Darren Jones could be filling void for Cajon football

Cajon football could be getting a big-time transfer that would help the Cowboys for the next three years.
Darren Jones had 19 catches for 437 yards and five touchdowns as a 6-foot-7 freshman last year. He lead the Highlanders, who went to the second round of the playoffs, in all three categories.
Cajon coach Nick Rogers confirmed that Jones is at Cajon, but said that his transfer status is still pending. The CIF Southern Section web site lists Jones’ transfer status as “under review.”
I have no idea whether or not Jones’ transfer will go through, and if so, if he’ll have to serve the sit-out period.
But I’m interested if the transfer goes through, how things will work out between Jones and Cajon’s standout sophomore quarterback, Jayden Daniels.
A year ago, Daniels, The Sun’s Newcomer of the Year, completed 169 of 301 passes for 2,694 yards and 35 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. That was to a largely experienced receiver crew. And when one of his top returning targets, Phillip Ryan, transferred out to Pacific, the question was, “who will Daniels throw to?”
It could be Jones, which could make for a very intriguing QB-WR combo for the next three years.
Cajon isn’t putting all of its eggs in Darren Jones’ basket. Tre’veon Wellmaker, who was second at Jurupa Hills last year in receptions (45), yards (328) and receiving touchdowns (three), has transferred in. Wellmaker, who is a senior this year, has been approved by CIF-SS to play immediately.

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Cajon has a different challenge against Elk Grove

Cajon's Kayla Washington (24), right, puts up a shot over Mater Dei's Allyson Rosenblum (22), left, during Saturday's CIF Southern California Regional Division II Championship at The Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, CA Saturday, March 19, 2016. (Photo by Mark Dustin for the San Bernardino Sun)

Unlike last week’s Regional Final against Santa Ana Mater Dei, Saturday’s CIF State Division II championship game against Elk Grove won’t be an issue of size disadvantage.
“They have a decent point guard and a couple of wings who are pretty good,” Cajon coach Mark Lehman said. “They only start one girl who is 6-foot (junior Sydnee Kilbride) and she’s not a big scorer (3.1 points per game).”
Early in the week, Lehman wasn’t sure what kind of defense he was going to run, but seemed to like the zone that was successful against Mater Dei.
“I don’t know what we’ll do. They only have one outside shooter and chasing around takes energy,” he said.
The zone against Mater Dei was very successful, not only in slowing down the Monarchs, but also keeping the Cowgirls out of foul trouble, which can be Cajon’s Achilles’ Heel. Cajon committed just five total fouls in the 51-30 win against Mater Dei:

Elk Grove’s top players:
Mira Coleman, 5-8, Jr., G, 18.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.1 apg
Madison Wong, 5-6, Sr., G, 14.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.2 apg
Paiton Demps, 5-7, Jr., F, 12.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.9 apg

Cajon’s top players, stats through 1st CIF-SS playoff game
Kayla Washington, 6-0, Sr., F, 22.7 ppg, 13.6 rpg, 3.0 apg
Tyla Turner, 5-5, Sr., G, 13.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 7.3 apg
Tyra Turner, 5-5, Sr., G, 11.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 8.3 apg

Cajon isn’t limited to those players as fellow seniors Dezarae Embry (4.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Taylor Goldsberry (9.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg). Junior Deja McBath a 5-10 forward came off the bench had some big baskets down the stretch against Harvard-Westlake in the state playoffs.
But, if Cajon doesn’t need to substitute like it was in the Mater Dei game, the Cowgirls will win. That’s a big if. And remember, Cajon will be coming off a whole week of rest, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

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Cajon girls basketball ready for long layoff before state playoffs

For the second year in a row, the Cajon girls basketball team was selected to play in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.
And for the second year in a row, the Cowgirls bowed out early.
But there are several differences this time around.
A small difference is that last season Cajon went 1-2 in the CIF-SS playoffs and this year went 0-2. Unlike last year, any team in the CIF-SS Open Division is guaranteed a spot at state. “It’s nice knowing we’ve got at least one game at state,” Cajon coach Mark Lehman said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Last year, Cajon went to Division I for state and won its first two games before falling to Ventura in overtime. This year, by losing its first two CIF-SS Open Division games, Cajon will be placed in Division II for state.
“I think we should be No. 1 (in Division II),” Lehman said. “At least No. 2. If not, (that’s) disrespect.”
Cajon, which was seeded seventh in CIF-SS Open Division, could be battling with Santa Ana Mater Dei for that No. 1 seed in the Division II Southern Regional. Mater Dei, which also lost its first two Open Division games, was seeded sixth in the CIF-SS playoffs.
Cajon, which was eliminated on Wednesday, won’t play again until March 9. CIF-SS Open Division teams that are eliminated early are permitted a scrimmage against another team before the state playoffs start, but the Cowgirls aren’t planning on that.
“I have a basketball class, and we’ll scrimmage against the boys, which would be better preparation than scrimmaging against girls,” Lehman said.
Cajon, which has five senior starters, doesn’t want to see its season end early.
“This group has never lost three games in a row, and they’re not willing to do that now,” he said.

