Girls BB: The chase for 1,000th win

Buena of Ventura girls basketball coach David Guenther would really like to have a celebration next season when the Bulldogs win their 12th game.

That’s because with 12 more wins Buena would officially reach 1,000 all-time wins. Guenther recently wondered whether his school would be making state history upon getting to that total.

“I am checking to see if there are ANY high schools in California with a girls basketball program that has 1,000 wins?” he asked.

For the Bulldogs, who ended the 2015-16 season with an all-time record of 988-202 since 1972, having that high of a total is not a surprise. They were among the best teams in Southern California in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into the 2000s when they were led by head coach Joe Vaughan, still the winningest head coach in state history at 761-112 from 1976 to 2007. Guenther has been the head coach since then and has continued the winning tradition with five 20-win seasons.
Record Book
After thinking about Guenther’s question, one school did come to mind and that school is Berkeley.

Like Buena, Berkeley has been a powerhouse in girls hoops since the 1970s except in Northern California. It turns out the Yellowjackets also may be about to get to 1,000 all-time wins in girls basketball and there’s even a chance that they’ve already gotten there.

The problem after looking up all available information in the Cal-Hi Sports record book and in the Cal-Hi Sports files of old newsletters is that there are missing seasons for Berkeley.

Here’s what we do have from our files:

•Berkeley coaching legend Gene Nakamura won 563 games from 1984 to 2007 and then won 22 more in one more season in 2009.

•Former head coach Cheryl Draper won 160 games for the Yellowjackets from 2008 to 2015 (skipping the one season Nakamura coached in 2009).

•Berkeley was the 1980 State Team of the Year at 29-0 and before that in 1979 the Yellowjackets were 31-2 in two seasons guided by 1980 State Coach of the Year Spike Hensley.

•Other season records confirmed for Berkeley are 26-3 for 1983, 22-3 for 1982, 19-4 for 1981 and 19-1 for 1974. The Yellowjackets also are considered the 1974 State Team of the Year.

Add those totals up and you get 908 wins. Would Berkeley have averaged 20 wins for the missing season records from 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978, which is what would be needed to match Buena’s current total of 988? That doesn’t seem possible due to the lower number of games that girls played in those years. But we also don’t know for sure if Berkeley’s girls played at all before 1974.

If anybody in Berkeley knows the missing season totals, please let us know. Eventually, a trip to the state library to look up information from newspapers at the time will yield the answer. But until then the answer to Coach Guenther’s question has to be: “We think Buena probably will be the first to 1,000, but we don’t know for sure and it might be Berkeley instead.”

Who knows, maybe both schools will need just a handful of wins early in the next season to reach that magical total. That sure would be fun to track, too.

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