Eisenhower comes up short in Torrey Pines final

Here’s is correspondent Tim Scott’s story on Eisenhower boys basketball’s game in the championship game of the Torrey Pines Tournament from Tuesday that was too late to get into Wednesday’s paper.


By Tim Scott
SAN DIEGO — After a Creighton-like run to the championship game of
the Maxpreps Holiday Classic, the Eisenhower High School boys
basketball team bowed out with a 58-54 loss to Bellevue (Wash.) on
Tuesday night at Torrey Pines High School.
Creighton, of course, is the college standout guard Andrew Bock has
committed to play for next season. The Blue Jays have scored their
share of upsets in March’s NCAA Tournament, and Bock’s high school
team from Rialto toppled plenty of high profile sides at Torrey Pines.
Playing in the tournament’s top National Division, Eisenhower
defeated a Rocklin team which is sending its best player, 6-foot-10
Brendan Lane, to UCLA, and notched a semifinal victory over a San
Diego side featuring Louisville-bound Jeremy Tyler, another 6-foot-10
The Eagles don’t have a player over 6-foot-4 on their roster, but it
didn’t show, even in the final against Bellevue, which featured a
talented frontline duo of 6-foot-7 Colton Christian and 6-foot-5 Alex
Schrempf, the son of former NBA standout Detlef Schrempf.
Trailing 24-20 at the half, the Eagles (11-2) rallied back with a
23-13 third-quarter surge that put them ahead by six going into the
fourth quarter. Eisenhower held a five-point advantage with 3:10
remaining, before Bellevue (9-1) began its late-game push.
The high-low offense Bellevue had been running throughout the night
looked better in the last two minutes that at any other point, as
Christian found Matt Olson underneath for an easy lay-in to tie
things up at 54-all with just 1:30 left.
Free-throw shooting, an Eagles strong suit after they made 10 of
their first 11 on Tuesday, finally hurt Eisenhower when Bock couldn’t
convert the front end of a one-and-one situation.
Bellevue countered with more high-low action, as Christian found
Schrempf for an easy lay-up this time, giving the Wolverines a
two-point edge.
Eisenhower missed a 3-pointer on its end, then caught a break when
officials waved off a Bellevue put-back that would’ve spread the
margin to four with less than 20 seconds remaining. After a few tense
timeouts, when Eisenhower had trouble inbounding the ball, Bock drove
the length of the court but watched his runner along the right side
of the lane come up short.
Aaron Bright, the opposite side of a good point-guard battle all
night with Bock, made two free throws to seal the outcome.
Bock,an all-tournament selection, finished with nine points, tying
for team-high honors with his brother, Bryan. Kirby Gardner and Alex
Varner had eight points each. Bright led Bellevue with 18 points,
while Christian and Schrempf had 15 points each.

Ayala Best of the West scores Day 4

Tuesday’s scores from the Ayala Best of the West girls basketball tournament, Day 4

Elite Division
Cajon 69, Pacific Hills 41
Summit 63, Beverly Hills 50
Fifth place semifinals
Marlborough 61, Colony 55
Diamond Ranch 60, St. Paul 52
9th place semifinals
Perris 57, Corona Santiago 51
Chatsworth 68, Ayala 63 (OT)
13th place semifinals
Chaparral def. Great Oak
Muir def. Rancho Cucamonga
Consolation semifinals
Inglewood 46, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 36
Knight 54, Bishop Montgomery 51
21st place semifinals
Bishop Amat 52, Chino Hills 48
Vista Murrieta 76, Blair 54
25th place semifinals
St. Mary’s 69, Monrovia 43
Taft 69, Westchester 38
29th place semifinals
Mark Keppel 46, Palmdale 28
Long Beach Wilson 72, Kaiser 31

