Mt. Baldy League honors: Girls soccer

MVPs: Angela Morales, Soph., Montclair; Brooke Kortekaas, Sr., Alta Loma

First team
Giselle Alvarado, Sr., Chaffey
Kimberly Benner, Don Lugo
Amy Espinosa, Soph., Montclair
Jessica Esquivel, Jr., Colony
Natalie Gallegos, Jr., Ontario
Karla Garcia-Limon, Soph., Montclair
Remy Garland, Alta Loma
Joanna Gavilanes, Jr., Montclair
Rebecca Gonzalez, Sr., Colony
Alex Hargrave. Alta Loma
Alyssa Hargrave, Alta Loma
Dae Lockett, Sr., Colony
Justine Medina, Sr., Montclair
Samantha Nieves, Jr., Ontario
Elizabeth Rivera, Jr., Colony
Caitlin Sanchez, Alta Loma

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Rancho Cucamonga girls soccer earns first league victory of the season

A second half goal by Rancho Cucamonga’s Lauren Perry proved to be the difference in the Cougars’ Baseline League home victory over Los Osos, 2-1.

Devyn Kelsey of the Grizzlies provided the early lead with a goal in the first half but it was Olore Imoohi of the Cougars, who was responsible for tying the game after a successful free kick opportunity.

It was the first league win of the season for Rancho Cucamonga (10-2-2, 1-1-1) while the Grizzlies suffer their third straight league loss.

Baseline League:

  • Olivia Seddon struck first for Chino Hills in the 2-0 victory over Upland with a shot to the upper right corner. Madeleine Tarin added to the lead with a header off an assist from Jessica Miclat.
  • Jordan Tadros had one goal and an assist in the first half for St. Lucy’s in the victory over Etiwanda, 2-1. Tadros was credited for the assist on the goal scored by Nicole Leggio. The only score of the second half came off a penalty kick by the Eagles.

Mt. Baldy League:

  • Brooke Kortekaas scored three goals in the Braves dominant performance over the Jaguars, 11-0, in Mt. Baldy League play. Ashlyn Farino and Diana Pineda contributed to the Braves’ shutout victory with two goals apiece. Allison Brossard, Kastel Heinold, Alex Hargrave and Caitlyn Sanchez also scored in the game.
  • Colony defeated Chaffey, 3-1. Christine Vandenberg, Caeylee Esquivel and Natalie Treto all scored for the Titans in the second half against the Tigers.

Citrus Belt League:

  • Gaby Hinojosa had three goals for Citrus Valley in the 8-0 win over Eisenhower while Valerie Warren added two goals.
  • Johanna Mota scored a pair of goals for Carter in the first over Redlands, 2-0.
  • Marina Medeiros had eight saves for Redlands East Valley in the Citrus Belt League victory over Yucaipa, 3-1. Hailey Montoya, Brenna Dolen and Aly Olsen each scored for the Wildcats.

Sunkist League

  • Bloomington remains undefeated this season following its 6-0 victory over Fontana.


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Alta Loma graduates land collegiate soccer honors

A couple of Alta Loma High School graduates have had quite the start to the collegiate season at San Diego State.

Stacie Moran is the MW Defensive Player of the Week.

Freshman forward Leah Pruitt was named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week, while sophomore Stacie Moran earned Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors.

Pruitt, who broke the Alta Loma single season scoring record and was the Inland Valley Player of the Year as a senior, was a huge factor in both Aztec victories.

In the 6-0 win over she tallied one goal and one assist.

Stacie  Moran

Then at No. 16/17 Kentucky on Sunday, she assisted on both goals to help her team secure the 2-0 victory.

Meanwhile Moran continued her stellar play from a year ago when she was voted to the all-MW second team as a freshman. She started both games and was the only Aztec to play the full 90 minutes in each outing.



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A round of applause for coaches who led their teams to great things

Yesterday’s Top 10 featured the top team performances of the past school year. Now it’s time to highlight the coaches, who don’t get nearly enough credit most of the time.

