No high school had ever won the Southern Section title in boys' and girls' basketball in the same year until both Santa Clara and Mission Prep accomplished the feat last week.
The Saints won the girls' 2-A title by beating Frontier League rival Santa Ynez, 43-34, on March 1. Three days later, the boys defeated Orange Lutheran, 78-54, to earn their 2-A title. Mission Prep won the 1-A boys' and girls' titles.
"We're very proud of this accomplishment," Santa Clara girls' coach Tom McConville said. "A lot of people talked about us winning titles, but I always said you have to be lucky to win it. There are so many factors. It's hard to do. The odds of two teams from the same school . . . well, it's never been done before."
McConville said winning the Southern Section title was his team's ultimate goal and that being able to compete in the state tournament is a bonus.
"We'll continue to play hard, but the pressure is off," he said. "But if we do get to the state final, I might change my mind."
Getting better with age: Even Santa Clara guard Tami Adkins found a way to improve her statistics after being selected one of the best guards in the state as a junior and twice being named to the all-Southern Section team.
Adkins, who has verbally committed to play for USF, improved her scoring average from 11.0 to 15.2 points a game, her assists from 5.3 to 7.1, her rebounds from 5.3 to 6.7, and ball recoveries from 5.1 to 7.4. She also cut down her turnovers from 2.3 to 2.1.
Record makers: Ventura High baseball Coach Dan Smith boasts that his team set a Southern Section record last year for most double plays in a season with 38. What he didn't realize is that mark is also a national record.
Canyon of Canyon Country held the previous best two marks with 33 in 1988 and 32 in 1985.
The Cougars came close to setting two Southern Section records for hitting. Ventura had 338 hits, two short of Simi Valley's record for most hits in a season set in 1985.
The Cougars also had 68 doubles. El Segundo holds the record for most doubles in a season with 75.
Out of control: If Buena's baseball team is going to match the success of its Southern Section semifinalist football and basketball teams, the Bulldogs are going to have to find pitchers who can throw strikes.
Last week, Buena pitchers walked 15 batters in 14 innings, and also gave up a grand slam and a three-run triple.
The Bulldogs lost to Taft, 6-5, and to St. Bernard, 10-8, in the Westside tournament.
"We had a team meeting following the St. Bernard fiasco," Coach Stan Hedegard said. Our pitchers are lacking confidence and rightfully so. They're getting too fine with their pitches instead of just throwing strikes."
Starters wanted: Instead of bemoaning the lack of sophomore starters on his Ventura College pitching staff, Coach Gary Anglin is making the most of a frustrating situation.
"We have a saying here that it doesn't matter who starts the game, it is the pitcher who finishes it that's important," Anglin said.
The Pirates relied on their bullpen to jump out to a 10-2 start entering this week. Anglin rotated between two starters--Shane Espitia and Dean McMillin--throughout the first month of the season and went to his bullpen early.
"We have not been able to find anybody else who is consistent enough to emerge as a starter," Anglin said. "The depth we've had in our bullpen has really been a plus for us."
Awards time: Chris Royers, a 6-4 freshman center for the Ventura College women's basketball team, was selected to the All-Western State Conference first team. Royers averaged 15.5 rebounds to lead the conference.
Sophomore guard Kristie Sterbens and freshman forward Kerrie Marshall of Moorpark College were All-WSC first-team selections.
Ventura's Kathy Criss and Suzanne Hoag were selected to the All-WSC second-team and Traci Scoggin was an all-conference honorable mention selection. Susie Smiley and Cindy Wiley of Moorpark were also All-WSC honorable mention.
Staff writer Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.