The Bonita and Los Osos baseball teams can sleep soundly after league championship-clinching wins on Wednesday. Had either of them lost, they would be facing the prospect of losing a wire-to-wire lead in their respective leagues on the final day of the regular season.
Los Osos’ Chris Kohler may be the exception who can’t doze off immediately tonight. The senior is likely still winding down from throwing his first career no-hitter, not to mention breaking the school’s single-season strikeout record. The Grizzlies’ 9-0 win over second-place Glendora gives Los Osos its first Baseline League championship in six years and makes Friday’s matchup between the two teams meaningless. Second baseman Chris Riley has to be mentioned as much for his 3-for-3, two-RBI, two-run performance at the plate as his no-hitter-saving play in the field with one out in the final inning.
On Thursday, it was Ayala freshman Sydney Tullai dropping jaws at the Sierra League finals track meet by winning the 800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters. (Check out the photo gallery) It’s a combination of events so taxing – “insane,” was the term of preference for Chino Hills coach Richard Morales – that Tullai won’t be able to run all three at CIF-SS Preliminaries on May 11. She’s leaning toward the 3,200, but her decision will be jut one of many interesting story lines heading into the posteason.
On Friday at Baseline League finals (photo gallery) Upland’s Myles Valentine tied the top wind-aided 100 meter time in the state this season with a 10.36-second effort. The runner he tied was defending state champion Khalfani Muhammad, who defeated Valentine two weeks earlier at the Mt. SAC Relays, prompting this statement: “I knew at that point,” Valentine said, “I wasn’t going to finish second again.” He hasn’t.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Jensen, Los Osos, Senior
After five consecutive trips to the CIF finals, it’s safe to say Los Osos has a good girls water polo program. Though the school has only been around for eight seasons, in that short period there have obviously been some accomplished girls water polo players to come through the program. Besides leading the team to its second ever CIF championship, Kristen Jensen’s senior season is best defined by breaking the school’s single-season scoring record by a mind-blowing 58 goals. Jensen (pictured above) scored 174 goals this season and helped the Grizzlies end a three-year losing streak in the CIF finals. “We’ve never had a player this dominant come through our program,” Los Osos coach Dave Merryman said.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
The co-head coaches have led Los Osos to five consecutive appearances in the CIF finals. After losing the last three, they helped the Grizzlies capture CIF-SS Division 3 championship, the program’s first title since 2009. Los Osos finished the regular season by claiming its eighth straight Baseline League title.
1. Bonita (7-1) Team ERA is 1.26 for Bearcats, whose only loss is South Hills.
2. Kaiser (6-2) Cats open Sunkist League play against hot Summit team.
3. San Dimas (7-2) It took Bonita 12 innings to beat Saints last week.
4. Los Osos (6-1) Grizzlies league frontrunner after beating Glendora.
5. Diamond Bar (7-1) Previously unranked Brahmas shooting up the charts.
6. Don Lugo (8-2) Will anybody challenge Lugo in Mt. Baldy League?
7. Carter (7-4) Lions have already beaten Upland and Rancho Cucamonga.
8. Upland (9-2) Hoping to avoid 0-2 start in Baseline League.
9. Ayala (6-3) There could be plenty of parity in Sierra League.
10. Summit (8-4) Winners of Cougar Classic face league foe Kaiser next.
Dropped out: No. 4 Rialto (8-6), No. 9 Claremont (4-4), No. 10 Damien (4-4).
Hoops for Hope, the basketball tournament inspired by Los Osos boys basketball coach David Smith to raise money for cancer research, just keeps growing.
After amassing nearly $50,000 in the first three years, Smith is anticipating Saturday’s fourth annual tournament to net between $20,000 and $25,000, thanks in part to the addition of new sponsorship.
The tournament will feature nine teams, most of which are squads made up of members of local fire departments. The event was inspired by the Los Osos basketball coach and Ontario Fire Department captain Chip Smith, whom David Smith met while undergoing cancer treatment in 2010.
The math almost doesn’t add up. The Los Osos girls water polo program has only been in existence for eight years. Yet it has been six years since the team failed to make an appearance in a CIF-SS championship game.
The Grizzlies, seeded second in Division 3, will play in their fifth straight title game Saturday at 11:40 a.m. when they take on No. 4 seed Palos Verdes at their home away from home, the William Woolett Aquatics Center in Irvine. Of course there is one small detail. Los Osos won the 2009 CIF championship in its first finals appearance but it hasn’t won one since.
“The last three have left a sour taste in our mouth,” Los Osos coach Eric Cypher said. “We’re definitely looking for that next one. But I’m proud of the girls for getting to this game again. No matter the result, we’re playing good water polo in this program.”
FIRST ROUND, Wednesday
Santa Barbara 17, Huntington Beach 7
Irvine 7, Villa Park 3
Laguna Beach 9, Dos Pueblos 8
Newport Harbor 18, Anaheim Canyon 3
Corona del Mar 17, Ventura 4
Los Alamitos 17, Costa Mesa 2
San Marcos 11, Edison 8
Foothill 22, Beckman 2
Wild Card A at No. 1 Santa Barbara
Villa Park at Irvine
Dos Pueblos at Laguna Beach
Winner Wild B at No. 4 Newport Harbor
Wild Card C at No. 3 Corona del Mar
Costa Mesa at Los Alamitos
Edison at San Marcos
Beckman at No. 2 Foothill