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.
Daria Hewitt (MVP) Patriot
Mya Houston Jurupa Hills
Jadzia Aleo Rim Of The World
Jayla Washington Sultana
Karessa Fields Victor Valley
Aoloni Robinson San Bernardino
Camille Troncone Claremont
Camryn Stevens Citrus Valley
April Mc Daniel Perris
Jesikah Alvarado Hesperia
Destinyn Alexander Patriot
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.
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.
For the 13th year in a row, Cajon’s girls basketball won the Cal State San Bernardino Tournament. The tournament was last weekend and Cajon defeated Riverside Poly 80-20, South El Monte 64-35, Serrano 65-35 and Hillcrest 56-21 to win the tournament. Included on the team are 3 returning all-county players: Player of the Year Kayla Washington as well as first-team players Tyra and Tyla Turner. Returning players Dezarae Embry, Jada Johnson and Haylee Saurette along with newcomers Deja McBath, Haylee Howard-Radde and Adriana Teque were part of the team.
Above, highlights of Thursday’s All-Star Game at Arroyo Valley HS
Summit’s DoyleBonet Walker talks about scoring 21 points for the North team in the all-star game
Above, is the flyer for Saturday’s all-star girls basketball game at Arroyo Valley Coach Michael Anderson will hold his second Best of the Best Girls All-Star Basketball Game on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Arroyo Valley. It’s a game he started when he was at Rialto.
I hope not all of these players show up, because it will be difficult to get that many players playing time in the game.
The North team will be coached by Bloomington Christian coach Dawnesha Buckner, and the preliminary roster included 20 players from San Bernardino County, including from Bloomington Christian, Arroyo Valley, Jurupa Hills, San Gorgonio, Colony, Grand Terrace, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Summit and Carter. The team also has players from Ganesha and Pico Rivera El Rancho on the squad.
The South team is largely from Riverside County, but also includes Chino Hills players.
Cajon junior Kayla Washington (24).
I didn’t put together full highlights of Tuesday’s 46-40 overtime game, won by host and No. 1 seed Ventura over No. 5 Cajon. But I wanted to post this. It shows the chance Ventura had to put the game away, up by one (and facing a one-and-one) with 7.8 seconds left.
Then a chance for Cajon to win before Tyla Turner is fouled with 2.2 seconds to play, keeping her from getting a shot off, but enabling her to go to the line. She missed the first, then made the one she really needed, the second. She then nearly had a steal on the inbounds pass, but the inbounder stepped in and denied a shot as time expired. In overtime, Cajon ran out of gas (and personnel) and lost, ending a great season.