SANTA ROSA – Christmas came three days early for Cardinal Newman Coach Tom Bonfigli when his Cardinals outlasted visiting Redwood Empire Catholic school rival Marin Catholic, 64-54 on Thursday night in the Rose City.
It seems like he will be setting milestones every time his boys notch a win but at this point the 730 career wins he has makes him one of only 13 coaches to achieve that many victories.
Senior 6-3 Cody Baker led the way for Cardinal Newman (6-1) with 18 points (three 3-pointers), three rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. Standout football player turned point guard Damian Wallace added 15 points, junior Brad Morato came off the bench for 10 points and sophomore Nathan Capurro added nine points and seven rebounds.
Joey Calcaterra led Marin Catholic (2-6) with a game-high 27 points.
Newman bolted out to a 6-0 lead and ended the first quarter up 19-14 after Wallace hit a 35-footer at the buzzer.
Marin Catholic took a 22-21 lead but Newman used 10-0 and 9-0 runs in the second and third quarters, respectively, and entered the final period with a 47-39 lead. The Wildcats got it to 47-43 with an 8-0 run of their own but the Cardinals closed it out on the foul line where they scored their last 14 points.
With 730 career wins Bonfigli will next pass the legendary Frank LaPorte (Jason Kidd’s high school coach who has 735 career wins at Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland, 1960-1970 & St. Joseph-Alameda, 1982-1997).
Bonfigli is currently No. 5 in the CIF North Coast Section behind Mike Phelps (843 wins at St. Joseph-Alameda 1971-78 and Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland, 1979-1990, 1992-2003), current St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda Coach Don Lippi (806 wins at St. Joseph 1980, St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo, 1982-86, Skyline-Oakland, 1987-1990, St. Ignatius-San Francisco, 1991-2003 and St. Joseph Notre Dame 2004-current), Elio “Abe” Abrami (802 win from 1955-1993 at Emery-Emeryville), whom Lippe passed on December 8 when his Pilots were a 50-38 winner over Serra-San Mateo at the De La Salle Vonture Classic, and La Porte.
Note: All career coaching win totals are from the Cal-Hi Sports State Boys Basketball Coaching Leaders list.