Aquinas’ Zoe Casas named small schools player of the year


Zoe Casas, above, talks about tying the state career hits mark, which she eventually broke


Zoe Casas’ hit that tied the state record for career hits

Zoe Casas has had a storied career at Aquinas, and now she’s winning awards she’s won before. Casas, the 2013 California State Small Schools Player of the Year, has been awarded the honor again, by CalHiSports.com.
Casas, an all-Sun selection, batted .736 for the season, her best batting average of her four-year career and finished with a career total of 251 hits. She is bound for Florida State and also will be on the all-time state list for career batting average (.681) and runs scored (193).
Earlier, CalHiSports named Yucaipa coach Dave Kivett, The Sun Coach of the Year, as the Large Schools State Coach of the Year for leading the Thunderbirds to the CIF-SS Division 2 title.

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VIDEO: Yucaipa softball downs REV 4-1 on Senior Day

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Yucaipa softball downs Redlands East Valley, 4-1.

VIDEO: Yucaipa senior Brooke Bolinger talks about winning on senior day vs REV.

VIDEO: Yucaipa senior Annie Bakenhus talks about beating REV.
VIDEO: Yucaipa senior Jordan Green talks about winning on senior day to clinch a share of league.
VIDEO: Yucaipa softball coach Dave Kivett talks about the step up in competition and beating REV.
VIDEO: Redlands East Valley coach Debbie Garcia talks about miscues that led to a 4-1 loss to Yucaipa.

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High School softball: The Sun’s and CIF-SS rankings

Softball rankings: The Sun’s San Bernardino County rankings and CIF-SS Rankings

THE SUN’S TOP 10 SOFTBALL TEAMS
1. YUCAIPA (18-3)
Last week: 1
Passed Citrus Valley test last week

2. GRAND TERRACE (14-3)
Last week: 4
Won Santiago Tournament on Saturday

3. CHINO (11-4)
Last week: 3
Outscored 2 league opponents 14-1 last week

4. CHINO HILLS (15-5)
Last week: 5
Routed first 2 league opponents ever by combined 24-2 last week

5. LOS OSOS (14-8)
Last week: 7
Big win vs. Etiwanda

6. ETIWANDA (17-6)
Last week: 2
Will have chance to make up for Los Osos loss

7. CITRUS VALLEY (11-8)
Last week: 6
0-3 last week vs. Top 2 teams in Sun Top 10

8. UPLAND (15-2)
Last week: 8
None of last 4 games decided by less than 10 runs

9. AQUINAS (14-2)
Last week: 10
6-0 in league, 5 wins by mercy rule

10. REDLANDS EAST VALLEY (10-3)
Last week: NR
1 of 2 6-0 teams in league

Dropped out: No. 9 Cajon (11-5).
Under consideration: Montclair (14-3).

For CIF-SS rankings, click below
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Yucaipa’s Jared Davila finally makes his season debut

Yucaipa’s Jared Davila, one of the top returning pitchers in the area, finally made his season debut on Tuesday after a lengthy rehabilitation from an elbow injury.
Davila pitched a shutout inning of relief on Tuesday in a win vs. Citrus Valley, allowing one hit and striking out one.
“He’s finally getting in there,” Yucaipa coach Jeff Stout said. “He’s probably 85-90 percent. His velocity is in the low-mid 80s.”
A year ago, Davila went 7-1 with a 0.97 ERA in 12 appearances including 10 starts. Stout said that Davila will be limited to an inning or two out of the bullpen, partially because Yucaipa is deep with pitching.

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Citrus Belt League water polo, basketball provide 2 improbable finishes in 1 week

I cannot recall a week with two games as crazy as the ones I had this week.
First, there was Redlands East Valley’s 5-4, 5 overtime win over Yucaipa in girls water polo on Tuesday.
Then came Thursday, when Eisenhower girls basketball rallied from 9 points down in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime, before falling to Cajon, 65-57.

I have never seen a 5 overtime game in water polo, and neither had anyone I talked to at the game. And scoring 9 points in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime? It just doesn’t happen.

But what makes these games remarkable beyond that is that both games had Citrus Belt League titles at stake at the end of the season. In the first case, REV won the CBL title outright, its sixth straight title with the marathon win. In the latter, Cajon earned a share of the CBL title by knocking off Eisenhower. In each case, none of the four teams had lost to anyone else in league. And they were all ranked in CIF-SS.

Those were two games what show why I love high school sports. In both cases, great fan atmosphere, two closely matched teams and two games in which there was a big mental aspect. in the first case, REV fought through fatigue to finally win. In the second case, Cajon fought through the embarrassment of squandering a big lead and recovered to win in overtime.

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VIDEO: Yucaipa girls water polo coach Kevin Lewis on 5 OT loss


Yucaipa coach Kevin Lewis, reacts to his team losing in the 5th OT to REV on Tuesday, 5-4. For him, it seemed like it was one that got away. Lewis had told me after the teams played the first time, a 10-7 REV win, to come back for the rematch at Crafton Hills College. The game did not disappoint. Lewis seems confident that his young team will break through next year to win league. But he and the Thunderbirds really wanted to make it this year.

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Video Highlights and comments: REV girls water polo beats Yucaipa, 10-7

This game had the intensity of a playoff game. No team led by more than two goals until REV’s final winning 10-7 margin.
REV entered the week ranked No. 9 in Division 5, knocking off No. 6 Cajon and No. 4 Yucaipa in the process. So, how high does REV move up?
Coach Ryan Williams thinks No. 4 would be fair. Regardless, with a tough league and two tournaments still to play, REV will have chances to improve on a No. 4 ranking, or lose it again all together. But, come playoff time, whoever comes out of the Citrus Belt League should be battle tested.
By the way, the next time REV and Yucaipa play, it will be Feb. 10 at Crafton Hills College. It will be senior day, so you can expect a big crowd and another intense game in the REV-Yucaipa rivalry.

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Yucaipa’s Brittney Reed signs with Air Force

IMG_0966

The picture above says a lot. But here’s more: Brittney Reed, a senior at Yucaipa, is has signed her National Letter of Intent to the  Air Force Academy, where she will compete for the gymnastics team. According to her bio, she has a 4.2 GPA and is currently ranked 10th in her class of 657 at YHS.

As is the case with most high schools in the CIF-SS, Yucaipa does not have a gymnastics team. But that makes the accomplishment no less remarkable.

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