Baseline League honors: Boys basketball

Justin and league MVP Jeremy Hemsley talk about state title and playing on the same team.

MVP: Jeremy Hemsley, Sr., Damien

First team
Francisco Alvarez, Sr., Los Osos
Lonzo Ball, Jr., Chino Hills
LiAngelo Ball, Soph., Chino Hills
Kameron Edwards, Sr., Etiwanda
Malik Fitts, Sr., Damien
Tamer Jabsheh, Sr, Rancho Cucamonga
Delewis Johnson, Sr., Etiwanda
Bryce Peters, Jr., Damien
Micah Robinson, Sr., Damien
Braxton Shaw, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
Isaiah White, Jr., Upland

Second team
Bryce Ayers, Sr., Los Osos
Garrett Carter, Jr., Eitwanda
Julian Ducree, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
Blake Fisher, Sr., Rancho Cucamonga
Solomon Hunt, Jr., Upland
Jordan Naughton, Sr., Etiwanda
Jared Nyivih, Sr., Chino Hills
Miles Oliver, Soph., Etiwanda
Andy Torices, Sr., Damien

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Baseline proves to be superior league in boys basketball

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.

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Open Division basketball bids to come out Friday

The CIF will announce the Open Division bids for basketball at 3 p.m. on Friday. There probably won’t be any drama when it comes to what local teams are selected.

The Baseline League teams all play their last game today but those won’t change anything.

Damien (22-3, 8-1) is a shoe-in. The Spartans finished first in the difficult Baseline League and took three of four head-to-head meetings with premier teams in Etiwanda and Chino Hills. That’s reason enough to include them. But they also have some quality wins out of league to bolster their resume.

Etiwanda (19-7, 7-2) finished second to Damien. The Eagles also beat both Chino Hills and Damien the second time through league play after losing the first time to both. Like Damien, Coach Dave Kleckner’s team has played a top-notch schedule.
And heck, they’re Etiwanda. History alone would indicate they’re deserving.

Chino Hills (9-15) will likely end up third in the league. Yes there was a matter of those nine forfeits. But the Huskies had a great run in the Open Division last year, advancing to the final before losing to Mater Dei. They have played national caliber schedule. And they have a marquee attraction in Team Ball. They’re going to be in, even if they end up fourth.

On the girls side the lone team that should get in and will is Etiwanda (15-6, 9-0). The Eagles are a perennial title contender on the girls side too. Even though Coach Anders Anderson graduated nine players, he’s still loaded. And he has probably played the most difficult schedule of any team anywhere.

Despite graduating so many players the Eagles still won every league game by 20 points or more. Yes they have a game left but it will be a win. They’re in too.

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Kameron Edwards, Etiwanda extend winning streak to five games

Kameron Edwards and the Etiwanda Eagles defeated the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars, 74-45, in Baseline League play to extend their winning streak to five games.

“It’s definitely a momentum builder, which is exactly what we need going into playoffs,” Edwards said. “We’ve been coming together a lot as a team and its perfect timing.”

Edwards scored 24 points for the Eagles in the game against the Cougars.

Delewis Johnson and Jordan Naughton contributed to the victory with 12 points apiece for the Eagles.

The Eagles are 18-2 this season and 6-2 in league play.

The Damien Spartans remain in first place of the Baseline League with a 7-1 record after defeating Chino Hills. The Eagles are in second place.

When asked about the final stretch of the season, Edwards believes there are still improvements the Eagles can make.

“I think we just have to work on our rotations and making sure all five guys on the floor are in sync,” Edwards stated.

Etiwanda will play against Bishop Gorman in the Nike Extravaganza held at Mater Dei High Feb. 7 before wrapping up league play with a pair of home games against Chino Hills and Upland.

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McLaughlin heads Baseline League Boys Basketball selections

MVP – Jordan McLaughlin, Sr., PG, Etiwanda

First team
Kenny Barnes, Etiwanda
A.J. Bigornia, Glendora
Kameron Edwards, Etiwanda
Victor Joseph, Rancho Cucamonga
Daylan Lawrence, Rancho Cucamonga
Nate Olowo, Alta Loma
Marquis Reed, Upland
Levi Smith, Los Osos

Second team
Jamar Akoh, Los Osos
Dominick Alexander, Etiwanda
Brandon Brothers, Glendora
Nick Culver, Rancho Cucamonga
Jordan McNellys, Rancho Cucamonga
Tide Osifeso, Los Osos
Thomas Rico, Glendora
Deangelo Stowers, Upland

Honorable mention – Oliver Amajoyi, Los Osos; Brian Beard, Rancho Cucamonga; Kyle Bracy, Glendora; Blake Fisher, Rancho Cucamonga; Shawn Garey, Alta Loma; Ryan Henry, Los Osos; Solomon Hunt, Upland; Delewis Johnson, Etiwanda; Anthony Kirkwood, Alta Loma; Dominique Mosley, Upland; Jordan Naughton, Etiwanda.

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