Thoughts on Thursday’s CIF basketball finals

Wow. What a couple of games at Colony High School on Thursday night. First, La Verne Lutheran stayed undefeated with a thrilling 57-56 win over West Hollywood Pacific Hills in the V-AA game. Then Patriot held on to beat Jurupa Valley 49-46 in the IV-AA game.

Two great games with great atmosphere for both. However…

Colony High School, in its second year hosting CIF championship basketball games, was a great place for the V-AA final. The crowd wasn’t overwhelmed by a large college gym. It was a little too small for Jurupa Valley-Patriot.

First, Jurupa Valley and Patriot are in the same district, are very close to Colony and are much larger schools. They are not Division IV schools in size ( I think they’re Division II). The Sunkist League was moved to IV-AA last year because schools had little success in higher divisions. Apparently, upwards of 200 or more fans were turned away because the gym was already at capacity, which is a shame. And until the Lutheran-Pacific Hills crowd let out, several hundred Jurupa-Patriot fans were kept in the lobby of the Colony gym because there was no room for them inside.

Colony (or Los Osos, which has the same gym design) is a great place for CIF championship games. But for schools the size of Jurupa Valley and Patriot, it’s inadequate.

I was also underwhelmed by some of the sportsmanship I saw Thursday, especially from Patriot fans. Booing the opposing cheerleaders during halftime and then cheering when they made a mistake was pretty classless. Maybe there was similar stuff from Jurupa fans, but I didn’t see it. I give kudos to the Jurupa cheerleaders, who didn’t have music for their halftime routine, had to deal with Patriot fans, and still got the job done.