Empire notes: Cardinal Newman grad comes up big for University of Portland

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Lauren Walker has broken into the starting lineup for the University of Portland women’s basketball team and posted her biggest game of the season in the Pilots’ 57-48 win over BYU on Saturday.

Playing on the road, the Pilots (8-6 overall, 1-2 in the West Coast Conference) fell behind 13-7 in the first quarter but rallied for 22 points in the second, giving them a lead they would not relinquish. Walker, a 6-foot, 5-inch junior who graduated from Cardinal Newman in 2017, had 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 33 minutes. She has now started seven of the Pilots’ 14 games and is averaging 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. The Pilots host the Pacific Tigers (10-5, 3-1) on Thursday.

Hayman goes for 32

Healdsburg High junior Dylan Hayman had 32 points in the ’Hounds 74-38 win over Analy Friday. Hayman, who is averaging more than 21 points per game this season, also added 16 rounds Friday — two more than his season average. “A lot of it was on him. He made some nice reads early in the game,” Healdsburg coach Yasha Mokaram said.

Hayman was 14 of 18 from the field. The ’Hounds were 12-2 overall heading into Tuesday night’s North Bay League-Redwood Division opener at home against the visiting Maria Carrillo Pumas (6-7 overall). The ’Hounds have a big pre-league challenge at 7:30 p.m. Saturday when they travel to play Cardinal Newman. The Cardinals are 12-2 and host the Santa Rosa Panthers on Thursday before the big matchup Saturday.

Tigers are roaring

The Analy High girls basketball team is off to a 12-3 start with wins over Piner, Rancho Cotate and Maria Carrillo. They also took down a tough Healdsburg team 47-34 on Dec. 27.

The Tigers are led by sophomore guard Lucca Lowenberg. She is averaging more than 16 points per game, to go with her nearly six rebounds, 2.5 assists and four steals. Freshman Maycee Hunter is also delivering: Seven points, seven rebounds and three steals per contest. Senior Bailey Alberigi has seven points, five boards, two steals and a block per game.

The Tigers finished in the middle of the pack in league play last year and open their North Bay League-Oak Division campaign with a heavy lift: An away game at Cardinal Newman. The Cardinals are 13-2 and haven’t dropped a league game since Jan. 24, 2014.

Malvino steps down, Axthem steps up

After 18 years at the helm of Montgomery’s varsity softball program, Mike Malvino is hanging up his cleats. Malvino started as head coach in 1991. Montgomery has named former Viking multi-sport standout Tami (nee Page) Axthem as the new head coach. Axthem, who went on to star on the Sonoma State softball team, has assisted Malvino the past four seasons. The Vikings went 12-14 overall and 5-5 in the first year of North Bay League-Oak Division play. They lost to the No. 3 seed, Alhambra, in the first round of the North Coast Section Division 2 tournament.

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