No doubt the Chino Hills boys’ basketball team has talent. Ball brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo (Gelo) are enough to get any team deep into the playoffs.
But can this team win a CIF title, especially considering they’ll most likely be in the difficult Open Division?
After talking with coaches from the other Baseline League teams, the consensus is that will depend on the contribution of the supporting cast.
Last year that duo had some solid players around them in Bishop Mency, now starting at Rice as a true freshman, as well as K.C. Cyprian and Mark Williams.
The Huskies also had a big man in the middle in Nnamdi Okongwu, who tragically passed away over the summer after the injury sustained in a skateboarding accident.
So this season Ball brothers have some unproven players around them. Is there potential? Yes. But they’re still unproven.
The good news is that the Huskies (10-3) have played a challenging schedule which should help those players develop.
Head coach Steve Baik probably thought he was going to have the help those players needed but two transfers, one from Ayala and one from Upland, were not ruled eligible to play by the CIF after those transfers.
Those denials are under appeal but it isn’t often they’re overturned. So the Huskies will be going with the players they have right now.
The jumble of teams behind Sierra League champion West Covina South Hills during the regular season didn’t make for any easy decisions after the year ended. The all-league team had an obvious MVP, but there were plenty of arguments to be made beyond that. As it turned out, second-place Damien, and third-place Claremont (which tied in the standings) received three first team all-league selections as did third-place Chino Hills.
MVP: Adrian Dehorta, Sr., South Hills
Anthony Seminaris, Sr., Ayala
Robert Longtree, Sr., Ayala
Dylan Lowenstein, Sr., Chino Hills
Jeremy Steggell, Sr., Chino Hills
Austin Harvey, Sr., Chino Hills
Nick Costello, Sr., Claremont
Jeremy Giles, Sr., Claremont
Alex Galuchie, Jr., Claremont
Jordan Abernathy, Jr., Damien
David Banuelos, Jr., Damien
Grant Hockin, Jr., Damien Continue reading →
There is a 50 percent chance at Monday’s releaguing meeting that the Baseline League will get even more competitive. Yes, you read that correctly.
The league that has produced two semifinalists for two years running in arguably the toughest football playoff division in California could be deeper beginning in the fall of 2014. Of the 20 releaguing proposals for the Mt. SAC area that will be voted on Monday, 10 of them include Chino Hills in the Baseline League.
Aside from the obvious geographic and economic reasons, Chino Hills was not shy about its preference to remain in the Sierra League, where it has won three football league championships in the last five years.
“Football is the money sport that I think people generally judge a school by,” Chino Hills athletic director Derek Bub said. “Unfortunately that’s what might get us moved. But we haven’t dominated the Sierra League in all sports. We’ve been in the middle of the pack.”
There were six games left in the regular season and the Claremont baseball team sat just a game out of second place, but coach Geoff Ranney told his team Thursday’s rubber match with Chino Hills was a must-win. The coach’s reasoning makes sense given the tight proximity of everybody in the Sierra League. The Wolfpack responded with a 6-3 victory over Chino Hills that pulled Claremont back into a tie for second place and claimed the season series with a Huskies team that had won eight of its last nine games. Check out a photo gallery from the game.
Patricia Parks, the star pitcher for the defending CIF champion Chino Hills softball team, has returned to the team after leaving indefinitely two weeks ago.
Following the first two tournaments of the season, Parks, a junior committed to the University of Arizona, left the team of her own accord.
“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Chino Hills coach Mike Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”
Chino Hills junior Patricia Parks, the starting pitcher for the defending CIF-SS Division 3 softball champions, left the team last week, according to Huskies head coach Mike Southworth. Parks, who is verbally committed to Arizona, hit .479 and went 10-1 with a 1.07 ERA last season behind primary pitcher Nikki Innamorato. An everyday outfielder last year, Parks was the Huskies primary pitcher this season.
“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”
The vision that prompted Matt Bechtel to leave his first head coaching job after just two seasons and leave the Chaffey Joint Union School District after 16 years came to fruition last week. After one year as the Chino Hills offensive coordinator, Bechtel was hired as the school’s head football coach. He interviewed on Feb. 12 and was offered the position Feb. 14.
Bechtel, Colony’s head coach from 2010 to 2011, replaces Derek Bub, who resigned after five years as head coach citing the death of his father in October and his desire to pursue an administrative position. Knowing Bub was closing in on his administrative credential, Bechtel had his eye on the Chino Hills head coaching job when he accepted the offensive coordinator role and a teaching position last year in the Chino Valley Unified School District. But the move didn’t come without risk.
“Most people don’t get an administrative credential and sit on it for five or six years,” Bechtel said. “Did I think this was going to happen in eight months? No. It was a gamble for me to come here. I gave up tenure and 16 years at a time when job security in the teaching profession was in disarray, but you can’t get ahead in life without taking risks.”
As soon as his father died unexpectedly in October, Chino Hills coach Derek Bub knew he didn’t want his own children to feel like they missed out on time with their father. Bub finished out his fifth season as head football coach at Chino Hills High School, but resigned from the position Tuesday night in order to spend more time with his family.
“When my father passed away, I realized that I just needed to be a dad to my kids,” Bub said. “I take every Christmas break to think about whether I’m going to continue to coach. I was extremely close with my father and anytime something like this happens, it makes you see things differently.”
Los Osos outside hitter Ashten Smith-Gooden (pictured above) claimed Player of the Year honors for the 2012 All-Valley volleyball team after helping her team to the CIF finals for the first time in school history. Los Osos coach Franco Macchia also reaped the benefits of the Grizzlies best ever season, earning Coach of the Year honors.
FIRST TEAM MEGHAN BUZZERIO, Chino Hills
The sophomore burst onto the scene with 532 kills in just 29 games to lead the Huskies to a playoff berth. The outside hitter also had 228 digs, 33 aces and 26 solo blocks to go along with a kill percentage of 39 for a Chino Hills team that posted an 18-11 record.
ERIN CLARK, Ayala
The Ayala setter had a spectacular year with 617 assists for the Bulldogs, who finished second in the Sierra League behind St. Lucy’s, the No. 1 seed in the CIF-SS Division 1A playoffs. The junior was instrumental in the team’s turnaround from a fifth-place finish in league in 2011 to second in 2012.
ARDEN DAVIS, St. Lucy’s
The senior libero, a member of two CIF-SS championship teams during her tenure, totaled 308 digs this season and earned All-CIF honors in Division 1A. Davis helped the Regents win a fourth consecutive Sierra League championship and a No. 1 playoff seed.