Today’s Games
Elite Division
At Ayala HS
Cajon vs. Summit, 7:30 p.m.
Third place
Pacific Hills vs. Beverly Hills, 6 p.m.
Fifth place
Marlborough vs. Diamond Ranch, 1:30 p.m.
Seventh place
Colony vs. St. Paul, noon
9th place
Perris vs. Chatsworth, 4:30 p.m.
11th place
Ayala vs. Corona Santiago, 9 a.m.
13th place
Great Oak vs. Muir, 10:30 a.m.
15th place
Chaparral vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 7:30 a.m.
Consolation championship
Inglewood vs. Knight, 3 p.m.
At Chino Hills HS
21st place
Bishop Amat vs. Vista Murrieta, 3 p.m.
23rd place
Chino Hills vs. Blair, 1:30 p.m.
25th place
St. Mary’s vs. Taft, 7:30 a.m.
27th place
Monrovia vs. Westchester, 10:30 a.m.
29th place
Mark Keppel vs. Long Beach Wilson, noon
31st place
Palmdale vs. TBA, 9 a.m.
At Ganesha HS
19th place
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame vs. Bishop Montgomery, 6 p.m.
Open Division
At Ganesha HS
Miller vs. Chaffey, 7:30 a.m.
Walnut/Channel Islands loser vs. Ganesha, 9 a.m.
Walnut/Channel Islands winner vs. Jurupa Valley, 10:30 a.m.
Corona Centennial vs. St. Monica/Alta Loma loser, noon
Alta Loma/St. Monica winner vs. TBA, 1:30 p.m.
Riverside Poly/Crescenta Valley loser vs. Pasadena, 3 p.m.
Riverside Poly/Crescenta Valley winner vs. JSerra, 4:30 p.m.

Ike boys advance to Torrey Pines championship

Andrew Bock made six 3-pointers and scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half as the Eisenhower high school boys basketball team downed San Diego 67-58 in the semifinals of the Maxpreps Holiday Prep Classic National Division on Monday night at Torrey Pines High School.
Eisenhower, ranked No. 11 in California by maxpreps.com, will play Bellevue (Wash.), ranked No. 4 in its state, for the championship Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. at Torrey Pines. Eisenhower has played in the prestigious tournament several times before, in various divisions, but this is the first time Eisenhower has made the top National Division championship game.
The Eagles pulled away by outscoring the Cavers (5-2) 15-9 in the fourth quarter.
Eisenhower (11-1) was facing San Diego’s 6-foot-10 junior Jeremy Tyler, a Louisville commit who is considered as one of the top 10 juniors in the nation by several scouting services.
After Tyler scored 41 points in each of the first two games of the tournament, Eisenhower limited him to 33 on Monday.
“We had two or three guys on him the whole time,” Eisenhower coach Steve Johnson said. “He is going to be a top pick in the NBA. He’s very talented. The best player we’ve faced this year.”
Johnson said the atmosphere at Torrey Pines was unlike any he had seen with fans clamoring to see Tyler.
“I’ve never seen a crowd at a tournament like this,” he said. “They had to keep people out.”
Andrew Bock also had six assists and his brother, Bryan Bock, made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points and Bernard Ireland had nine points and five assists for the Eagles.

Ayala Best of the West scores Day 3

Here are results from the Ayala Best of the West girls basketball tournament, Day 3 (Monday) Elite Division

Note: I don’t have all results

  • Quarterfinals:
  • Cajon 72, Marlborough 54
  • Pacific Hills 62, Colony 60
  • Summit 57, St. Paul 54
  • Beverly Hills 61, Diamond Ranch 47


  • Corona Santiago 68, Chaparral 41
  • Chatsworth 55, Muir 50
  • Perris 63. Great Oak 60
  • Ayala 58, Rancho Cucamonga 35
  • Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 47, Bishop Amat 39
  • Inglewood 63, Chino Hills 45
  • Blair vs. Bishop Montgomery
  • Knight vs. Vista Murrieta
  • St. Mary’s 52, Mark Keppel 44
  • Monrovia 51, Palmdale 39
  • Taft 58, Kaiser 12
  • Westchester 59, Long Beach Wilson 53

Tuesday’s schedule:

Semifinals at Ayala HS

  • Cajon vs. Pacific Hills, 6 p.m.
  • Summit vs. Beverly Hills, 7:30 p.m.

