HOME COURT DISADVANTAGE? Arroyo Grande Defeats Listless Bonita Team and Crowd, 46-30

February 26, 2012
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Sarah Jackson scored early for Bonita.

Sarah Jackson scored early for Bonita.

The Bonita team was there but didn’t show up. The Bonita crowd was there but didn’t show up. If Hamlet had been watching the contest on Saturday night between the Bearcats and Arroyo Grande Eagles, he would have told you there were more things rotten about this Bonita loss, 46-30, game than anything he ever experienced in Denmark.

It started well for Bonita as Ariana Abo sank a three pointer to give the Bearcats an early 3-0, and after a bucket by the Eagles’ Healther Madrigal, Bonita’s Sarah Jackson pumped in another two points, for a 5-2 Bonita lead, but from that high point court affairs quickly deteriorated with Arroyo Grande’s Lindsey Wolf scoring the next four points, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Eagles a 7-5 lead that her team would never relinquish.

Further hampering Bonita was the absence of sophomore sensation Nikki Wheatley, who was held out until the final three minutes of the first quarter because of the violation of a team rule. “A rule’s a rule,” Baumunk said.

What followed could be best described as five shooters and a funeral. The top shooters for the Eagles were Wolf with a game-high 19 points, Madrigal with 15, and Flood with nine. The funeral was the comatose Bonita crowd, which appeared to be suffering from sunstroke, as it casually watched Arroyo Grande dismantle Bonita with nary a complaint or a cry of “DEFENSE,” when the team needed to rally. You could hear more noise at an Irish wake than what you heard on Bonita’s hometown court on Saturday.

Late in the second quarter, Bonita was trailing 20-9 before Wheatley sank a three with 18 seconds left to pull the Bearcats within striking distance, 20-12, at the half. It was her first points of the night.

In the third quarter, Bonita tried to counterpunch, with Wheatley scoring seven points, but Arroyo Grande’s senior line-up wouldn’t wilt as Madrigal and Emma Weinreich kept up the Eagles’ scoring attack. Meanwhile, Bonita’s crowd sat on its hands as the Bearcats finished the quarter, down 30-19.

In the fourth and final quarter, Bonita would get no closer than 13 points. Madrigal and Wolf continued to sink daggers from all over the floor, wounding a Bonita team that could play much better, but simply didn’t.

“I told the girls we have to be proud of what we did,” Bonita coach Darren Baumunk said after talking to his girls in the locker room. “Nobody expected us to be back in the semis after what we lost last year. I told the girls it’s tough right now but you got to keep your heads up, we had a really great run.”

Offering post-game analysis, Baumunk said the Bonita offense was stagnant. “We just couldn’t make a bucket,” he said. “We couldn’t get going on the offensive side. Too much standing around.”

At the same time Baumunk was quick to credit Arroyo Grande’s superior play. “Those five girls who played, plus No. 23 (Maurisa Dominguez) who came in off the bench, they were really disciplined, they were very quick on their feet, they had long arms.”

Bonita simply couldn’t catch fire on a night its hometown crowd couldn’t decide whether to be or not to be. Alas, even Hamlet would have struggled trying to figure out this performance.




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