Transfers Boost Bakersfield
Two former community college standouts are helping Cal State Bakersfield to another successful men’s basketball season.
Todd Jones, a junior swingman who played at Fullerton and Golden West colleges, has started every game for the Roadrunners (19-6) and has raised his scoring average to 9.6 points a game. He is considered to be one of the best defenders in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., according to Bakersfield Coach Henry Clark.
Jones is a 1998 graduate of Upland High.
“Todd is our stopper who sets the tone defensively,” Clark said. “He is the consummate team player. The little things he does usually go unnoticed, but he has become a crowd favorite because of the hustle plays he makes on both ends of the floor.”
Former Saddleback guard Vernon Jackson has started five games for the Roadrunners, but has settled into the role of first man off the bench. He is averaging 5.2 points a game. He transferred to Bakersfield at the end of the 1999 season and sustained a season-ending knee injury after playing a total of 21 minutes in the team’s first two games.
Jackson, who took a redshirt season, is not back to 100% yet, Clark said.
“He has made a remarkable comeback from his knee reconstruction,” Clark said. “If he continues to work as hard on his game as he has on his rehab, he will be an outstanding player for us next season.”
Clark said he believes Jackson could have a breakout season in 2001-2002.
“Vernon is a player in the same mold as Todd Jones in terms of the intensity and effort he brings to the floor,” Clark said. “He would be a starter on any other team.”
THE HARD WAY
Katie Hardeman, who played at Brea Olinda and Troy highs, has led the women’s basketball team at Westmont to a surprising turnaround. The Warriors, 6-20 a year ago, finished their regular season 20-10, and in a second-place tie in the Golden State Athletic Conference with a 13-5 mark.
A 5-9 swingman, Hardeman became Westmont’s first selection to the All-GSAC team. She was the team’s top scorer (11.6 points) and shot 51.9% from the field. She also averaged four rebounds and 2.6 assists.
“Katie is a consistently hard worker and a great competitor,” Westmont Coach Gregg Afman said. “She could be one of the best defensive players I’ve ever coached.”
Troy boys’ Coach T.J. Hardeman, Katie’s dad, played at Westmont from 1975 to 1978. Her grandfather, Tine Hardeman, also played there and still holds the Westmont record for most points in a game (46). A sister, Heidi Hardeman, who also played at Troy High, is a starter at Biola.
The Warriors are seeded third in the GSAC Tournament and defeated Vanguard, 69-52, in the first round Tuesday.
Middle blocker Charnette Fair of Minnesota, who played for the 1998 Golden West women’s volleyball team that went undefeated and won a state title, is in training with the United States national indoor team in Colorado Springs. Fair, originally from Montclair High, was selected from a group of 18- to 25-year-old players in tryouts earlier this month.
Long Beach State outfielder Jeff Jones, formerly of Marina High and Golden West College, was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Assn. player of the week for the period that ended Feb. 4. He had seven hits in 10 at-bats, scored seven runs, drove in six runs and had two home runs in a three-game series against Arizona. He also tied a school record by scoring five runs in a game.
RoAna Lutz, formerly of Canyon High and Cypress College, was named the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. softball co-player of the week for the period ending Feb. 4. The Cal State Dominguez Hills third baseman hit .286 with two home runs and nine runs batted in as the Toros went 5-2 at the Cal State Stanislaus tournament.
Senior Sara Oesch, a 1995 graduate of Orange Lutheran, is competing in the throwing events for UC Davis during the indoor track and field season. She recently threw the hammer 43 feet 11.25 inches at a meet in Reno.
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