Etiwanda High School’s basketball ladies have been extremely successful for more than two decades, but the 2021-2022 team may be one of the best ever.
“We’ve got a special group,” said coach Stan Delus after the Eagles raised their season record to 10-0 by crushing St. Lucy’s, 78-5, in the Baseline League opener on Jan. 4.
Despite having a very young team, Etiwanda is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section poll, No. 1 in the state, and No. 4 in the nation after defeating six nationally-ranked teams during pre-league competition.
Delus is pleased that the Eagles are playing with a lot of intensity on defense while at the same time utilizing a balanced scoring attack on offense.
“We have seven players who are averaging at least 9 points per game,” he said.
Leading the way is 6-foot-1 sophomore Kennedy Smith, who was named the State Freshman Player of the Year last spring. This year she is averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds a game.
Also contributing highly is another sophomore, Destiny Agubata, who stands 6 feet and is averaging 14 points and 7 rebounds.
The team’s senior captain is 6-foot Daisia Mitchell, who has been scoring 11 points per game. She has committed to St. Mary’s College, Delus said.
Other standouts include freshman point guard Aliyahna Morris, 6-foot-1 junior Sa’lah Hemingway, and junior Majesty Cade.
Delus is optimistic about the Eagles’ chances of capturing their 22nd consecutive Baseline League title, but he said the team still needs to show improvement in some areas.
In December, Etiwanda took first place in the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona with a 53-51 win over Oklahoma Classen. Mitchell was named the MVP of the tournament and Smith and Morris received all-tournament honors.