March 8, 2012
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Coach Baumunk tries to rally Bonita one more time.

Coach Baumunk tries to rally Bonita one more time.

Bonita led the first two quarters, 10-5 and 18-15; Bishop Amat led the last two quarters, 28-24 and 41-30.  But it’s only the final tally that counts. As a result, Bishop Amat will motor north to face Arroyo Grande in the State Division III quarterfinals on Saturday while Bonita will stay home and call it a year



In the fourth and final period after both teams exchanged baskets, with the score 30-26, the Lancers plunged a dagger deep into the heart of all Bearcats fans. Leeah Powell, who scored 14 of her game-high 18 points in the second half, collected an offensive rebound before whipping the ball out to the wing and an open Kaysee Tayag who sank an uncontested 3-pointer from which Bonita would never recover.

“That took the emotion right out of us,” Bonita coach Darren Baumunk said.

Powell seemed to be everywhere in the second half. Early in the third quarter, she stroked a trey and she finished the period with another 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded.

Bonita got the game off to a good start with spirited play from 6-foot-3 center Breanna Kennedy, who scored six first-quarter points to go along with three blocks. She was the difference-maker giving Bonita a 10-5 first-quarter lead.

With 7:40 remaining in the second period, however, the Loyola-bound senior picked up her second foul, prompting Bonita coach Darren Baumunk to protect her by sending her to the bench for the remainder of the quarter. Meanwhile, Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley, Ariano Abo and Jackie Loy picked up the slack, staking Bonita to an 18-15 half-time lead. Wheatley finished the half with eight points. Amat’s Dagmar Ramirez led all scorers with nine first-half points.

To start the third, Kennedy banked in a deuce to give Bonita a 20-15 lead. After a Tayag free throw, Powell nailed a three and Ramirez followed with a steal and a layup to give the Lancers their first lead, 21-20, since they led 5-4 early in the first. Amat never trailed again. A driving layup by Abo brought the Bearcats within a whisker, 25-24, but then it was Powell again, stroking another three to give Amat a 28-24 lead to close the period.

“In the second half for whatever reason, “Bonita coach Darren Baumunk said, “we started doing one-on-four, one-on-fives, we just  tried to force too many things. We couldn’t rebound. I think they got two threes after some missed shots. That killed us. We got to play 32 minutes of disciplined basketball, and I think we played 16 minutes of disciplined basketball. That’s not good enough for a state playoff game.”

Despite the disheartening loss, the Bearcats finished the season with a remarkable 27-5 record and an undefeated 12-0 record, when many prognosticators gave the Bearcats no shot of making a title run given their loss of Taylor Anderson and Madison Zylstra to graduation last year.

“You got to give our girls credit,” Baumunk said. “Nobody gave us a chance to be where we are today. I’m proud of the way we came back after what we did last year.”

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