Other games at Ayala HS

  • Great Oak vs. Chaparral, 9 a.m.
  • Muir vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 10:30 a.m.
  • Perris vs. Corona Santiago, noon
  • Chatsworth vs. Ayala, 1:30 p.m.
  • Marlborough vs. Colony, 3 p.m.
  • St. Paul vs. Diamond Ranch, 4:30 p.m.

Consolation bracket at Chino Hills HS

  • Keppel vs. Palmdale, 9 a.m.
  • Kaiser vs. Long Beach Wilson, 10:30 a.m,
  • St. Mary’s vs. Monrovia, noon
  • Taft vs. Westchester, 1:30 p.m.
  • Bishop Amat vs. Chino Hills, 3 p.m.
  • Blair/Bishop Montgomery loser vs. Knight/Vista Murrieta loser, 4:30 p.m.
  • Sherman Oaks Notre Dame vs. Inglewood, 6 p.m.
  • Blair/Bishop Montgomery winner vs. Knight/Vista Murrieta winner, 7:30 p.m.

Best of the West Day 2 results

Here are the results for Saturday from the Ayala Best of the West high school girls basketball tournament, day 2, Elite Division

Championship bracket

At Ayala HS

  • Cajon 70, Great Oak 43
  • Marlborough 54, Perris 50
  • Pacific Hills 50, Corona Santiago 41
  • Colony 56, Chaparral 41
  • Summit 60, Chatsworth 38
  • St. Paul 42, Muir 39
  • Diamond Ranch 48, Rancho Cucamonga 46
  • Beverly Hills 59, Ayala 54

Consolation bracket

At Chino Hills HS

  •  Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 49, Mark Keppel 47
  • Bishop Amat 67, St. Mary’s 62
  • Inglewood 63, Palmdale 26
  • Chino Hills 42, Monrovia 39
  • Blair 66, Kaiser 25
  • Bishop Montgomery 53, Taft 51
  • Knight 45, Long Beach Wilson 38
  • Vista Murrieta 58, Westchester 51

Either Ayala coach Mel Sims did a poor job of seeding for the tournament, or it’s a really deep tournament. Maybe a combination of both. Five of the eight seeded teams have lost by the second round. Only Cajon, Colony and Marlborough remain. Chatsworth, Muir, Corona Santiago, Rancho Cucamonga and Ayala are out.

Monday’s Games


at Ayala HS

  • Cajon vs. Los Angeles Marlborough, 3 p.m.
  • Pacific Hills vs. Colony, 4:30 p.m.
  • Summit vs. St. Paul, 6 p.m.
  • Diamond Ranch vs. Beverly Hills, 7:30 p.m.

NInth place quarterfinals

at Ayala HS

  • Great Oak vs. Perris, 9 a.m.
  • Corona Santiago vs. Chaparral, 10:30 a.m.
  • Chatsworth vs. Muir, noon
  • Rancho Cucamonga vs. Ayala, 1:30 p.m.

Consolation quarterfinals

at Chino Hills HS

  • Sherman Oaks Notre Dame vs. Bishop Amat, 3 p.m.
  • Inglewood vs. Chino HIlls, 4:30 p.m.
  • Blair vs. Bishop Montgomery, 6 p.m.
  • Knight vs. Vista Murrieta, 7:30 p.m.

25th place quarterfinals

at Chino Hills HS

  • Mark Keppel vs. St. Mary’s, 9 a.m.
  • Palmdale vs. Monrovia, 10:30 a.m.
  • Kaiser vs. Taft, noon
  • Long Beach Wilson vs. Westchester, 1:30 p.m.