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Nominations due for Cajon all-star basketball games

As in previous years, Cajon will host the San Bernardino County vs. Riverside County all-star basketball games. This year the games are on April 8, with the girls game at 6 p.m. and the boys game at 7:30 p.m.

Coaches who have not already nominated seniors for the game should do so immediately. For girls nominees, e-mail Mark.Lehman@sbcusd.com and for boys nominees, email randy.murray@sbcusd.com.

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Yucaipa’s Courtney Coleman returns; will it be enough vs. Cajon?

Yucaipa hopes to challenge Cajon in Citrus Belt League girls basketball and the Thunderbirds are off to a solid 8-2 start this season. They’ve done it without their best player, senior guard Courtney Coleman.
Coleman tore her anterior cruciate ligament in a travel ball game in June, and was cleared to rejoin the team on Monday. Today, Yucaipa faces Cajon in the Thunderbirds’ first league game.
“We’ll see how she does,” Yucaipa coach Jeremy Hoch said. “She’s not going to be in shape. Hopefully, she’s able to create her own shot, but that will be tough against the twins (Tyla and Tyra Turner).”
Coleman, a second-team all-Sun player and Yucaipa’s leading scorer last year, had hoped to return a few weeks ago, but didn’t get clearance until Monday.
“I wish we’d have a couple of more weeks (to get her ready for Cajon) but we’re happy to have her back,” Hoch said.
I am going to the game tonight, and although I don’t give Yucaipa much of a chance to win, I am curious to see if the Thunderbirds can keep it to be a closer game than it was last year, when Cajon blew out Yucaipa by at least 30 points each time. Yucaipa went on to finish third in the league.

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VIDEOS: Cajon’s Kayla Washington, Tyla Turner talk after signing

Above, Cajon’s two Division I basketball players (so far) talk after signing their National Letters of Intent in the last week. Top, forward Kayla Washington after she signed with Washington State, and bottom, guard Tyla Turner talks after signing with Long Beach State.

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Cajon’s Kayla Washington commits to Washington St.


Cajon’s Kayla Washington

Cajon High senior basketball player Kayla Washington wanted to make her verbal commitment before the season began, but she was waiting for what she felt was the right offer.
On Sunday, she got it. And on Monday night, she made the commitment, giving a verbal commitment to Washington State.
“When I talked to them, their style of play, was just perfect for me,” she said. “Their coaching staff, I felt real comfortable with.”
Washington, a 6-foot forward who was The Sun’s Player of the Year last year after averaging 28.1 points and 16.1 rebounds per game for the Cowgirls, said the leading candidate until last weekend was Grand Canyon University, a school that recently became Division I.
She said one of the things she liked about Washington State is that they see her as a combination small forward/power forward while other schools wanted her to be a guard.
“They (Washington State) liked the way I play. Most wanted to change me into a guard,” she said. “And they (Washington State) told me they didn’t have a player like me on their team.”
Washington said her father told her that Cajon’s team during last weekend’s West Coast Premier Fall Showcase tournament at Chaffey College might be a good chance to get an offer. He was right, and Washington State offered her a scholarship after seeing her play for the first time.
“I was definitely discouraged (by the number of offers),” she said. “I felt like it was my last shot.”
Washington isn’t concerned that she’s leaving Southern California., and is in fact glad to leave the area, but at the same time, stay on the west coast.
“My family can still make some of the games, and 14 of the games are on TV,” she said.
Washington said she wants “to get in the best shape I’ve ever been in and keep working on my guard game.”
Washington, who said she had other offers that included Long Beach State, Weber State, Eastern Washington, George Washington, Seattle, Arkansas and Kansas State, plans to make a trip to Washington State in October and sign her National Letter of Intent during the early signing period in November.

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Prep Football Roundup for Sept. 24

KAISER 48, APPLE VALLEY 42>> If anybody left Malloy Stadium on the Kaiser High School campus early, they missed a furious fourth quarter that saw the host Cats hold on and score a 48-42 win over Apple Valley after building a 21-point margin in the fourth quarter. The Cats (3-1) also had a 48-27 advantage in the fourth before Apple Valley (2-3) got back in the game on the strength of a pair of 33-yard runs by Tristian Mcnatt. One set up a fourth-down score by T.J. Lewis and Mcnatt scored his fourth TD of the night after the Sun Devils recovered an onsides kick.Mcnatt, who finished with 147 yards in nine carries, also caught a two-point conversion pass from Mossy Bell to make it exciting with 2:42 left. But the Cats killed the clock, thanks to a 11-yard carry by Tyler Allgeier for a first down with 131 left. He and Joshua Johnson were the big offensive keys for Kaiser as Johnson scored three times and rushed for 194 on 25 carries on the night late in the third quarter.

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