Bonita knows it isn’t welcome back in the Hacienda League. Not after its baseball and two basketball teams lost two league games combined in three years.
Thus, the Bearcats are proactive in their pursuit of the Sierra League. It’s certainly a better destination than the Baseline. Just ask Glendora.
Of the 20 proposals that will be voted on in Monday’s releaguing meeting, 11 land the Bonita in the Sierra League versus six in the Baseline. The proposal that is chosen will take effect in the fall of 2014.
“We’ve been winning most of the league championships,” Bonita athletic director Eric Podley said of Bonita’s three years in the Hacienda League. “We realize that it’s understood our league doesn’t want us to return and we’re sensitive to that. I think we feel like the Sierra League is a good fit.”
The Bonita and Los Osos baseball teams can sleep soundly after league championship-clinching wins on Wednesday. Had either of them lost, they would be facing the prospect of losing a wire-to-wire lead in their respective leagues on the final day of the regular season.
Los Osos’ Chris Kohler may be the exception who can’t doze off immediately tonight. The senior is likely still winding down from throwing his first career no-hitter, not to mention breaking the school’s single-season strikeout record. The Grizzlies’ 9-0 win over second-place Glendora gives Los Osos its first Baseline League championship in six years and makes Friday’s matchup between the two teams meaningless. Second baseman Chris Riley has to be mentioned as much for his 3-for-3, two-RBI, two-run performance at the plate as his no-hitter-saving play in the field with one out in the final inning.
On Thursday, it was Ayala freshman Sydney Tullai dropping jaws at the Sierra League finals track meet by winning the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. (Check out the photo gallery) It’s a combination of events so taxing – “insane,” was the term of preference for Chino Hills coach Richard Morales – that Tullai won’t be able to run all three at CIF-SS Preliminaries on May 11. She’s leaning toward the 3,200, but her decision will be jut one of many interesting story lines heading into the posteason.
On Friday at Baseline League finals (photo gallery) Upland’s Myles Valentine tied the top wind-aided 100 meter time in the state this season with a 10.36-second effort. The runner he tied was defending state champion Khalfani Muhammad, who defeated Valentine two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays, prompting this statement: “I knew at that point,” Valentine said, “I wasn’t going to finish second again.” He hasn’t.
The Bonita High School baseball team’s pitching staff was deep before the season began. It has only gotten deeper. The depth of talent perhaps is best illustrated by a pitcher committed to Cal State Fullerton beginning the season in the bullpen.
But Damien transfer Grant Hockin has been so good John Knott, coach of the defending CIF champion Bearcats, moved him into a starting rotation that now includes four pitchers. Well, all four don’t actually rotate. Hockin (4-0, 1.44 ERA) and senior Sam Stavang (3-2, 2.80 ERA) rotate as the third starter behind Parker Merritt (5-0, 0.71 ERA) and Jon Reid (5-0, 1.75 ERA).
“There’s a lot of internal competition right now, but it’s going to be really tough to choose when we get to the playoffs and there’s only two games a week,” Knott said.
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.
1. If the preseason polls released on Tuesday are any indication, girls water polo season in the Inland Valley likely will still be going near the end of February.
Despite having moved up a division, Bonita claimed the No. 1 ranking in the CIF-SS Division 4 poll a season after it secured the No. 1 playoff seed in Division 5. The Bearcats have some unfinished business after falling one goal short of the division championship last season.
Four of the 10 teams in the Division 3 preseason poll are locals, headlined by a third-ranked Los Osos program that has reached the CIF finals four years in a row. The Grizzlies will have plenty of local competition, including Baseline League foe Upland, which is ranked No. 7. Upland and Los Osos were two of the final four teams left in the Division 4 playoffs last season but lost to eventual champ Harvard Westlake.
1 Diamond Bar High School golfer Bethany Wu already has an impressive collection of hardware entering today’s CIF State semifinals. After her team claimed its first CIF championship on Oct. 23, Wu won the CIF-SS individual championship Nov. 1.
The sophomore, who recently issued a verbal commitment to UCLA, was one of two players to shoot under par as her 3-under 67 earned her a two-shot victory.
“Right at the end of the year she’s playing her best golf,” Diamond Bar coach Tony McCabe said. “She’s a premier player, so she has a chance every time she steps on the course. There’s about 11 or 12 elite players and she’s one of them.”
The Brahmas play today in the state semifinals in Murrieta with the hopes of being one of three teams to advance to the state finals on Nov. 13. The top 12 individuals also will advance. Diamond Bar has shown an affinity for clutch play this postseason. During the competition that advanced the Brahmas to the state semifinals, Wu birdied the last four holes and teammate Isabelle Shee birdied three of the last four to advance the team by one stroke.
2 Miller High School Athletic Director John Romagnoli said he wasn’t surprised when football coach Marcus Soward resigned last week.