Former Cat hoop star in regional

March 13, 2003 12:00 am

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.