WRESTLING: Marquez Masters the competition

Rosemead High School’s Adrian Marquez collected a championship at the Masters wrestling meet.


Above: Rosemead’s Adrian Marquez, top, tackles Irvine High’s Scott Chene, bottom, in the 130 lb. weight class of the CIF Southern Section Masters Wrestling Tournament in Rialto February 23, 2008. (GABRIEL LUIS ACOSTA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER.)
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BOYS BASKETBALL: A heart-breaking night for the locals

Marshall, Renaissance Academy and Maranatha all fall from the CIF-Southern Section playoffs, while La Canada lives to play another day.

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Above: Marshall’s David Morris (5) is rejected driving to the basket during the Eagles’ CIF-SS Division V-AA semifinal playoff basketball againt Pacific Hills at Muir High School. (SGVN/Staff Photo Keith Birmingham/SXsports)

Some thoughts: La Verne Lutheran showed great poise after falling behind late in the fourth quarter. Getting Maranatha’s top scorers Daniel Dingle and Anthony Morton to foul out was also huge. My prediction for the Division V-AA finals between La Verne Lutheran and Pacific Hills: Pacific Hills is the defending champion and boasts the division’s returning Player of the Year in Derick Flowers. I didn’t see anything to change my opinion that Pacific Hills is the best team in Division V. I pick Pacific Hills by double digits.
Renaissance Academy’s loss to West Hills in the Division III-A semifinals doesn’t shock me too much. West Valley is a fairly good-sized school with talented athletes. My question now is if Renaissance Academy, with its record and the fact it moves down in divisions, will make the state tournament like Price did last season after losing to La Canada in the Division III-AA semifinals.
Marshall showed that it was a talented team by taking Pacific Hills, a team it had beaten once, to the limit.
Finally, La Canada continues to defy the odds and advanced to the Division III-AA semifinals with a win over Santa Clara. Now the Spartans must defy the biggest odds of them all when they face defending champion Campbell Hall on the road at a neutral site on Tuesday.

Division III-AA

La Canada 65, Santa Clara 59

Division III-A

West Valley 62, Renaissance Academy 56

Division V-AA

La Verne Lutheran 39, Maranatha 37
Pacific Hills 43, Marshall 41

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In the politically-correct world that we live in, I’d thought I’d share a thought on what seems to be the politically-correct CIF playoffs.
The system is the way it is, but does anyone else ever find it amusing that teams that earn top-four seeds have to, more times than not, go on the road to face a lesser opponent in the second, quarterfinal and perhaps even the semifinals?
What does being a No. 1 seed get you? Sometimes a first-round bye, but mostly a cupcake in the first round.
Isn’t it about time that teams with better records get rewarded throughout the playoffs?
For example; Muir, a No. 2 seed in the Division I-A girls basketball playoffs, will be playing its second straight road game when it travels to Riverside M.L. King. King’s a very good team. If Muir advances and, let’s say for fun, Mira Costa gets upset, the Mustangs would be right back on the road.
In girls soccer, Maranatha had to go on the road to play against Torrance, a team with a lesser record. On a field that looked like a tornado ripped through leaving little grass and mostly mud, and with intense coastal winds, the Minutemen got blown out of the postseason.
Some sports, it doesn’t matter who the home team is, but I think it’s time to reward the top teams and give the teams with either the best record or the best league finish, the home game.
In the meantime, I’ll send a postcard from Riverside.

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