Empire notes: Ugochi Anudokem, Kylie Kiech leading SSU women's basketball

The Sonoma State women’s basketball team is off to a 5-2 start and are 1-1 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play at this early juncture in the season.

Senior Kylie Kiech, The Press Democrat All-Empire Player of the Year as a senior at Cardinal Newman, is second on the squad with 14.9 points per game to senior Ugochi Anudokem’s 15.3-point average. Kiech is hitting nearly 43 percent of her three-point attempts while Anudokem is pulling down 13.5 rebounds per game to go with those 15 points.

Anudokem was an All-CCAA first team pick last season while breaking the school’s single-season rebound record after pulling down 329 boards. She also now owns the single-season double-double record. She finished with 17.

The Seawolves travel to Cal State San Marcos Thursday.

Bear Cubs led by former Cougar

Rancho Cotate grad Kierra Johnson is the early points leader for the Santa Rosa Junior College women’s basketball team with her 17 points per game. Lani Lincoln, another freshman, is averaging nearly 13 points per game in her first season out of Ukiah High. The Bear Cubs were 2-4 heading into Tuesday night’s road game at Solano Community College.

SRJC paced by Bakersfield duo

Newcomer Shannon Ferguson out of Bakersfield is leading the Santa Rosa Junior College men’s basketball team with more than 11 points per game for the 4-3 Bear Cubs. Sophomore Atmar Mundu, who prepped in Fremont, is averaging 10.5 points per game and freshman Edward Turner, another Bakersfield guy, and sophomore Damian Wallace, who prepped at Cardinal Newman, are both averaging eight points. The Bear Cubs are in the middle of a significant game-free stretch. Their last contest was a ?57-43 loss Foothill College in the Shasta Tournament on Nov. 23. They play again Saturday in the City College of San Francisco tournament, when they face San Jose Community College.

Chavez is big for the Waves

Santa Rosa Junior College men’s basketball alum Skylar Chavez is off to a hot start for the Pepperdine Waves. The Drake High grad has started all nine games of his junior season and is hitting 40% of his 3-point attempts. He’s averaging nearly 11 points and two rebounds per game. The Waves (3-6) host Idaho State on Friday.

Newman starting hot

Last year’s North Bay League-Oak Division winners in boys basketball are at it again. Cardinal Newman is 3-0 early in the season with wins over Drake, Elsie Allen and Maria Carrillo last month. The Cardinals beat Drake 48-44. Newman’s crosstown rival, Montgomery, also played Drake early this season, falling 47-45.

Twice in two weeks?

The Healdsburg ’Hounds boys basketball team will face the Tamalpais Red Tailed Hawks Thursday - the second time they will see the Hawks in less than two weeks. The ’Hounds opened their season with a 45-44 road win against Tam and will face them at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Russ Peterich Viking Tip-Off Classic. That is the final game of opening-day action that will also feature Pleasant Grove versus Monte Vista at 4 p.m., North versus Campolindo at 5:30 p.m. and Galena versus Montgomery at 7 p.m.

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