Malik Fitts is one of the key players for a Damien team prepping to play for a title.
Here is the complete schedule for CIF state championship games this weekend at Cal-Berkeley:
10 a.m. – Division V Girls: La Jolla Country Day vs Eastside College Prep
Noon – Division V Boys: Sierra Canyon vs University (San Francisco)
2 – Division III Girls: Brea Olinda vs Bishop O’Dowd
4 – Division III Boys: Damien vs Campolindo
6 – Division I Girls: Serra vs McClatchy
8 – Division I Boys: Chino Hills vs San Ramon Valley
10 – Division IV Girls: Sierra Canyon vs Brookside Christian
Noon – Division IV Boys: Crespi vs Capital Christian
2 – Division II Girls: Mark Keppel vs Archbishop Mitty
4 – Division II Boys: La Mirada vs Archbishop Mitty
6 – Open Division Girls: Mater Dei vs St. Mary’s (Stockton)
8 – Open Division Boys: Mater Dei vs Bishop O’Dowd
Damien coach Matt Dunn talks about how the Baseline prepared his team for the title run.
There are some strong leagues in Southern California when it comes to boys basketball. But it is the Baseline League looking like the best of all of them.
Not one, but two teams will be going for state championships this weekend as Damien takes on Campolindo for the Division 3 title at 4 p.m. Friday at Haas Pavilion at Cal-Berkeley.
Later in the day Chino Hills faces San Ramon Valley at 8 in the Division 1 final.
There easily could have been a third team in Etiwanda which competed with the elite of the elite in the Open Division and stayed in the Open for the state portion of the playoffs. The Eagles got to the semifinal before losing to LA Fairfax. It is the Eagles who boasted a rare win over Mater Dei AT Mater Dei in the CIF Southern Section.
The Baseline League was one of three leagues that got three teams into the Open Division for the Southern Section playoffs. The other two were the Trinity League (Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, Orange Lutheran) and the Del Ray (Cathedral, Bishop Montgomery, Cantwell Sacred Heart).
But to have two get to the final and another make the open semifinal, well that’s quite a feat.
All three local teams have something in common. They played very tough -schedules. They also had the benefit of great league games. So they’re battle tested. That has to be a factor in them advancing this far and playing in to April. Well, within a few days of April anyway.
We in the Inland Empire have always known how good the talent is here. This just might be what it takes for those outside out own little bubble to recognize it.
Amy Armstrong of Alta Loma wanted to stay close to home for college and she was lucky to find a premier program in commuter distance.
The 6-foot-1 middle blocker has committed to Cal State San Bernardino a dominant competitor in the California Collegiate Athletic Conference and a figure on the national scene under veteran coach Kim Cherniss.
It is a perfect fit.
Cherniss and assistant Danny Scott have done an outstanding job of developing players at the middle blocker position and have churned out several All-Americans there. They had two there last year in Tori May and Brenna McIntosh. May has graduated while McIntosh will be a senior.
Cherniss has also been good at maintaining a local presence on her roster. Yes she’ll go out and get that top recruit from elsewhere but there are always local players on her roster as well.
Armstrong was a key player for a Braves team that is coming off its best season in school history. Alta Loma (36-3) easily won the Mt. Baldy League and cruised to a Southern Section title. They went on to the state playoffs and marched all the way to the state title game before being dealt a 3-2 loss.
Armstrong, a first-team Mt. Baldy League selection, registered 171 kills and a team-high 109 blocks.
She was also considering Cal State East Bay and New Mexico-Highlands, both Division II schools.
Ganesha football standout Albert Henry has decided to continue his playing career at the University of Redlands.
Henry, a 5-foot-10, 230-pounder, excelled at both running back and linebacker for the Giants, earning second team All-Miramonte League honors.
Ganesha coach Don Cayer says his player was looking to stay in Southern California.
The University of Redlands has always boasted one of the better programs in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). The Bulldogs were 6-3 overall, 6-1 and second place in the conference.
San Dimas coach Mike Regan talks about his team.
Division 1 - JSerra; 2. Dana Hills; 3. Millikan; 4. Edison; 5. Harvard-Westlake; 6. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame; 7. El Toro; 8. Alemany; 9. Murrieta Valley; 10. Vista Murrieta.
Division 2 - 1. San Clemente; 2. Gahr; 3. Upland; 4. South Hills; 5. Glendora; 6. Ayala; 7. Crescenta Valley; 8. Camarillo; 9. Villa Park; 10. Oxnard.
Division 3 – 1. San Dimas; 2. Temescal Canyon; 3. Beckman; 4. Corona del Mar; 5. Palm Desert; 6. Mira Costa; 7. Paso Robles; 8. Redondo Union; 9. La Salle; 10. Coachella Valley.
Division 4 - 1. California; 2. West Torrance; 3. Alta Loma; 4. Sonora; 5. Alhambra; 6. South Torrance; 7. El Rancho; 8. Oak Hills; 9. Don Lugo; 10. Ramona.
Division 5 - 1. Santa Ynez; 2. Sierra Canyon; 3. Monrovia; 4. Village Chr.; 5. West Valley; 6. Maranatha; 7. Citrus Hill; 8. Temple City; 9. Whittier Chr.; 10. Capistrano Valley.
