Mar 03, 2017
IRVINE, Calif. - Saddleback sophomore Janae Omusi, who scored 35 points against Fullerton, and Cheffey sophomore Brian Beard, who averaged 21.6 points over eight games, were named the Athletes of the Month for January by the CCCSIA and CCCAA.
Omusi helped Saddleback run the table on the Orange Empire Conference during the first round of conference play as the Gauchos went 6-1 during the month of January, solidifying the sixth-best RPI in Southern California.
In a win at Fullerton, Omusi scored a season-high 35 points, including a pair of game-icing free throws down the stretch in what turned out to be a two-point win. She also pulled in 12 boards on the night. Omusi averaged 23.6 points and 11.1 rebounds on the year as Saddleback found itself at the top of the conference standings (6-0) after the first round.
Omusi ended up being named the Orange Empire Conference MVP and led the Gauchos to their first postseason appearance in three years. Omusi prepped at Horizon Christian High School in San Diego.
Beard led Chaffey to a 7-1 record in the month. During January, he averaged 21.6 points, 8 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game. In the final game of the month, Beard scored what was then a season-high 33 points against East Los Angeles. Two games prior against L.A. Trade Tech, Beard scored 22 points, dished out 15 assists and had four steals in Chaffey's conference home opener.
Chaffey went on to win the tough South Coast Conference North Division and was seeded No. 8 in the Southern California Regional Playoffs. Beard prepped at Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga.
Honorable mention recognition for the women's award went to Tawny Lio (Cuesta, basketball), Marina Rojas (College of the Canyons, basketball), Emili Olague (Santiago Canyon, softball), Meghan Peneueta (El Camino, basketball) and Monica Todd (Palomar, basketball).
For the men, honorable mention accolades went to Jayvon Brown (EC-Compton, basketball), Malik McCowan (Porterville, basketball), Noah Saunders (Cuesta, freshman), TJ Shorts (Saddleback, basketball) and Jihad Woods (Yuba, basketball).