First day Ayala Tournament scores

First day results of Ayala Best of the West girls basketball Tournament, Elite Division, and today’s schedule:

Friday’s results:

Cajon 52, Alhambra Mark Keppel 40
Temecula Great Oak 54, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 36
Perris 79, La Puente Bishop Amat 74
Los Angeles Marlborough 60, Inglewood St. Mary’s 54
Corona Santiago def. Palmdale

West Hollywood Pacific Hills 48, Inglewood 44

Temecula Chaparral 61, Chino Hills 48
Colony 86, Monrovia 51
Chatsworth 73, Kaiser 19

Summit 73, Pasadena Blair 43
Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 62, Woodland Hills Taft 60
Pasadena Muir 52, Torrance Bishop Montgomery 44

Rancho Cucamonga 58, Long Beach Wilson 50
Diamond Ranch 60, Palmdale Knight 47
Beverly Hills 56, Vista Murrieta 53
Ayala 68, Los Angeles Westchester 29

Saturday’s schedule

Championship bracket, all games at Ayala HS

Cajon vs. Great Oak, 4:30 p.m.

Perris vs. Marlborough, 3 p.m.

Corona Santiago vs. Pacific Hills, 9 a.m.

Chaparral vs. Colony, 10:30 a.m.

Chatsworth vs. Summit, noon

St. Paul vs. Muir, 1:30 p.m.

Rancho Cucamonga vs. Diamond Ranch, 7:30 p.m.

Ayala vs. Beverly Hills, 6 p.m.


tough calls for all-Inland Valley volleyball

The all-Inland Valley volleyball came out on Christmas Eve, and as usual, there were some tough decisions to be made.

The truth is, the player of the year consideration came down to just two players: Los Osos’ Tara Roenicke, who won, and Upland’s Kylie McLogan. Either would’ve been worthy winners.

I feel good about Upland Christian’s Doug Porterfield earning Coach of the Year honors, especially after what he and his team went through to get to the semifinals.  But it seemed that everywhere you turned, there was a coach deserving of consideration. And that bodes well for the future of Inland Valley volleyball.

Here are some other worthy candidates, in no particular order:

John McGaha, Ganesha — Has steadily turned around a struggling program that is far from a traditiional power, earning a share of the Valle Vista League title and a spot in the CIF-SS quarterfinals.

Jack Coberly, Vivian Webb — No one really thought much about Vivian Webb volleyball until Coberly, father of former Bonita coach Morgan Coberly, took over this year and got the Gauls all the way to the quarterfinals after playing in a wild-card match.

Chelsea Veldman, Ontario — It had been a long time since Ontario won a league title and now Veldman’s led the Jaguars to back-to-back crowns.

Scott Robertson, Upland — With a senior-dominated team, Upland was supposed to be good yet again in 2008. The Highlanders stumbled in the first round against Los Osos for their first league loss in seven years, but still kept its decade-long streak of winning the Baseline League when they could’ve folded.

Becky Bevans, Diamond Bar — Bevans has been at Diamond Bar for a long time, but the Brahmas have generally been only an afterthought for the Sierra League title, behind teams with more recent success like Ayala, St. Lucy’s and Glendora. Yet it was a pregnant Bevans who led the Brahmas to a share of the league title with St. Lucy’s.


