Congratulations to the Antelope Valley College Women’s sophomore team.  Undefeated in conference 18-0 and 33-5 overall record.  Here comes the state playoffs.

Don’t count AVC out

By: Merisa Jensen

LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley College softball team’s season has been all about love – love for each other and for the game.

So, the Marauders weren’t about to let each other down or let anything stop them – not even an eight-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning – in their quest for an undefeated Western State Conference title.

"We were not going to lose this game no matter what," AVC designated hitter Elise Moore said. "We were going to use every tear, every drop of blood, every drop of sweat to win this game. We were not losing. They did a good job, but we wanted it."

AVC swept a doubleheader with Citrus on Tuesday, winning the first game 14-10 before scoring nine runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 17-16, epic comeback victory in the second game and finished the conference with a perfect 18-0 record.

"Today in general was just a total team effort," AVC third baseman Paige Johnson said. "This last inning showed how much we love each other and how much we care about each other. We all fought back and I think that shows how much of a team we are."

The Owls (24-14, 13-5 WSC) didn’t make it easy for the Marauders (33-5, 18-0), especially in the second game. A grand slam by Celine Spathias, her second home run of the second game, in the top of the seventh gave Citrus what looked to be a comfortable eight-run cushion, 16-8, heading to the bottom of the inning.

But the Marauders had other plans.

"In all my years of coaching, I have never seen such a thing," AVC coach Cindy Vargas said. "That was ultimate comeback against a very good team. Dolly (Stevens) said, going into that last inning, ‘Come on guys, this ain’t nothing. Eight runs, we got this.’ They just never give up."

Kyrstan Cook led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and was pulled for pinch runner Morgan Arndt. Katie Weiser flew out on a spectacular diving catch by the left fielder, but Samantha Arriola followed with a single and pinch hitter Rebecca Welchel drew a walk to load the bases.

Tawnee Hegre followed with an RBI single to center field and the bases were still loaded for Johnson, who leads the state in home runs. The Owls decided to walk Johnson, giving up a run in place of what might have been four. That brought up Dolly Stevens, who is right behind Johnson in home runs in the state, and the Owls chose to walk her, too, pulling AVC within five, 16-11.

Hegre then scored on a wild pitch to make it 16-12 and Moore followed with an RBI single, bringing the Marauders within three with just one out.

"I was ready," Moore said. "I had a feeling they were going to (walk Johnson and Stevens) and I was like, ‘I’m going to help my team out right here.’ I wanted to be in that position."

Jennifer Littlejohn hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out. That brought up Arndt, who hit an RBI single to left field on the first pitch she saw to bring the Marauders within two, 16-14.

Sara Weiser then hit a two-run double to bring home Littlejohn and Arndt for the game-tying runs on some aggressive base running and the crowd went wild.

Then came Arriola again. She was solid at the plate all day with five hits up until that point. She got a pep talk from Johnson and Stevens and then smacked an 0-1 pitch to left field for a double, which scored Weiser from second for the winning run.

"It felt amazing because of the positivity my team gave me, it just fueled me up to keep going, keep pushing," Arriola said. "I basically wanted to do it for them."

The crowd was on its feet for most of the seventh and the players ran out to congratulate Weiser, while some went to congratulate Arriola at second.

It was a big day for Arriola, who finished 6-for-8 on the day. She was a triple shy of the cycle in the first game, going 3-for-3 with her first home run of the season.

"It felt great," Arriola said. "I was so excited."

She added two doubles in the second game and recorded four RBIs on the day.

Stevens also had a good day at the plate, only recording one out on a deep fly ball to left in foul territory. She was 4-for-4 in the first game with a home run and a double and 3-for-4 in the second game with a two-run home run, three RBIs and a walk. She now has 18 home runs.

The Marauders hit six home runs in the first game, which they also had to come back to win. Moore smacked a three-run home run in the third inning to pull the Marauders within one, 6-5.

Moore was 5-for-8 on the day with five RBIs. Hegre was 4-for-4 in the first game with the second home run of her career, two RBIs and four runs. She was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and two runs in the second game.

"It felt great to help the team out, just one step toward their success," Moore said.

Johnson and Stevens went back-to-back in the fourth inning to pull the Marauders within one again, 10-9.

The Owls took a 10-5 lead with two outs in the fourth and Arndt, the starting pitcher, was replaced by Cook, who shut down Citrus for 3 innings to earn the victory. She had three strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit or a walk.

"I knew they were going to hit me and when I stepped out there, my teammates were like, ‘We’re behind you, we’ve got everything,’" Cook said. "That’s what got me focused and I knew I was going to do good. It felt really good."

In the bottom of the fifth, AVC loaded the bases on a walk, a single and a fielder’s choice. Hegre beat out an infield single to bring in Katie Weiser for the tying run and set up a bases-loaded at-bat for Johnson.

Johnson smacked the 1-0 pitch over the scoreboard in left field for a grand slam to give the Marauders the lead for good. It was her 21st home run of the season.

"I just drove it and, at first, I didn’t think it was out, I just thought it was a base hit and the next thing I knew, it was out," Johnson said.

Johnson was 4-for-8 overall with two home runs, a double, eight RBIs and five runs scored.

Arndt, Cook and Hegre shared pitching duties in the second game and Hegre took the win after the big comeback.

Now, the team will look to the playoffs, which will be announced on Saturday.

Took some time off from basketball.  Now here we go back to work.  Placement of graduating players, returning players and new players to the team should be the main topics. 