Division 6 - 1. Crean Lutheran; 2. Lanacaster Desert Chr.; 3. Pasadena Poly; 4. Desert Chr. Aca.; 5. Sage Hill; 6. Fillmore; 7. St. Genevieve; 8. St. Anthony; 9. Oxford Aca.; 10. Calavry Murrieta.
Division 7 - 1. Riverside Prep; 2. Excelsior Charter; 3. Santa Clarita Chr.; 4. Animo Leadership; 5. Rolling Hills; 6. Tarbu V’Torah; 7. New Roads; 8. Avalon; 9. Hillcrest; 10. Trinity Classical.
Division 1 - 1. Orange Lutheran; 2. Corona Santiago; 3. Los Osos; 4. Saugus; 5. Norco; 6. Huntington Beach; 7. West Ranch; 8. Anaheim Canyon; 9. Upland; 10. Cypress.
Division 2 - Mission Viejo; 2. Yucaipa; 3. Fullerton; 4. Oaks Christian; 5. Dana Hills; 6. Cajon; 7. Troy; 8. South Hills; 9. Foothill; 10. Brea Olinda.
Division 3 - 1. Redondo Union; 2. La Serna; 3. San Clemente; 4. Burbank; 5. St. Paul; 6. Montclair; 7. Bishop Amat; 8. Gahr; 9. Mayfair; 10. Burbank Burroughs.
Division 4 - 1. Santa Ana; 2. Highland; 3. North Torrance; 4. Torrance; 5. Ocean View; 7. Aquinas; 8. South Torrance; 9. Apple Valley; 10. Ventura.
Division 5- 1. La Reina; 2. San Dimas; 3. St. Bonaventure; 4. Edgewood; 5. Lompoc Cabrillo; 6. Silverado; 7. Mary Star of the Sea; 8. Sierra Vista; 9. Schurr; 10. Pomona Catholic.
Division 6 - 1. Savanna; 2. Paraclete; 3. Boron; 4. Shadow Hills; 5. Vasquez; 6. Chadwick; 7. Yucca Valley; 8. Bloomington Chr.; 9. Sierra Canyon; 10. Oxford.
Division 7 - 1. ACE; 2. Grace Brethren; 3. Rolling Hills; 4. Faith Baptist; 5. Santa Clara; 6. University; 7. Animo Leadership; 8. Santa Clarita Chr.; 9. Archer; 10. Providence.
Senior third baseman Niko Navarro of Los Osos has been names Cal-Hi Sports Southern California Baseball Player of the Week.
Navarro, who has committed to San Diego State, is coming off a monster game against Baseline League foe Etiwanda.
He went 4-for-5 on the day with six RBI. Included in that showing were three home runs, his first three of the season.
He is hitting .476 through the first seven games of the season for the Grizzlies.
Junior Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills and senior Jeremy Hemsley of Damien have led their respective teams to state tournament championship games. So not surprisingly they have earned special recognition.
Both are among the seven recipients named winners of the John R. Wooden Award for their division. Ball was the honoree in Division 1 while Hemsley is the honoree in Division 3.
They are in select company. Here is the list of those honored:
* Open – Lindsey Drew, Los Angeles Fairfax
* Division I - Lonzo Ball, Chino Hills
* Division II – Chimezie Metu, Lawndale
* Division III – Jeremy Hemsley, Damien
* Division IV - Stephen Thompson Jr., Bishop Montgomery
* Division V - Cody Riley, Sierra Canyon
* Division VI - Roderick Williams, Price
Western Christian boys basketball coach Lester Simpson has resigned, Athletic Director Jose Ramirez confirms.
Simpson headed the program for three years, his teams going 25-43 in that stretch. The best season came in 2013-2014 when the Lancers went 16-7 overall and placed second in the Ambassador League.
The past season was a rebuilding one and the squad went just 1-20.
Ramirez said the position has already been flown inside. It is now open to outside applicants.
Here is the latest CIF poll for all divisions released Monday:
Division 1 - 1. Harvard-Westlake; 2. Los Alamitos; 3. University; 4. San Marino; 5. Peninsula; 6. Beverly Hills; 7. Santa Barbara; 8. Westlake; 9. Palos Verdes; 10 . Beckman.
Division 2 - 1. Santa Margarita; 2. Arcadia; 3. Crescenta Valley; 4. Sage Hill; 5. San Luis Obispo; 6. Arroyo Grande; 7. Diamond Bar; 8. Crean Lutheran; 9. West Ranch; 10. Pasadena Poly.
Division 3 - 1. Anaheim Canyon; 2. Great Oak; 3. Placentia Valencia; 4. Cypress; 5. Cerritos; 6. Troy; 7. Sunny Hills; 8. El Doraado; 9. Long Beach Wilson; 10. ML King.
Division 4 - 1. Laguna Beach; 2. Redlands; 3. Mark Keppel; 4. Maranatha; 5. Buckley; 6. Chino Hills; 7. Covina; 8. Rowland; 9. Rancho Cucamonga; 10. Ocean View
Division 5- 1. Heritage; 2. Beaumont; 3. Rosemead; 4. Bishop Montgomery; 5. Rancho Mirage; 6. Hemet; 7 Arroyo Valley; 8. Oak Hills; 9. Ramona; 10. Alta Loma.