The Bee's Winter All-Stars: Girls Basketball Coaching Kudos

The Fresno BeeApril 12, 2014 

Immanuel coach James Stevens gives direction in his team's Central Section Division V championship game against Kern Valley on March 7, 2014, at Selland Arena.

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COACH OF THE YEAR: JAMES STEVENS

• School: Immanuel

• Fast break: His second year with the program produced a second Central Section title in school history -- a 61-38 throttling of Kern Valley in Division V. And this came 12 months after a 58-32 drubbing of Kings Christian in the D-V final at Selland Arena. Only this season's team won two Southern California Regional games in front of capacity home crowds while reaching the SoCal D-V championship, losing 54-33 to La Jolla Country Day in Ontario, snapping a 14-game winning streak. And that had the Eagles winning by an average of 27.7 points to close the run's seven games, linking two Central Sequoia League games in addition to section and SoCal playoffs.

• By the numbers: Stevens, a 2000 Immanuel graduate, went 22-7 overall this season and posted a 9-1 Central Sequoia League tie for first after going 21-8 in his first year with the Eagles. And this followed a 24-5 season at Parlier in 2012, when the Panthers reached the D-IV semifinals.

• He said it: "I'm very happy, very content, this is where I feel I'm supposed to be. The support from the students, faculty and community -- just to see the dedication they showed to us -- that's what's most gratifying; that means a lot." -- Eagles coach James Stevens.

COACHING KUDOS:

• Craig Campbell, Clovis West: Won his fifth section D-I title and ninth Tri-River Athletic Conference crown in nine years with the Golden Eagles while improving his program record to 207-62 (.770).

• Doug Pitkin, Hanford: Won D-II title, registered two Southern California Regional upsets on the road while making the semifinals and finished 26-4 in his first year with the program.

• Cathy Lauritzen, Sierra: Conquered top-seeded Selma 47-41 for D-III championship and closed 25-5.

• Paul Romig, Selma: Three-year run has him 76-17 overall with consecutive D-III trips to Selland the past two seasons, and 29-3 with three straight Central Sequoia League titles.

• Frankie Arguelles, Lindsay: Is 69-22 in three seasons with the Cardinals, featuring D-IV championships in the past two -- the only titles in program history.

• Mark Cerda, Orosi: Went 23-7 and placed second in D-IV at a school that went 0-20, 5-19, 3-17, 2-16, 3-19 and 8-18 from 2006-11.

The reporter can be reached at aboogaard@fresnobee.com or @beepreps on Twitter.

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