All In and Ballin’csudhbulletin February 8, 2023 0 COMMENTS
Dawnyel Lair pushes past Stanislaus State opponent and goes for the lay-up. Credit: Chris Perry, CSUDH Athletics
By Sara Bhatt, Staff Reporter
The Toros’ women’s basketball team has had a historic season thus far and continues to excel. Led by head coach John Bonner, who is in his seventh season at California State University, Dominguez Hills, the Toros impressively went on a 19-game win streak. They recently lost their first game more than two-thirds into the season to opponent California State University, Chico.
In regards to the success of the team, John Bonner credits “Chemistry and buy-in” in addition to the obvious talent of the student-athletes on his squad. As for team chemistry, Coach Bonner stated, “This team really likes each other; they can be their full genuine selves while they’re spending time with each other.”
Fully embracing the culture of Dominguez Hills, Bonner recognizes that “The biggest thing is being like a family” with a tight-knit bond and trust between the players that translates onto the court. No amount of profound statistics can encapsulate authentic chemistry which is especially true with some of the most successful and iconic sports teams in history, who owe much of their achievement to having good chemistry. The 1998 and ‘99 Denver Broncos, 2012 San Francisco Giants, 2014 Golden State Warriors, and 2023 Dominguez Hills Toros… just to name a few.
Along with the natural chemistry of the roster, Bonner noted “buy-in” as a detrimental factor to the outstanding team. He said, “For us, buy-in means doing all the little things off the court: showing up on time, leaving places better than we found them, always saying ‘thank you’, and expressing gratitude.”
Practicing and implementing these little things outside of basketball has certainly transpired and reflected in the Toros’ performance on the court as well, as they currently lead the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference in offense, averaging 78.4 points per game.
Each athlete plays an important part in contributing to the team’s accomplishments, however one player, in particular, has consistently stood out on the court. Senior guard, Dawnyel Lair, has put up impressive numbers this season scoring 252 points and counting. She has received CCAA Player of the Week not once, not twice, but three times this season alone, along with the Division II national honor of Player of the Week. The Los Angeles native commended much of her personal success to the dedication and commitment of her teammates. Lair noted that the team has been committed to holding each other accountable and making each other better which in turn has tremendously aided in the team’s success.
With a 19-1 record, the Toros will head north for their next matchup as they take on Sonoma State University (11-9) on Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m. The Toros are expected to continue their magnificent season and make a lengthy postseason run, all with the love and support from their Dominguez Hills family.