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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Legionnaires place six on all-league girls basketball teams

 

Last updated 3/28/2019 at 5:49pm



The Pioneer League coaches meeting which selected all-league girls basketball players gave all-league recognition to six members of Bonsall High School’s team.

The first team included Bonsall freshman Estrella Garcia. Two of the Legionnaires’ sophomores, Katrina Manzano and Jazmine Zottolo, were second-team selections. Honorable mention distinction was given to seniors Miacai Meluat and Casimilla Mendiola and to freshman Grace Ferrante.

“That was interesting. Six is a lot,” Bonsall coach Bernard Cantrell said.

Logic would indicate that the five starters and the sixth man – or sixth girl – would comprise the six all-league players, but that was not the case for the Bonsall players who received Pioneer League honors.

“That was the odd thing,” Cantrell said. “The only full-time starters on the first two teams are Katrina and Estrella.”

Horizon Prep was declared the Pioneer League champion; the Lions’ only league loss was a forfeit to Bonsall which reversed Horizon’s on-court win. King-Chavez Community did not complete its season and Bonsall’s league record designated the Legionnaire’s two scheduled matches against King-Chavez as no contest rather than as forfeit wins. The forfeit win over Horizon gave Bonsall a 7-1 league record, which matched the Horizon record excluding the King-Chavez scheduled games. Bonsall had an overall season record of 7-6. The only Pioneer League opponent King-Chavez played, School for Entrepreneurship and Technology, was third in the league standings with a 5-4 record not including the second-round forfeit win over King-Chavez.

The selection of Garcia to the first team didn’t surprise Cantrell or any of the league’s other coaches.

“It was a no-brainer for everybody in there. There was no hesitation or questions,” Cantrell said.

Garcia was the Legionnaire’s point guard. Manzano played wing, which depending on the formation made her a shooting guard or a small forward.

“If you’d have asked me in the first two weeks I’d be shocked, but after that there was no shock,” Cantrell said of Manzano’s second-team selection.

“I couldn’t imagine coaching against her and not having to mention her at practice,” Cantrell said of Manzano. “She impacted the game exactly the way you'd want your point guard to offensively and defensively.”

Manzano forced opponents to adjust to her skills during the second round of league play.

“Nobody pressed us the second time they played us,” Cantrell said. “If you give her the ball, she’s just too fast. She ruins presses.”

Zottolo was a utility player rather than a true starter.

“She plays all positions except point guard,” Cantrell said. “She started against the two best teams in our league. She started at center.”

Her roles against different opponents provided her with the second-team distinction.

“That was kind of a shock to me, but she’s my most skilled player,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell cited an increase in consistency for Zottolo.

“This year she came out of her shell two or three or maybe four games,” Cantrell said. “She turned last year’s occasional moments into quarters and halves this year.”

That included her performance against those closest to Bonsall in the league standings.

“She played well against the teams that mattered the most,” Cantrell said. “Last year she played good against bad teams and horrible against good teams.”

Ferrante also played wing.

“She might have started two games, but she had two 20-point games,” Cantrell said.

Mendiola played center. Meluat was primarily a power forward but also played center, wing and point guard.

 

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