There was the victory over Corona Santiago in December, the epic semifinal over the No. 1 team in the country and the quarterfinal win over nemesis Long Beach Poly. The Etiwanda girls basketball team would have likely traded it all for a win Friday night.
But the Eagles lost a rematch with Santiago in the CIF-SS Division 1AA title game, 70-65, at the Anaheim Arena.
Amy Okonkwo, the hero of Etiwanda’s overtime win on Wednesday over a Mater Dei team ranked No. 1 in the country by MaxPreps.com, followed her 27-point performance with 19 points and 15 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Eagles. But Crishae Rowe of third-seeded Santiago was up to the challenge with 25 points to lead the Sharks (29-2).
“My biggest fear was that the girls would consider their goal achieved after beating Poly and Mater Dei,” Etiwanda coach Anders Anderson said. “But they way they came out in the second half and the way they fought until the end demonstrated that they came to play tonight.”
It’s near impossible to argue that the Etiwanda High School girls basketball team’s one-point overtime victory Wednesday over a two-time defending state champion ranked No. 1 in the country wasn’t the most significant in school history.
The Eagles want a ring with which to remember it.
After preventing top-seeded Santa Ana Mater Dei from playing for a fifth straight CIF-SS championship, No. 5 seed Etiwanda will take on Corona Santigao Friday night for the Division 1AA title.
Mater Dei 56, Corona Centennial 39
Etiwanda 60, Long Beach Poly 50
Corona Santiago 78, Millikan 63
Troy 66, Rancho Verde 26
Bishop Amat 54, Westminster 50
Ventura 62, Aliso Niguel 49
Vista Murrieta 61, Miller 54
Canyon Springs 80, Buena 51
Etiwanda’s three-month search for a head football coach is over. Brandon Rohrer, La Puente’s football coach for the last four seasons, has been hired, pending board approval, according to an anonymous source. Roherer, who went 33-11 at La Puente, will replace Tommy Leach, who went 4-6 in his one season as Etiwanda’s head coach.
After finishing second his first three seasons, Rohrer led La Puente to a share of the Montview League championship last season. La Puente has exited the playoffs in the first round each of his four seasons.
After reaching the playoffs five consecutive seasons, Etiwanda missed the playoffs in 2012 for the second straight year. Leach departed after one season citing the long commute from Temecula Chaparral, where he is a teacher.
Tom Martinez confirmed in an email Tuesday evening that he is no longer the head football coach at Los Osos High School. Coach since the school’s inception in 2002, Martinez led the Grizzlies to eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons, including a postseason berth in 2012. He will remain the athletic director at Los Osos.
He did not explain whether it was his decision to step down or he was removed from the head football coaching position. “I will focus all my efforts on the AD job here at Los Osos HS,” Martinez wrote in an email.
Etiwanda High School’s search for a head football coach continues after former Damien coach Greg Gano withdrew his name from candidacy on Friday.
Gano, Damien’s head coach the last four seasons after stints at Covina Northview and Hacienda Heights Los Altos, has instead applied and interviewed for the head coaching job at Tustin. Gano was never offered the position at Etiwanda, according to Etiwanda athletic director David Masucci. The former Damien coach cited the lack of a teaching position at Etiwanda as his reason for withdrawing.
“Everything else was great because (Etiwanda) is even right by my house,” Gano said. “But without a teaching position, I just couldn’t afford it. So I interviewed for the Tustin position last week and I’m waiting to find out.”
In hindsight, it’s pretty easy to say you would’ve said no to the tournament offer that fell apart for the Etiwanda boys basketball team, leaving the Eagles a tournament short this season.
Here is what happened. A guy approached Etiwanda boys basketball coach Dave Kleckner months ago, with this offer:
Etiwanda has yet to hire a football coach to replace Tommy Leach, who resigned Nov. 12, but the school has narrowed the number of candidates to four, according to athletic director David Masucci.
“We’re making progress but we haven’t hired anybody yet,” Masucci said. “We just got our new principal last Tuesday, so he’s just getting settled in but we should make the football coaching hire soon.”
One of the four candidates is Damien coach Greg Gano, according to Aram Tolegian of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Gano resigned from Damien on Dec. 9 after going 20-22 in four seasons at the school and two playoff appearances. Two of the other three finalists are Jason Smith, an Etiwanda assistant coach last season, and former San Dimas head coach Roland DeAnda.