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.”
1. Bonita (24-3) Locked up Hacienda League title by beating Diamond Bar
2. Kaiser (22-3) Allowed an average of 1.2 runs the last nine games
3. Los Osos (19-5) Clinched Baseline title with no-hitter against Glendora
4. San Dimas (22-6) Two clutch wins over Northview won Valle Vista title
5. Carter (18-6) San Andreas League champs have won 10 of their last 11
6. Diamond Bar (19-5) Brahmas fell short against Bonita in bid for league title
7. Chino (16-9) Won last eight league games to share Mt. Baldy title
8. Montclair (18-6) Outright bid for Mt. Baldy title derailed by Chino
9. Don Lugo (20-6) Caught late breaks to finish with share of Mt. Baldy title
10. Claremont (12-11) Wolfpack holding on to second in wild Sierra race
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.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Jensen, Los Osos, Senior
After five consecutive trips to the CIF finals, it’s safe to say Los Osos has a good girls water polo program. Though the school has only been around for eight seasons, in that short period there have obviously been some accomplished girls water polo players to come through the program. Besides leading the team to its second ever CIF championship, Kristen Jensen’s senior season is best defined by breaking the school’s single-season scoring record by a mind-blowing 58 goals. Jensen (pictured above) scored 174 goals this season and helped the Grizzlies end a three-year losing streak in the CIF finals. “We’ve never had a player this dominant come through our program,” Los Osos coach Dave Merryman said.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
The co-head coaches have led Los Osos to five consecutive appearances in the CIF finals. After losing the last three, they helped the Grizzlies capture CIF-SS Division 3 championship, the program’s first title since 2009. Los Osos finished the regular season by claiming its eighth straight Baseline League title.
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.
Mater Dei 56, Corona Centennial 39
Etiwanda 60, Long Beach Poly 50
Corona Santiago 78, Millikan 63
Troy 66, Rancho Verde 26
Bishop Amat 54, Westminster 50
Ventura 62, Aliso Niguel 49
Vista Murrieta 61, Miller 54
Canyon Springs 80, Buena 51
Wild Card A at No. 1 Santa Barbara
Villa Park at Irvine
Dos Pueblos at Laguna Beach
Winner Wild B at No. 4 Newport Harbor
Wild Card C at No. 3 Corona del Mar
Costa Mesa at Los Alamitos
Edison at San Marcos
Beckman at No. 2 Foothill
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.