By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Frontier graduate Tavia Rutherford, a former All-Area golfer and sophomore at the University of Sioux Falls, finished 11th in the NCAA Division II Central Super Regional in St. Joseph, Mo.
Rutherford was in fourth place and in position to advance to the D-II National Championships after rounds of 78 and 79 at the par-72 St. Joseph Country Club, but an 86 in the final round Tuesday dropped her outside the three individuals advancing.
Rutherford played No. 1 for Sioux Falls all season, leading the Cougars with an 81.9 stroke average and finishing in the top 10 at three tournaments. That included a sixth-place finish in September at the South Dakota State Invitational, which included six Division I schools.
Liberty gets top seeds in high school area tennis meet
Liberty junior Anthony Busacca is the top seed in the singles draw at this weekend's Central Section South Area tennis tournament in Wasco.
Busacca, the Southwest Yosemite League champion, won the section doubles title with since-graduated Matt Sewell last year. Bakersfield Christian senior Sullivan Roche is seeded No. 2, followed by Garces' Chris Robles and No. 4 Samuel Ramirez of East.
In the doubles draw, the Liberty team of Drew Raney and Andrew Engel is the top seed, followed by Stockdale's John Matthew Flores, Matt Nisson, Stockdale's Patrick Nassar-Nizam Khan and Garces' Thomas Newman-Christian Curutchague.
The area meet will only be played to the semifinals. The top four singles players and doubles teams automatically qualify for the section championships, May 17-18 at Wasco. Losers in the area quarterfinals are eligible to be wild cards in the section draw.
Local boxer Koontz to be memoralized today
Bakersfield native Don Koontz, a heavyweight who won his first 10 professional fights in 1964-65, passed away Thursday at the age of 71.
Koontz, who attended East High, finished with a 13-5 record with seven knockouts befort retiring in 1971.
He was an inspiration to a generation of boxers, according to fellow East alum and Arvin resident Larry Frazier, who followed Koontz into the heavyweight professional ranks.
"He was a main event fighter, one of the first ones back when boxing was really big here," said Frazier, who defeated former heavyweight champion Mike Weaver early in his career, and also fought former champions Greg Page and Frank Bruno. "He was really good. I was in the same gym as him when he was a professional and I was still an amateur. But he was the biggest thing out here at one time."
A celebration of Koontz's life will be held at 10 a.m. today at Mission Family Mortuary, 531 California Ave.
Junior high basketball all-stars to play Thursday
Several of the top junior high basketball players are scheduled to play in the Second Annual Kern County Junior High All-Star Game, Thursday at Bakersfield Christian High.
The event will include a 3-point contest starting at 6 p.m., followed by the girls all-star game at 6:45 and the boys game at 7:45.
Admission for the event is $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12. Children 6-and-under are free. All proceeds will benefit the Bakersfield Elite basketball program.
Liberty graduate Kehoe hired as hockey coach
HENNIKER, N.H. -- Liberty graduate Kristi Kehoe was named head women's ice hockey coach at New England College.
Kehoe, who played hockey at Northeastern, was an assistant coach at SUNY Cortland the past two seasons, with primary responsibilities for recruiting, budgeting, game and practice planning and working closely with alumni.
Kehoe will inherit a program that finished 8-12-6 last season, 5-9-4 in the East Coast Athletic Conference.