The Heritage Lady Patriots are riding a historic basketball season, and are looking to finish off this season, not only atop the Inland Valley League standings, but with one of their best overall records ever. After getting word that Vista del Lago has had to forfeit their final games, Heritage currently sits at 5-1 in the Inland Valley League and are 17-4 with 2 regular season games to go.

Head coach Deanna Meijer is in her fifth year as the head coach and is no stranger to going to the playoffs with her squads, but they have never gotten past the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Twice the Lady Patriots have gotten as close to a third-place finish in league play, so finally nailing down a title is absolutely in their grasp.

Heritage forward Naya Perez (55) looks to shoot over Elsinore’s Faith Edwards (11) at Heritage High School Valley earlier this season. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

“We hope to finish the regular season at 19-4 before heading into playoffs,” says Meijer.

Not only are the girls getting it done on the court with the best record in school history, but they also have an average GPA of 3.6, so they are handling business in the classroom as well.

“This team is an incredible group of human beings,” added Meijer. “They represent everything that coaches, teachers, and parents hope for in individuals/students/players/etc. These girls have shown so much resilience, perseverance, dedication, and motivation during such a challenging time in our world. We have overcome obstacles of covid and injuries and continue to be flexible and push through those tough times. I am so proud of this team, and I am excited to see what we will accomplish in the post season.”

Lauren Pagtakhan (15), of Heritage, shoots a jumper over Elsinore forward Aiyanna Boggs (20) during Inland Valley League play last week. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

The regular season will wrap up this week with games against Canyon Springs and Elsinore, who Heritage has already gotten wins over. Moreno Valley handed the Lady Patriots their only loss this season and the two split their league games, so things are surely to get exciting this week. The CIF Southern Section playoff brackets will be released Tuesday, Feb. 8, at noon. Brackets can be found at

JP Raineri can be reached by email at