Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mission goes down

The Mission Prep girls basketball team fell 51-39 to Ross Branson in the Division V State Championship game at Arco Arena in Sacramento on Saturday morning.

As I sit here typing this, the Branson boys are beating Renaissance Academy 38-31 and are looking to make the Bulls a double winner for the second year in a row.

The Branson girls were amazing. They were tall, athletic, fast. It was a tough game for the Royals, who were down by 19 at one point in the third quarter.

Check out tomorrow's Tribune for a more in-depth recap of the game.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Coke vs. Pepsi

Personally, I go Coca-Cola. I find it a tangier, spicier option for big-boy soda drinkers. People like Mean Joe Green.

Pepsi is too sweet. I think Pepsi, I think Britney Spears, Ricky Martin. That curly-mop little girl with the dimples who spoke with celebrity voices.

Well, that little girl grew up, and I heard she drinks Coke now.

I also think Coke played a tougher non-conference schedule, and Pepsi is a ballhog. Pepsi was playing against softies like R.C. Cola and Albertson's Brand, while Coke was taking on Sprite.

It's easy to put up numbers on Mr. Pibb and Bubble-Up.

And we all know Pepsi recruits. Plus, if Pepsi weren't so tall, then it wouldn't get so many rebounds. Pepsi is also slow, and Coke has a better all-around game, more assists, steals.

Coke makes the team better. Pepsi isn't even being recruited.

What do you guys think?

Oh, and just for checking in, I'll pass along the state championship preview capsules I have been working on for tomorrow's paper. For loyal blog readers only.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m., at Arco Arena in Sacramento
No. 1 Ross Branson (28-7) vs. No. 2 Mission Prep (27-4)
Branson — The Bulls are the defending state champions after defeating Pacific Hills 51-36 for the program’s first-ever state title last year. Branson has been ranked No. 1 in Division V by all season long. Top players Rachael and Sam Bilney, senior sisters both headed to Richmond on basketball scholarships, have battled injuries this season. Sam missed most of the year with a knee injury, and a midseason hand ailment kept Rachel out until mid-January.
Mission Prep — The Royals are making their sixth state title appearance in program history and are going for their first win. None of the current players were on the team the last time Mission Prep advanced this far in 2004, a year after legendary coach Jay Cowitz died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Cowitz’s daughter Margaret, a senior, has been an emotional motivator for the team.
Branson — Rachael Bilney (6-foot swingman, Sr.) 17.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 36 percent 3-point field goals; Michela Bestwick (5-10 forward, Sr.) 10 ppg; Lauren Polanski (5-9 huard, Jr.) 10 ppg, 4.7 apg. 4.8 spg.
Mission Prep — Leigh Yetter (5-9 guard, Sr.) 14.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 48 percent field goals; Erica Vesnaver (5-9 forward, Sr.) 7.6 ppg, 34 percent 3-point field goals; Jenna Caruso (5-7 guard, Jr.) 7 ppg.
Branson — “We can’t give (Branson) easy layups,” Mission Prep coach John Krossa said. They get a lot of easy layups from pressure, girls panicking. They do a trap and they pressure man-to-man. They play hard. It would be better for us to get a 5-second call than to panic and turn the ball over and give up a layup.”
Mission Prep — “If we’re on and we do what we’re capable of doing, we can play with anyone, and that includes them,” Royals forward Erica Vesnaver said. “It’s a very winnable game for us. We’re going to have to play very well.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Can't travel to Sacramento?

This Saturday's Division V girls basketball state championship game between Mission Prep and Branson starts at 9:30 a.m.

Can't make the 4- to 5-hour drive from San Luis Obispo County to make it in time? (Or don't wake up early enough on a Saturday even if you live in Sacramento?)

You can listen free to the live broadcast of the game on the internet at (Or you can buy an audio recording if you're in the 'I can't get up early' category.)

I sat next to the two guys who did the play-by-play for Mission's Southern California final win over Calvin Christian down in Santa Ana last weekend, and though I didn't really pay much attention to their broadcast, it seemed like they put a bit of work in to researching each team. They interviewed each coach before the game and asked me for a few details.

Hey, even if they're not any good at all, at least you'll know the score. Then you can log on to at halftime and immediately following the game for my breaking news updates. I'll also be blogging from Arco Arena, the site of the game, and, of course, you can read our in-depth coverage in Sunday's paper.

Oh, and vote in the new poll. It was a recent request by a comment poster on the girls basketball player of the year. You want it, you go it. (Though, technically, I asked the question of you readers like two weeks ago and got crickets.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

One of the funniest moments of the season

The Mission Prep girls beat View Park Prep in the So-Cal regional semis on Thursday night. The Royals are on to the regional finals for the 11th time since 1989. No biggie. They're ranked No. 1. They expect to be there.

Check out this anecdote though, the laugh out loud moment of the season.

Here's some forshadowing: At halftime, a small boy from from the View Park side who looked just days out of diapers was putting on a dance show near the media table. He was good. No doubt he could have served more than half of downtown SLO on college night.

And when he was doing his thing, the game was pretty close. It was up for grabs until Leigh Yetter took over with nine points in the third quarter, and Mission Prep outscored the Knights 14-2.

So to start the fourth quarter, the Royals student section starts doing that "We Will Rock You" stomp. You know. Stomp-Stomp, Clap! Stomp-Stomp,Clap! Like that.

Then the entire Mission Prep side of the stands starts doing it. It's pretty cool.

But it gets cooler when the other side of the gym, the people at the media table and the View Park fans look to the right of the Royals students — and guess who's cutting the rug all by his lonesome?

Yup, the Tear-da-club-up Toddler.

We all assumed after his team fell so far behind, he just switched sides.

To further the hilarity, an embarrassed-looking Knights fan had to run across the gym to grab the little boy and escort him back the View Park stands.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mimnaugh at Mission Prep

Cal Poly women's basketball coach Faith Mimnaugh was spotted at Tuesday night's Mission Prep girls basketball playoff game — a 41-13 win over Escondido Adventist in the CIF Division V Southern California Regional playoffs.

The rumor was Mimnaugh was there scouting the Royals senior forward Leigh Yetter, one of the front-runners for The Tribune's Jay Cowitz Award for County Player of the Year.

Yetter, the county's leading scorer at 15 points per game, shoots 47 percent from the field and averages close to seven rebounds a game.

Yetter didn't have her best game in front of Mimnaugh though, scoring just six points in a 41-13 Royals rout that didn't really require any of Mission Prep's starters to play well.

In terms of her college options, Yetter was soft-spoken in a recent interview.

Asked about her plans for next season after the Royals' won their 16th straight section divisional title this past Friday, Yetter said she hadn't gotten a lot of attention from college recruiters. She said she may decide a collegiate basketball career is not in the cards.

But she left the topic open-ended.

Mission Prep is favored to make it to the state title game. If the Royals do, it would be the first time since 2004 and the sixth time in program history.

And with Yetter and the six other Mission Prep seniors thinking this might be their final basetball hurrah, winning the team's first-ever state title would be the best way to go out.