Former Quakes pitching coach Dave Smith passes

Dave Smith, a former All-Star closer who holds the Houston Astros record for games pitched, died Wednesday. He was 53.
Former big leaguer and Quakes manager Tim Flannery said Smith apparently died of a heart attack, but the official cause of death wasn’t known.
“He’s gone. My tears are the rain,” Flannery, the San Francisco Giants third base coach, told The Associated Press.
Smith was the Quakes pitching coach in 1997, although he did not work with Flannery in Rancho Cucamonga.
That year, in 1997, the Quakes had their third-best team ERA in their 16-year history, and set a club record with 12 shutouts. That team also went 77-63 and made the playoffs. Future big-leaguer Matt Clement was part of that pitching staff.
I covered the Quakes some that year, and recall Smith as a well-respected, well-liked coach who was approachable by the players.
A woman who answered the phone at the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said the body of a man named David Smith, with a date of birth matching that of the big league pitcher, was brought into her office earlier in the evening. The woman said she could not give her name.
Smith was an All-Star with Houston in 1986 and 1990, and had 216 saves in a 13-year career. He played with Houston from 1980-90 before finishing his career with two seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
His 563 outings with the Astros is tops on the club’s list, and his 199 saves ranks second.
“The Houston Astros are shocked and saddened,” the team said in a statement Thursday. “Dave was an integral part of the club for 11 seasons and will be remembered as an All-Star reliever on the field but most notably as a valued leader, teammate, and friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Flannery said he spent time Wednesday afternoon with members of the Smith family in northern San Diego County. Flannery and Smith worked together on the San Diego Padres’ coaching staff from 1999 until Smith resigned in June 2001 to spend more time with his family. Smith missed the first month of the 2001 season to complete an alcohol rehabilitation program.
“He was the most giving, unconditionally compassionate man anyone ever came across,” Flannery said. “Everybody’s got Dave Smith stories. Usually it’s him reaching into his pocket and pulling out $100 to give to someone selling newspapers for a quarter.
“Going back to his playing days, he was one of the great closers and a fierce competitor,” Flannery said. “He also had a zest for life; reckless abandon at times. He’s gone at 53. He earned every moment of his life. He packed a lot into it.”
Former teammate Joe Sambito said Smith’s personality stood out.
“He was a good guy. He was a really good guy,” said Sambito, who played with Smith in the early 1980s.
“You just remain close to them,” Sambito said about fellow relievers.
“It is with great sadness that the San Diego community learned that it has not only lost a great baseball man, but a great friend to so many of us here,” Padres general manager Kevin Towers said in a statement. “He was an integral part of the Padres for many years, as a minor league instructor and coach and later as our major league pitching coach.”
Flannery said services were pending, but added that he and other surfers plan to paddle out onto the Pacific Ocean to spread Smith’s ashes across the water.
“That was what he asked. That is what surfers do,” Flannery said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

All-CIF water polo is released

All-CIF water polo was released on Monday, here are the divisions that have area teams (although not all of these divisions have area players selected).

