In the 13 years Joe Vaughan has coached the Buena High girls basketball team, his teams have had plenty of opportunities to score in triple digits.
But they have done it only twice. The last time was Monday night against Royal in the quarterfinals of the Simi Valley tournament. The Lady Bulldogs won, 107-50, but Vaughan had a good excuse for the score getting out of hand. The shots just kept going in.
All nine players Buena suited up for the game played in every quarter and each combination worked. The Lady Bulldogs shot 66% in the second half.
So what is a coach to do? Tell his players to miss?
"Generally, it's our policy not to do that to a team," Vaughan said. "There have been games we could have scored 150, but that's pretty hard to do to someone. It's like throwing them to the lions."
Or in this case, to the 'Dogs.
"If we have a game under control, we usually keep pressing maybe a quarter to practice some things we need work on, but that's it," Vaughan said.
Buena, which has won 11 consecutive Channel League titles, apparently took exception to preseason outlooks that did not consider the team to be among the elite in the Southern Section's 4-A Division this season.
The Lady Bulldogs are 8-0 and last week upset top-ranked Lynwood, 57-47, despite shooting 27% and making only 6 of its first 42 shots.
Lynwood, which was playing without 6-foot, 2-inch center Kim Bivins, who is ineligible, led by as many as seven points in the second half, but Buena rallied by making 10 of its final 17 shots.
The Lady Bulldogs also outscored their opponents, 19-6, at the free-throw line.
"It's a confidence builder," Vaughan said of the victory, but we're smart enough to know we'll play teams who will play better down the road."
Buena's reserves outscored their Lynwood counterparts, 12-0, in the game, an important consideration because All-American guard Mary Klemm was forced to sit out much of the second half because of foul trouble.
"We're not afraid to play nine players," Vaughan said. "We've always tried to stress balance. I don't like to depend on one player too much. It's easy to shut down one person--unless it's someone like Cheryl Miller or Terri Mann."
Klemm suffered through a 1-for-8 shooting night against Lynwood but made 9 of 10 free throws to finish with 11 points. Cathy Criss, a 5-3 senior, picked up the scoring slack in Klemm's absence, scoring seven points off the bench.
Clone ball: If Buena thought it was in deep against Lynwood, just wait until Tuesday when it plays its alumni team.
"We'll be playing a lot of very good players," Vaughan said. "It's always a very good game. It's like watching clones play."
Deana Blackwood, Buena's first All-Southern Section selection in 1976, is among those expected to play for the alumni team.
Bye-partisan: The next time Thousand Oaks comes up a team short of filling out the field for its eight-team boys basketball tournament, the Lancers should consider giving one of the entrants a first-round bye.
That would be a wiser move than entering its junior varsity team, which is what happened this year.
The JV's opening-round opponent last week: Ventura, recently crowned champion of the Beverly Hills tournament. Interestingly, the Beverly Hills junior varsity was an entry in that tournament.
The result in the Thousand Oaks tournament was predictable. Ventura led, 23-9, after the first quarter and had a 26-point margin midway through the second period.
The final score was respectable, 69-55, but only after Ventura stooped to a junior-varsity level of play. The Cougars committed 23 turnovers. Ventura might have been better off taking the day off for a practice.
A suggestion to tournament officials: If a JV team must be added, match it against the home school. If Thousand Oaks played its own JV team, maybe the squads could have been split proportionately--at least in the first-round--resulting in a more competitive game. The players would benefit by such a system, and so would the fans.
State champion: Vince Plymire of Moorpark College won the state junior college wrestling championship in the heavyweight class.
The freshman from Channel Islands High defeated Bruce Warner of Sierra College, 1-0, in the title match. He finished the season with a 31-3 record.
Keith Hernandez, a sophomore from Newbury Park, was third in the 126-pound class. He finished third at 118 pounds as a freshman. Junior Andrade, a freshman from Channel Islands, was seventh in the 134-pound class.
Moorpark placed 10th in the team standings and would have finished higher had Ross Boomhower been able to compete at 177 pounds.
Boomhower, a sophomore who was second at 190 pounds last year, pulled out of the competition with a bad case of the flu.
Receiving line: The awards continue to roll in for Marc Monestime, who was honored as the Conejo Recreation and Park District athlete of the month for December.
Monestime, a senior tailback, led Thousand Oaks to the Coastal Conference championship and set 11 school records in the process.
Several of those records had been set by Bruce Moore, Thousand Oaks' top rusher in 1983 and '84.
Bruce's younger brother, Mike, was the Lancers' fullback this season.
Monestime was presented with his athlete of the month award at the recreation and park district's meeting last Thursday.
JC watch: Several Oxnard College players returned to their hometown of Detroit to spend the holidays with their families. The Condors have seven players from Detroit. . . . Ventura (11-5) had been relying too much on the scoring of sophomore Cedric Ceballos. "There were times everyone else was standing around," Coach Phil Mathews said. "But a couple of freshman are starting to come through.". . . Dave Heckmann, a 6-8 freshman center from Westlake High, is beginning to blossom. "He's been playing hard. Now he has to play hard all the time," Mathews said.