By Tom Saxe
Mesa basketball player Staci Gregorio and Southwestern softball player Ariel Bochniak are PCAC Women’s Athletes of the Week.
Gregorio, a 5-foot, 5-inch sophomore guard from Warren Walker High School in Henderson, NV, turned in a spectacular performance last Wednesday as she led the Olympians in a near-upset of Mt. San Jacinto, the current PCAC champion and 2013 state runner-up. Gregorio scored 32 points in a game Mesa eventually lost 64-62. She went 4-for-5 on 3-point shots and was 12-for-13 at the free throw line.
Ariel Bochniak, Southwestern’s sophomore shortstop from Hilltop High School, hit safely in all seven games as the Jaguars won five of seven games.
Bochniak went 11-for-22 for the week with two home runs, five doubles and 15 RBIs. She started the week with a double and run scored in an 8-4 win vs. IVC, then caught fire in six straight non-conference games.
Honorable mention was awarded to Mt. San Jacinto basketball player Cora Lopez who was named conference Player of the Year, Palomar softball player Paige Falconieri and Mesa softball player Jennifer Carpenter.
Lopez, a 6-foot-0 sophomore forward from Hemet High and Jan. 5 PCAC Player of the Year, scored 18 points and grabbed a personal-high 19 rebounds playing all 40 minutes as the Eagles won the PCAC title by defeating Southwestern 60-48. Mt. San Jac dropped the Jaguars into a tie for second place with Palomar. Earlier in the week, Lopez’ 19 points and 14 rebounds led the way as the Eagles escaped with the two-point win vs. Mesa.
Falconieri, a sophomore utility player from Escondido High, went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs as defending the defending state champion Comets won their home conference opener from Grossmont 11-3.