Former Cat hoop star in regional

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Former Sonora High School star Beccie Lutes is the third-leading scorer for the Bakersfield State University women's basketball team, which is the No.2 seed in the NCAA Division II West Regional.

The Roadrunners (26-1) play California Collegiate Athletic Conference rival and No. 7 seed Stanislaus State of Turlock (18-9) at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at Seattle Pacific University.

Other regional matchups have No. 1 Seattle Pacific (27-0) vs. No. 8 Chico State (17-9), No. 3 Western Washington (22-5) vs. No. 6 Northwest Nazarene (19-8), and No. 4 Montana State-Billings (20-6) vs. No. 5 Central Washington (17-8).

The regional winner advances to the Elite Eight, which is March 26 to 29 in St. Joseph, Mo. Bakersfield is the only team in NCAA history men or women to make the national tournament in its first three years of existence.

Stanislaus is the only team to beat Bakersfield this season, 72-59 on Dec. 11 in Turlock. The Roadrunners paid the Warriors back a week later in Bakersfield, 100-87, with Lutes scoring 15 points. Bakersfield went on to win the CCAA championship, with Lutes averaging 12.2 points per game.

The sophomore guard was a four-year varsity player at Sonora from 1997-2000. She helped the Wildcats win Valley Oak League titles in 1998 and '99, and was an all-Valley Oak League selection her junior and senior years.

Both Lutes and Bakersfield's leading scorer, forward Heather Garay, transferred from Humboldt State.

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The Union Democrat
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