said Burel visited the school and also took a trip to the University of Hawaii but Gannon came through with a better financial package.

Local player honored for play at Cal State Fullerton


FULLERTON, CA – Cal State Fullerton sophomore Sheila Holguin and freshman Christine Hiner gave the Titans a sweep of the Big West Conference’s weekly softball honors, earning the league’s player and pitcher of the week awards as determined by the conference office on Monday morning.


The laurels are the first in both player’s collegiate careers and Holguin becomes the second Fullerton player to be honored this season, joining teammate Jenna Wheeler, who earned the first award of the season on Feb. 11.


Holguin (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga HS) was a powerful cog in the Titans’ offensive wheel at the top of the lineup at last week’s Judi Garman Classic, leading the entire tournament in batting (.692), slugging (1.077), on-base percentage (.692), and triples (2) while also tying for the tournament lead in hits (9) and finishing tied for second in total bases (14).


Hitting just .247 entering the tournament, Holguin raised her average almost 60 points to .306 to rank second on the team. She had her two best games against ranked opposition, going 3-for-4 against No. 19 Fresno State with a double, a run scored, and an RBI while finishing 3-for-3 against No. 7 Arizona, including driving home the winning run with a triple and scoring what would eventually be the decisive run later in the third inning.


Hiner (Garden Grove, Calif./Pacifica HS), who hadn’t pitched since March 15 against Utah, snapped a four-start losing streak in the circle in impressive fashion, holding a powerful Arizona offense to just three hits and a .120 batting average in a 2-1 win over the Wildcats.


She struck out six without a walk in the complete-game effort, stranding three runners on base for the game – two of those in scoring position.


With the bulk of the non-conference schedule behind them, Cal State Fullerton begins the race for the 2008 Big West Conference title this weekend on the road as the Titans head to San Luis Obispo to take on defending champion Cal Poly in a three-game series.


Redlands sweeps softball twinbill

REDLANDS The No. 7 University of Redlands softball team proved it can win with the short game and the long game, all in the same day.

The defending champion Bulldogs swept a SCIAC doubleheader from much-improved Pomona-Pitzer 1-0 and 7-6 Saturday to keep a strong hold on first-place.

Redlands (20-2, 11-1), which has won 20 straight games, took the first contest on a one-out squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eighth by senior shortstop Melanie Hamlin.

The Bulldogs then won the nightcap on a two-run walkoff home run by sophomore catcher Nicky Neumann.

We didnt play up to our potential today but we found a way, Redlands coach Laurie Nevarez said. We got lucky with a couple of hits and that was the difference.

The first game was a pitchers dual between seniors as Katie Brnca allowed the Sagehens just two hits and struck out six. Pitzers Billie McGrane was up the challenge and gave up just six while striking out four.
But one of those hits was a triple to Neumann with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Hamlin, a Redlands East Valley product, came up next and laid down a bunt that was retrieved by McGrane, whose toss to home wasnt handled by catcher Alyssa Corley.

Neumann factored even bigger in the nightcap. The Sagehens (12-8, 5-5) surged out to a 4-0 lead, powered by a solo home run by Christine Calderon in the fourth and a two-run shot by Corley in the fifth.

The Bulldogs answered with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the inning, the big blows being a run-scoring double by Dory Baga and two-run singles by Remy Kawaguchi and Kayla Peterson.
But back came the visitors, who took a 6-5 lead on a two-run bloop single by Leanna Guillermo in the sixth.

The Sagehens again were on the brink of victory as sophomore Melanie Gularte, who entered in relief of starter Alexis Garcia in the fourth, fanned the first two hitters in the seventh.
Peterson then reached on an infield single, setting the stage for Neumann who smacked a 1-0 pitch over the leftfield fence, ending the contest.

We seem to know when to turn it on, Neumann said. I was really just interested in getting a single. The last thing I was thinking about was a home run. Wow. That was so exciting, I dont know what else to say.

The close calls were little consolation for a Sagehen team that has made monumental strides. In 2007 Pitzer finished sixth of seven teams in the conference at 15-24 overall and 8-16 in conference. Their losses to Redlands came by scores of 5-0, 9-4, 11-2 and 10-0.

I am pleased with how far we have come and that we have raised the bar, second-year coach Joanne Ferguson said. Its a step in the right direction but were not satisifed.
Nevarez, a former player at UCLA, was impressed with the opposition.

That coach has done a great job with them, Nevarez said. They arent just improved, theyre a good team that really gave us our most competitive conference games so far.

Looking for a rooting interest in March Madness

Since my Florida Gators crashed and burned this season and have been relegated to NIT status, I have to find another rooting interest just to make March Madness more interesting.

Who doesn’t like Darren Collison’s game? I saw him play at Etiwanda High School and I’ll always root for a native. But everyone in Southern California is rooting for the Bruins, right? So that’s boring.

So I’ll pick a couple of other teams. First I’ll throw my support to the Miami Hurricanes. That shouldn’t happen because Gators can’t (shouldn’t) root for the Hurricanes in anything. But Lance Hurdle starts at guard and I followed him last season at San Bernardino Valley College. I like his game and he’s a nice individual and that trumps whatever I might have against the school he chose to play for.

He scored seven points in the Hurricanes win over St. Mary’s. So far, so good.

Next, lets take San Diego. A semi-local tie there. Booker Harris coached with Jeff Oliver at Cal State San Bernardino last year and is now director of basketball operations at San Diego (although not quite sure what that title means). It was sad to see him depart but was a great career move for him.

Bill Carr, who used to coach at UC San Diego, is also there as an assistant. I always liked what he did with his team in the CCAA. Always gave the Coyotes fits and made the most of his talent.

And the Toreros pulled off an upset inthe first round, beating UConn.

Keep the Cinderella stories coming!

Coyotes, Broncos don’t deliver as expected

The college basketball season has come and gone and neither local team lived up to expectations.

Cal Poly Pomona was picked to finish second and ended up eighth, barely making the conference tournament which leaves out just three of 11 schools. The Broncos came close to pulling off a miracle, advancing all the way to the conference tournament final, helped by the fact that the first four seeds lost their quarterfinal games.

Team chemistry seemed to be an issue all season. That is one of those intangibles you don’t think makes much of a difference until you don’t have it. The Broncos rival, Cal State San Bernardino, found that out a couple of years ago.

But coach Greg Kamansky does an admirable job with limited resources and will have his team back in the hunt next year.

The Coyotes did come away with a share of the conference title along with Humboldt State. But it seems like a team that was capable of more. Maybe everyone got a little too excited after such a great start. The Coyotes shouldn’t have had to settle for a share of first. It’s hard to explain a loss to last-place Chico State at home which came when the Wildcats had lost 11 straight games and were 0-9 on the road.

They also had two losses – one to the Broncos and one to Monterey Bay – which came because they couldn’t make a free throw.

The Coyotes had a successful season by most standards but they have raised the bar to where more is expected than what was delivered.