Naturally many on this list are ones from team’s we spotlighted yesterday. And yes it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10. I also wanted to include some that weren’t obvious choices, so here goes . . .

10. Ben Davies, Alta Loma girls soccer (24-5)
The Braves looked to be a true threat to win a Division 5 CIF title all season. Then star player Leah Pruitt went down with what looked like a season-ending knee injury vs. Montclair on Jan. 28. There was a brief hiccup the next game as the Braves lost to Colony. But they regrouped nicely, even without Pruitt to win the league title. Pruitt amazingly returned vat the end of the season and Alta Loma managed to get to the quarterfinal before losing to Palm Desert 3-0.

9. Jackie Robinson, Los Osos track
The Grizzles took five athletes to the state competition and four of those placed in a total of five events. There were two athletes in the throwing events but the other athletes were all in different events. Versatility indeed.

8. Luis Garcia, Don Lugo football (6-5)
This one might surprise people but the Conquistadores weren’t on anyone’s radar. They haven’t been good – 3-7 in 2013 and I picked them last this year. Well they went 6-4 under a first-year coach and were third in the Mt. Baldy. Only a 9-7 loss to Chaffey kept them out of second. The Conquistadores turned in an admirable performance in the playoffs, losing to perennial title contender Monrovioa 26-20 in overtime. They also took the Milk Can from local rival Chino which had dominated them as of late.

7. Christine Howard, Colony girls basketball (22-9)
The Titans went all the way to the Division 2A CIF title game before falling to South Torrance 57-56. They were the co-champion in the Mt. Baldy League with Alta Loma, splitting regular season games with the Braves. Colony also got that far with a balanced offense, not relying heavily on any one player.

6. Tishanna Pope, Alta Loma volleyball (36-3)

The Braves had no competition in the Mt. Baldy League so the toughest task for Pope was trying to find a way to keep her team sharp and focused when they didn’t have an equal. Teams that lack competition in the regular season frequently crash and burn in the playoffs – not the Braves who won a CIF title and finished as state runner-up.

5. Jason Schmelzeisen, Chaffey boys  soccer (22-2-5)
The Tigers had a tough task at hand just in Mt. Baldy League play and they finished first, not securing that outright title until a 4-3 overtime win against Ontario the final game of the regular season. That win also came despite playing a man down. Chaffey got to the Division 3 title game before falling to Cathedral 2-0.

4. Randy Bohlmann, Damien volleyball (26-7)
The Spartans won the Division 5 CIF title this season, getting past the quarterfinal for the first time in school history. Bohlmann started the program five years ago so he was the one laying the foundation. Now he is reaping the benefits. The Spartans also did a masterful job of shutting down a marquee player in the CIF title match.

3. Dave Kleckner, Etiwanda boys basketball (24-9)

OK, he’s one that could be on the list every year. And maybe the Eagles didn’t win the Baseline League for the first time in more than a decade. But it was how his team bounced back after that. His team beat both Chino Hills and Damien the second time through league play. It made a run to a CIF final that included a win AT Mater Dei and one over Sierra Canton to whom it lost earlier in the season. The Eagles stayed in the elite Open Division in basketball, losing a SoCal regional semifinal to LA Fairfax.

2. Keith Richardson, Pomona football (11-4)
Richardson had to right the ship and keep his team focused amid numerous distractions, the most notable being the dismissal of the head coach right before the playoffs. Richardson, then the defensive coordinator, took over and did just that. He was officially rewarded with the head coaching position.

1. Matt Dunn, Damien boys basketball (29-5)

The Spartans move from one league into the Baseline, probably the most competitive in all the Southern Section. And they win nine of 10 league games, finishing ahead of Etiwanda and Chino Hills. They lost a second round Open Division CIF game to Orange Lutheran but capitalized on the second chance and won a state title in Division 3 in that portion of the playoffs. A lot of coaches have trouble getting a team up for the state playoffs after a CIF run. No problem here. Some said the Spartans would have been better off in Division 3, a probable easy winner, and not in the Open. Dunn said, “Bring it On.”