All CIF-SS Teams
Player of the year:
Ely Bonilla, Jr., Montebello
Coach of the year: Kenny Clements, Montebello
First team: Arturo Villalpando, Sr., Montebello; Erik Gonzalez, Jr., Montebello; Jonathan Ruiz, Jr., Montebello; Dylan Baliani Sr., Murrieta Valley; Matthew Puig, Sr., Murrieta Valley; Brian Donohoe, Sr., Damien; Eric Osterberg, So., Damien; David Purington, Jr., Damien; Victor Alcone, Sr., Laguna Beach; Nolan McConnell, Fr., Laguna Beach; Andrew Heine, Sr., G, Redlands; Lexie Coliflores, Jr., Temescal Canyon; Trevor Sprague, Sr., Chaparral.
Second team: Raymond Torres, Jr., Montebello; Trent Virgil, So., Murrieta Valley; Cody Wetherbee, So., Murrieta Valley; Jantz Johnson, So., Murrieta Valley; Walker Shockley, Jr., G, Damien; Johnny Beal, So., Damien; Preston Head, Sr., Laguna Beach; Brett Thompson, Sr., Laguna Beach; Matt Hanson, Sr., Redlands; Trevor Heglund, Sr., Temescal Canyon; Shane Leverson, Sr., Chaparral; Garrett Womack, Sr., Redlands East Valley; Josh Thomasson, Jr., Ayala.
Third team:
David Brunner, Jr., Laguna Beach; Joe Barich, Jr., Redlands; Danny Anderson, Sr., Redlands; Matt Henry, Sr., Temescal Canyon; Chris Thatcher, Sr., Temescal Canyon; Kody Moffatt, Jr., Chaparral; Chauncey Lockwood, Sr., Redlands East Valley; Brandon Faust, Sr., Redlands East Valley; Greg Merrill, Sr., Great Oak; Tyler Grupp, Sr., Ayala; Trevor Hoyt, Sr., Yucaipa; Brian Haney, Sr., Yucaipa; Eric Dyer, Fr., Redlands.
Player of the year: Patrick Kelleher, Sr., Los Osos
Coaches of the year: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
First team:
Josh Stedman, Jr., Troy; Tyler Plueger, Sr., La Serna; Dejan Novakovic, Sr., Palm Desert; Mike Wong, Sr., Los Osos; Sean Evans, So., Los Osos; Wade Bible, Jr., Los Osos; Keegan Condon, Sr., Troy; Dillon Walker, Sr., Palm Desert; Ven Matskin, Sr., G, Santa Monica; Zach White, Sr., Santa Monica; Matt Valdes, Sr., La Serna; Thomas Porter, Sr., Buena Park; James Owen, Sr., Arlington.
Second team: Wyatt Woodward, Jr., Palm Springs; Clark Berry, Jr., G, Troy; Wes Lauchner, Sr., Palm Desert; Shane LaFortune, Sr., Buena Park; Joe Lamson, Jr., G, Bonita; Alec Williams, So., Bonita; Beau Blacksten, Jr., El Segundo; Riley Green, Sr., Troy; Ryan Molina, Jr., Los Osos; Marc Vanderweidt, So., Santa Monica; Eduardo Navarrete, So., Santa Monica; Jonathan Behzadian, Jr., Arlington; Jesus Barrera, Sr., Buena Park.
Third team: Jeffery Ra, Sr., Buena Park; Kurt DeWitt, Sr., Palm Springs; J.P. Aguirre, Sr., El Rancho; Luke Perryman, Sr., G, Beaumont; Mark Moore, Sr., Palm Desert; Taylor Jackson, Jr., G, Upland; Ryan Neremberg, Sr., Beaumont; Aaron Valdes, So., La Serna; Terry Zikov, So., Palm Desert; Spencer Contreras, Sr., Troy; Lynden Williams, Sr., Arlington; Ryan McDonald, Sr., Torrance; Ryley Moore, Sr., Claremont.
Players of the year:
Tristan Winterhalter, Sr., Crescenta Valley and Danny White, Sr., Rio Mesa.
Co-coaches of the year: Jan Sakonju, Crescenta Valley and Derrick Timmons, Rio Mesa
First team: Nelson White, Sr., Crescenta Valley; Tommy Gilfillan, Sr., Pasadena Poly; Rane Colvin, So., G, Crescenta Valley; Cody Womack, Sr., G, Rio Mesa; Nick Tomaselio, Jr., Rio Mesa; Chandler Telleur, Jr., Webb; Joshua Yu, Sr., G, Walnut; Brian McSweeny, Sr., La Salle; Kurt Burchbinder, Jr., Chadwick; Matthew Morales, Sr., Walnut; Nick Grover, Jr., Pasadena Poly; Max Grosshans, Sr., Oxnard.
Second team: Chris Sazo, Jr., Webb; Danny Mock, Sr., Crescenta Valley; Zack Began, Jr., Rio Mesa; Andrew Gallegos, Sr., Rowland; Chris Veselich, Jr., Crescenta Valley; Steven Garcia, Sr., Walnut; Graham Nesbit, So., Pasadena Poly; Bryce Small, Sr., Santa Ynez; Gor Asryan, So., Glendale; Kyle Eckhart, Sr., Oxnard; Hagop Kaplanyan, Fr., Hoover; Nate Nix, Sr., Oxnard Pacifica; Lucas Villa, So., Rio Mesa.
Third team: Matt Saeta, So., G, Pasadena Poly; Michael Langendoen, Sr., Arcadia; Cameron Nockasone, Sr., Walnut; Scott Phillips, Sr., Webb; Matty Gallas, Fr., Chadwick; Ben Davis, So., Webb; Vahe Karimian, Sr., Glendale; Tyler Watkins, Sr., Rowland; Cameron Neely, So., Oxnard Pacifica; Stanford Nash, Sr., Santa Ynez; Justin Liu, Sr., Pasadena Poly; Chris Harlin, Sr., Oxnard, Steve Sinclair, Jr., G, Chadwick.
Player of the year:
Dillon Avila, Jr., Katella.
Coach of the year: Grafton Weiss, Katella.
First team: Damon Chandler, Sr., Western; Anthony Diaz, Sr., Los Amigos; Billy Fleming, Sr., Hemet; Jessie Gunther, Sr., Perris; Brad Jergensen, Sr., Hemet; Wyatt Kirschner, Sr., Perris; Chris Meis, Sr., Cypress; David Montanez, Jr., Katella; Dylan Peterson, So., Katella; Kevin Seybert, Sr., Cypress; Dario Torres Sr., Los Amigos; Sean Wright, Sr., Western.
Second team: Jordan Brown, Jr., Hemet; Ben Burnett, Jr., Katella; Agui Estrada, Sr., Los Amigos; Tim Frank, Sr., Rancho Alamitos; Anthony Freyre, Sr., Cypress; Enrico Hidalgo, Jr., Kennedy; Sebastian Lucar, Sr., Western; Fernando Monjaras, Jr., Santa Ana Valley; Ryan Munton, So., Perris; Marcus Schlessinger, Sr., Perris; Kriby Shields, Jr., Cypress; Denny Taylor, Jr., Katella; Dallas Thueringer, Sr., Hemet.
Third team: Kevin Archambault, Sr., Hemet; Aaron Banhidy, Jr., Savanna; Denis Burlakov, Sr., Rancho Alamitos; Jesus Chavez, Sr., Santa Ana Valley; Chris Drake, Sr., Placentia Valencia; Juan Franco, Sr., Western; Aaron Fujimori, Sr., Rancho Alamitos; Josh Keenan, Sr., Garden Grove; Jeff Mizrahi, Jr., Cypress; Trung Nguyen, Sr., Los Amigos; Paul Olalde, Sr., Perris; Alberto Vargas, Jr., Santa Ana Valley; Joe Wieland, Sr., Placentia Valencia.

