Look it up. It's right there in the Ventura County dictionary of girls basketball. Next to Buena it says, "Rude host."
And with good reason.
This is the 11th year that Buena High has been host of a girls basketball tournament and the home team has won the previous 10.
"We've had some tough games, but we've been fortunate," is the way Buena Coach Joe Vaughn explains it. Moreover, the Bulldogs have just been plain good. Since 1978, Buena has played for a Southern Section basketball championship five times, winning in 1979 and 1984.
The Bulldogs were ranked fifth in the first 4-A Division poll this season, but second-ranked Santa Barbara is the favorite in the Channel League.
Buena, however, is still the overwhelming favorite in its own tournament. The Bulldogs meet league-rival San Marcos in the opening round of the tournament tonight at 7. Other first-round games are Santa Clara vs. Simi Valley at 4, Newbury Park vs. Marina at 5:30 and Royal vs. Ventura at 8:30.
Friday's consolation-bracket games are at 4 and 5:30 p.m., with the championship-bracket games at 7 and 8:30 p.m. The consolation championship will be played Saturday at 5:15 p.m., with the third-place game at 7 p.m. and the championship at 8:30 p.m.
Santa Clara, which is fifth-ranked in the 1-A Division, has a 55-game win streak in the Frontier League, but already dropped a 56-49 decision to Buena this season. Simi Valley won the Marmonte League title last season but is relatively inexperienced.
Marina, from Huntington Beach in Orange County, is ranked eighth in the 4-A and is expected to meet Buena in the tournament final.
The Nordhoff girls basketball tournament also kicks off today at Nordhoff High. Santa Ynez meets Saugus at 3 p.m., L. A. Baptist plays Santa Paula at 4:45 p.m., Fillmore faces Carpinteria at 6:30 p.m. and St. Bonaventure meets Nordhoff at 8 p.m.
Friday's consolation-bracket games are at 3 and 4:45 p.m., with the championship-bracket games at 6 and 8 p.m. The consolation championship will be played Saturday at 2:30 p.m., with the third-place game at 4:15 p.m. and the championship at 6 p.m.
Don MacLean was selected most valuable player as Simi Valley won its own basketball tournament last week. The 6-10 All-American center scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Pioneers defeated Santa Barbara, 67-59, in the championship game Saturday.
Shawn DeLaittre and Butch Hawking of Simi Valley also were selected to the all-tournament team, as was center Bubba Burrage of Santa Clara.
Santa Clara was defeated by St. Anthony, 70-52, for third place.
In the Nordhoff tournament, Righetti defeated Channel Islands, 59-48 in overtime, for the championship, while Newbury Park defeated Nordhoff, 90-63, for third place and Hueneme defeated Agoura, 83-74, for the consolation championship.
Jerry Santiago and Andy Beltowski of Channel Islands were selected to the all-tournament team, as were John Elfarra of Newbury Park, Larry Carlton of Nordhoff and Robert Secrest of Hueneme.
St. Bonaventure swept three opponents to win its own tournament. The Seraphs defeated Fillmore, 68-27, in the championship game after blowing out Villanova, 73-29, and Santa Paula, 43-30, in its first two games.
Andy Wagoner, St. Bonaventure's 6-6, 240-pound center, had 19 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocked shots in the title game. He was most impressive on defense as the Seraphs posted two shutout quarters in their three games. Santa Paula was scoreless in the second period against St. Bonaventure's man-to-man defense and a zone kept Fillmore off the board in the third quarter the following day. "He is the key in both defenses," Coach Mark Groff said of Wagoner, who had 18 blocked shots in the tournament.
Eric Tucker of St. Bonaventure scored 45 points in the three games and joined Wagoner on the all-tournament team.
Oak Park's carpeted basketball floor continues to leave quite an impression on players and coaches alike.
"It's like playing basketball in my living room," Coach Kevin Pasky of Agoura said after his team's game at Oak Park on Monday. "I don't like it at all. I don't even like a tartan floor. I like an old-fashioned wooden floor."
Even Steve Goldstein, Oak Park's coach, has some complaints.
"You don't throw bounce passes because the ball just skips by the person's ankles and rolls out of bounds," he said. "At least, we know where the dead spots are."
In addition to dead spots, players complain about getting rug burns when they dive for the ball. Dennis Lawson, who recently transferred to Oak Park from Reseda, was initiated with a branding during his first day of basketball practice.
"He yelled 'Ow' and then spent the next 15 minutes staring at his elbows," Goldstein said. "I told him, 'Welcome to Oak Park. You got your first rug burn.' "
Defending state champion Ventura College was defeated, 76-74, by Rio Hondo for the championship of the Moorpark College basketball tournament last Saturday after blowing a six-point lead with less than a minute left.