Rothstein | CSU Northridge’s Kendall Smith commits to Oklahoma State

By Jesse Borek

Posted on Apr 21, 2017

Cal State Northridge guard Kendall Smith handles the ball against UCLA during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Orlando Ramirez/ Icon Sportswire

Cal State Northridge grad transfer Kendall Smith will transfer to Oklahoma State for the 2017-18 season, Smith tells FanRag Sports. He will be eligible to play one season with the Cowboys immediately.

Smith ended his junior season with the Matadors as the team’s leading scorer at 16.7 points per game.  He scored in single digits on just three occasions over the course of the season. He also added a career-high 4.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds per contest, as he averaged more than 33 minutes on the floor on a nightly basis.

Coming out of high school in Antioch, Calif., Smith had committed to UNLV as a 3-star point guard in the class of 2013. Smith did not see much time off the bench for the Runnin’ Rebels during his first two years. His sophomore season resulted in just 14 minutes played and a single point. His UNLV tenure ended early due to injury, later deciding to transfer.

He then transferred to CSU Northridge, where he led the team in scoring each of his two years on campus. After he was limited to just 21 games in 2015-16, he played in all 30 for the Matadors this past season. The team finished the year 11-19 overall, missing the NCAA Tournament.

Something to think to think about when you set your goals high in life/or in sports.  Things don’t come easy for anyone who wants to succeed.  Even then, there is no guarantee but, chances  of success improve a hell of a lot with “No Days Off.”


“Whether you’re trying to win a Super bowl or rebuild our country, as Coach(Bill) Belichick would say, there are no days off.”

—–President Trump, during the Patriots’ visit to the White House on Wednesday

So what do these headlines have do do with college basketball?  Unfortunately too much! How many outstanding basketball players with D-1/Professional talent never made it anywhere near their potential.  I wonder how many student athletes can really expect to do do well academically and reach their potential on the basketball court stoned?  Add the new legal stoners on the California roads and the big increases in car insurance?

Doesn’t look like things are getting better does it. 

  1. Almost as Many Americans Died of Drug Overdoses in 2015 as in ’12 Years in Vietnam’
  2. Car Insurance rates Expected to Skyrocket in California
  3. Mexican Drugs Enter U.S. at Record Rates, Western States “Heroin Transit Zone”
  4. California Law Enforcement Trying to Plan for Expected Law Breaker’s Involved in New Marijuana Law

I need something positive to think about in spite of the terrible headlines and here it is.

Sober and hard working student athletes will find it easier to get playing time and opportunities while the stoners fall by the wayside. 

Image result for photo of dewayne dedmon, spursJUCO players not that good.  No JUCO players make it to the NBA/Professional basketball.  Bull!  Take a look at Dewayne Dedmon who is playing for one of the best NBA teams in the playoffs.  So how did he do last night?

Dewayne Dedmon:

17 points (season high)
17 rebounds (career high)
2 blocks
1 steal

Take a look the AVC website and you will see that 19 Antelope Valley College basketball graduates are or have played professional in the last 14 years.  LIke I said before, JUCO players not good?  BULL!

Here is an interesting article to High School players from Nor Cal Basketball about using your local JUCO Basketball coach to give you a truthful critique of your current game. 

Utilizing your area’s community college coaches


Here’s a suggestion that would benefit countless high school basketball players:

* Befriend your local community college coach and ask him to critique your game, no holds barred. Find out what you do well, what you need to work on and about the mindset necessary to compete at the college level. Get a ‘current’ sense of your collegiate basketball future whether it be NAIA, DII or D1 and what level within those strata.
Granted, you could possibly end up playing for this person at some point down the road and thus any feedback could be tainted to curry your favor but why would such a coach blow you up if you won’t be able to help him win games and thus keep his job?
So why community college coaches?
Because they are the overall best truth-telling option.
Just look around the Bay Area/northern California and see the abundance of quality and experienced coaches at the two-year schools. These are guys who know their craft and are connected with staffs at four-year schools of all levels. They are called upon by DI, DII and NAIA college head coaches and assistants to make recommendations about their own players as well as those of opponents.
The suggestion of connecting with college coaches is because most parents are not equipped to make such determinations (whether they realize such or not).
This is not a knock of high school coaches. Some are tremendous at what they do but determining college talent level isn’t their primary job.
Plus, some travel team coaches may not be fully honest because of the financial arrangement if the truth might cause a switch to another program and thus a loss of revenue.
Ditto with some basketball trainers although many are excellent at what they do as well as being forthright.
Again, not disparaging any trainers or travel team coaches — just making an observation.

More Long Beach State Basketball problems.

Washington hires Jody Wynn as women’s basketball head coach

By Kayla Lombardo Apr 14, 2017

The University of Washington has hired Jody Wynn to be its women’s basketball program’s new head coach, the university announced Friday.

Wynn, who will replace the Arkansas-bound Mike Neighbors, spent the last eight seasons at Long Beach State, where she led the 49ers to three straight 20-win campaigns and an NCAA tournament appearance.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jody and her family to the University of Washington,” UW athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a release. “She has built a culture of excellence at Long Beach State which has inspired championship values and achieved results.

“She possesses a fierce competitive nature and always operates with the utmost integrity. I believe her skillset and experiences are the perfect fit to capitalize on the momentum our program has built and lead us into the future.”

[Wynn will take over a Huskies squad that will be without Kelsey Plum, the top pick in the 2017 WNBA draft, in 2018. Plum set the NCAA all-time scoring record this season and helped lead Washington to the Final Four in 2016.