Diamond Ranch represents well

Although a disappointing end to the season in Friday’s 30-14 loss in the Southeast Division final to Covina Charter Oak, Diamond Ranch has nothing to be ashamed of.

Charter Oak was the better team, to be sure, and Diamond Ranch played tough. Diamond Ranch needed a little more out of its passing game (protection for QB Gus Viramontes, and more completions), although Charter Oak’s defense was solid in terms of pressuring the QB and pass defense.

RB Brian Spirlin, who I had seen several times earlier this year, impressed me again. With a scout from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in attendance, Spirlin ripped off a 71-yard run in his 18-carry, 161-yard performance. But it was a three-yard run earlier in the second half that impressed me as well, when Spirlin basically threw aside a would-be tackler.

They hit hard, they played hard. They needed to play a nearly perfect game to beat Charter Oak. Diamond Ranch would’ve been helped by recovering any of Charter Oak’s three fumbles, and not turning the ball over twice itself.

Charter Oak had an advantage in special teams. Diamond Ranch WR/KR JoJo Curiel a playmaker in the passing game and kick return game, didn’t get many chances. He returned a kickoff 46 yards in the first quarter, but had little room to run otherwise and Diamond Ranch’s field position suffered.

Here were Diamond Ranch’s kick returns in the second half: kickoff in end zone, 3-yard punt return, kickoff in end zone, 0 yard punt return, 0-yard punt return, 15-yard kickoff return. Not much help there. Charter Oak played well, especially in the second half.