Sports

Gunn grad Riley helps Whitworth to a No. 1 national ranking

 

David Riley never won a league championship when he played basketball at Gunn High from 2003-07. The first three seasons coincided with the Jeremy Lin era at Palo Alto and Riley's senior year saw the Titans hobbled with injuries during the regular season.

Riley, however, is making up for those non-championship seasons. The Palo Alto native is a senior starter on the Whitworth University basketball team that is 14-0 in the Northwest Conference and 23-0 overall as the No. 1 ranked NCAA Division III basketball team in the nation.

Riley helped the Pirates close out their regular-season home schedule this past weekend with a pair of victories over Williamette and George Fox.

Against Williamette, Riley drained a school-record 10 three-pointers and finished with 33 points in a 115-69 triumph. He was 10 of 19 from three-point range to break the previous record of eight that he co-held. The victory clinched an outright championship in the Northwest Conference, the Pirates' fourth in the past five years.

Riley made his first three tries from beyond the arc as Whitworth streaked to a 25-5 lead and extended its homecourt winning streak to 33. The Pirates also won their 33rd straight conference game.

On Saturday against George Fox, Riley was among four seniors honored in their final home game. He cooled off considerably from his previous outing, scoring eight points with two rebounds and three assists as Whitworth posted an 89-66 victory. Riley joined with teammate Wade Gebbers as the winningest players in school history.

Whitworth will put its 34-game conference winning streak on the line Tuesday when the Pirates visit Whitman (Walla Walla, Wash.), winner of seven straight. On Saturday, Whitworth will close out its regular season at Pacific (Oregon), hoping to put the finishing touches on a 25-0 campaign prior to the postseason.

Riley is averaging 17.7 points a game, second on the team. He's making 45.6 percent of his field-goal attempts (41.3 from three-point range), averaging 4.1 rebounds in 30.5 minutes per game.

The big guy

Former Priory standout Greg Somogyi is enjoying his junior year at UC Santa Barbara. He's now 7-foot-3, 242 pounds and playing a reserve role for the Gauchos, who are 6-6 in the Big West Conference (13-10 overall) heading into home games against Cal State Fullerton and Boise State this week.

Somogyi leads the conference with 41 blocked shots this season and has 116 for his career. He needs just two to move into third all-time in UCSB history. He has had at least one blocked shot in 12 of the past 14 games and 20 times in 23 games this season. He also leads UCSB in field goal percentage at 59.0 percent and he has made 30 of his past 48 shots for 62.5 percent.

Somogyi scored a career-high 16 points this season along with grabbing a career-high eight rebounds. He's averaging 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds.

Hornets' nest

Former Pinewood School teammates Sami Field-Polisso and Tika Koshiyama-Diaz helped the Panthers win back-to-back CIF Division V state titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06. That success, however, hasn't followed them to Sacramento State.

Sacramento State is struggling with a 3-21 record this season, even though the former Pinewood tandem has been doing its best.

Koshiyama-Diaz, a senior guard, has started all 24 games, is averaging 29.8 minutes per game, 7.9 points and is the team leader in assists with 135. Field-Polisso. a junior guard, has started 19 games and is averaging 27.3 minutes, 8.6 points and leads the team with 58 three-pointers.

Field-Polisso has led the Hornets in scoring three times, twice scoring 17 points. Koshiyama-Diaz had led the team twice, sharing the team-high once with Field-Polisso in a 73-68 loss to Boise State.

Bisons are tough

Three former local water polo players helped the Bucknell women's team open the season with a 4-0 record and the championship of the Bison Invitational on Sunday in Lewisburg, Pa.

In the first round, junior Hallie Kennan from Palo Alto High scored five goals in Bucknell's 11-7 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday.The victory marked the third time in the past four years that Bucknell has won its season opener.

In the second round, freshman Heather Smith from Sacred Heart Prep scored twice, her first collegiate goals, as the Bisons rolled over Gannon, 11-1. Paly grad Tara Murao also scored for Bucknell (2-0).

In Game 3, Bucknell broke open a game that was tied at halftime by outscoring Wagner 5-0 in the third quarter en route to an 11-4 victory Saturday evening as Murao and Smith each scored twice and Kennan had four steals.

Bucknell wrapped up a 4-0 showing in its tourney with an 11-8 win over Siena on Sunday as Kennan scored twice. The Bisons outscored the opposition in the tourney, 44-20.

-- Keith Peters

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