With record holder on hand, Bonita junior breaks career scoring mark

The fact that Bonita point guard Nikki Wheatley broke the school’s career scoring record in a win over Walnut Wednesday night was only part of the story.

Wheatley is not even finished with her junior season and holds the prestigious record for a program that has had ample success, to say the least. Bonita hasn’t lost a league game since entering the Hacienda League three seasons ago and has played in a CIF-SS final and semifinal the last two seasons, respectively.

The player that averaged 16 points per game on the way to the 2011 CIF championship game, Madison Zylstra, previously held the school’s career scoring record with 1,584 points. Zylstra’s father, who still keeps statistics for Bonita, attempted to fly her in for the game in which Wheatley broke her record. Entering Wednesday’s matchup with Walnut, Wheatley needed just seven points to surpass the mark, but Zylstra’s presence was in doubt as she was on standby attempting to catch a flight from BYU.

All of this occurred unbeknownst to Wheatley, who didn’t even know she was on the brink of breaking the record. Bonita coach Darren Baumunk intentionally kept her standing on the all-time scoring list a secret.

Everything came together Wednesday as Zylstra arrived in time for the game and Wheatley scored seven points, the exact number needed to break the record. Her lay-up at the 3:23 mark of the third quarter sealed it, though Baumunk was growing a little anxious as the game wore on and his leading scorer had just five points.

“It was kind of like ‘Oh my gosh, what if she doesn’t do it tonight,’” Baumunk said. “I mean we flew Madison down from BYU and we figured it would be no problem for her to score seven points.”

Wheatley wasn’t informed that she had broken the record until an announcement to the crowd after the game. Zylstra emerged from the stands and the two took pictures together at mid-court.

“(Wheatley) got a little emotional,” Baumunk said. “It’s amazing that she hasn’t even finished her junior year and she’s done this. She’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen in high school basketball.”

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