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Leah Pruitt sets soccer scoring record at Alta Loma

When Alta Loma High School senior forward Leah Pruitt went down with a knee injury in the Mt. Baldy League opener against Montclair, the Braves were left reeling.

But they recovered and are making a run in the postseason.

Not only that, Pruitt, believed to be lost for the season, came back strong and is leading the charge, putting her name in the school record books as well.

When Pruitt got injured she was one goal shy of the school scoring record of 37 set by Michelle McConnell in the last 90’s.

Pruitt, who returned for the last league game of the season against Don Lugo, tied McConnell with Alta Loma’s lone goal in a 1-0 win in the playoff opener against Northwood.

She had one of her team’s three in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Viewpoint. Her goal was the second of the three and it gave her the record-breaking 38th.

She will have a chance to add to that on Thursday when the Braves take on Palm Desert in a quarterfinal game at 5 p.m. at Chaffey High School.

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Soccer star Leah Pruitt returns to Alta Loma lineup

A month ago Alta Loma girls soccer coach Ben Davies was trying to salvage a season. His team was ranked No. 1 in Division 5 but had lost star player Leah Pruitt to what looked looked like a season-ending knee injury.

The original prognosis was 6 to 8 weeks.

She returned last night and played 37 minutes in the regular season finale won by the Braves 3-0 over Don Lugo.

When she got hurt she was also one goal short of the school’s single season scoring record of 37 goals. She didn’t score yesterday but will probably have a shot at that as the Mt. Baldy League champion Braves (20-4, 8-1) head into the playoffs.

“She felt pretty good and her feet were good,” Davies said. “She as missing some of that explosiveness but that is to be expected.”

Davies admitted the injury might have helped his team in a few ways. Others got significant playing time in her absence so the team is better off for that.

There was a hiccup at first as the Braves lost to Colony the game after Pruitt got hurt. But they regrouped and gained some confidence in winning games without it star after that point.

The Braves slipped two spots in the poll to No. 3 behind La Quinta and Hemet. But they will be a force to reckon with in the postseason.


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Alta Loma’s Kayla Cobbett commits to University of Great Falls

Alta Loma senior Kayla Cobbett has committed to the University of Great Falls over the winter break, where she will continue her soccer career.

Cobbett, who had offers from other programs, took a visit to UGF back in September.

“I was not really interested in the other (programs),” she said. “I liked that the team (at UGF) felt like a family and that their record is getting better and better each year.”

Cobbett expressed that the team’s recent improvement shows how hard they have been working and it was something she was excited to be a part of.

Cobbett knows what improvements she needs to make to her game to compete for a starting spot at the next level.

“I really hope to (play right away at UGF) but if I do not, I will not be afraid to compete for a spot,” she said. “I plan to improve on a lot especially my strength, speed and decision making.”

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Alta Loma girls soccer team could mimic success of volleyball


The Alta Loma girls soccer team is good, really good. It is ranked No. 1 in Division 5 so others outside of the Inland Empire know the talent on that team.

The Braves dropped down from Division 1 to Division 5 since they moved from the competitive Baseline to the not-competitive-at-all Mt. Baldy League. (Why they move entire leagues instead of teams is a worthy debate for another day.)

The Alta Loma volleyball had its best season in school history the past fall, cruising to a league title then winning a Southern Section Division 4AA title just as convincingly.

Then came a run in the state portion of the playoffs. They finished as runner-up, winning the Southern Region and losing to North Region champ Sonora in the state title tilt.

The volleyball team was third in the Baseline last year before making the move but the girls soccer team WAS the Baseline champion a year ago. So its chances to win a Southern Section title  are pretty good. And they dropped all the way to Division 5, rather than 4.

So the biggest task for coach Ben Davies, much like it was for volleyball coach Tishanna Pope,  is to keep his team focused and steadily improving when it is playing inferior competition.

Playing some good non-league foes is a good start. And the Braves played Rancho Cucamonga and Los Osos, among others. That’s good from a competition aspect and good that they have kept the rivalry going.

We’ll see if the Braves can get the ultimate prize just as the volleyball team did. One thing is for sure, its shaping up to be a good year for the school in many sports.


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