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Wildcats take advantage of Bonsall girls basketball inexperience

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Bonsall High School’s baseball team hosted Warner High School, which did not have baseball in any of the previous 10 years, and defeated the Wildcats by a 14-1 margin March 28, 2023. Bonsall was the inexperienced team Tuesday, Nov. 28, when the Legionnaires had a home girls basketball game against Warner and lost that 71-7 contest.

“We’re young. We’re learning. We’re new,” Bonsall coach Jessica Kaller said. “Quite a lot of building to do, but we’ll get there. We’ve got some ability and they just need the time.”

Bonsall last had girls basketball in the 2018-2019 season, so the Legionnaires’ program returns after a four-year lapse. Warner did not have a 2020-2021 team but has fielded girls basketball in each subsequent season. Five of the 2021-2022 players are members of the current team. Last year the Wildcats were 8-10 overall but had a 6-2 Manzanita League record to share the league championship.

The win over Bonsall gave Warner a season record of 3-1.

“We’re developing. We’re trying to get ready for league play and just get better each game. That’s our goal,” Warner coach Johnny Hernandez said. “So far we’ve been doing that.”

Hernandez’s daughter Vanessa Christman was Warner’s coach for 2022‑2023. Gabrielle Norte, whose parents are both Fallbrook High School graduates, was Warner’s coach in 2021-2022.

Warner has 12 girls, although only ten made the trip to Bonsall. Bonsall had nine players.

“They’ve got the mentality,” Kaller said.

The Wildcats had a 36-0 lead at the end of the first period and scored the game’s first 42 points before Vivian Arroyo made a free throw two minutes into the second quarter. Lily Winebrenner scored Bonsall’s other six points with one field goal in the second period and two successful shots from the floor in the third quarter.

The halftime score was 52-3. Warner held a 60-7 lead after three periods.

“It was a pretty good game,” said Warner senior Breanna Simmons. “We made a lot of points, a lot of good passes, a lot of good shots.”

The Wildcats scored more than 70 points in a game for the first time since Warner’s 74‑27 win at Julian Feb. 17, 2015, when Simmons was in third grade and Norte was a junior playing for the Wildcats who won that season’s Manzanita League title. The Wildcats’ margin of victory was their largest since a 122-22 triumph at Borrego Springs Feb. 13, 2007.

The loss to Warner gave Bonsall a season record of 0-2. The Legionnaires had a Nov. 16 home game against California School for the Deaf Riverside which ended as a 42-4 Cubs victory.

“It’s going to be a building year, one of those years where you get experience,” Kaller said. “You’ve got to go through this to get better.”

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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