Star-News preps writer Keith Lair and I will be going head-to-head throughout the season, and I will update our records each Monday on the “Star Picks” thread.
Melendez: Last week: 14-5; Overall: 114-45
Lair: Last week: 16-3; Overall: 127-32
Last week: You can’t overlook 114 wins this season. But just like The Stang Fan stated, I’ve had some laughable picks at times, and on top of that I started the season 3-9. Steve Ramirez over at the Trib seemingly goes out of his way to remind me every time I see him. Among my “laughable” picks last week were: South Pasadena (lost to La Canada); Alhambra (lost to Bell Gardens); San Marino (lost to Temple City); Arcadia (lost to Burbank); and Bosco Tech (lost to St. Bernard). Lair’s wrong picks were: Alhambra, Bosco Tech and Arcadia.
ATTENTION COACHES, ATHLETIC DIRECTORS AND BOOSTERS: If your game changes from Friday to Thursday please let me know. I can be reached at 626.578.6300, Ext. 4485 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This week: Nothing like league titles on the line in the final game of the regular season. Be sure to check back here Sunday for continuing updates when the CIF brackets are released. Here’s how this week’s season finale breaks down among leagues with titles that are up for grabs.
ALPHA LEAGUE: Maranatha will (finally) face a formidable opponent when they travel to Brentwood. The Minutemen seem to bring their best when they see some real competition (such as Rio Hondo Prep). Schilz leads the Maranatha to victory.
MISSION LEAGUE: If St. Francis beats Chaminade and St. Paul beats Alemany there could be a three-way tie for first. A coin flip will determine the league placement for the playoffs. St. Francis beats Chaminade and Alemany prevails against St. Paul. Final league standings: Alemany, St. Francis, St. Paul and Chaminade.
MONTVIEW LEAGUE: Duarte can clinch a share of the crown with a win at home against La Puente combined with an Azusa loss to Bassett. The Falcons can wish, right? Azusa pulls away with the crown and Duarte finishes second.
PREP LEAGUE: Rio Hondo Prep (5-3, 3-1) is a battle-tested team. The Kares have suffered some tough nonleague losses but it prepared them for league and the playoffs. Flintridge Prep (3-5, 3-1) got its act together when league rolled around. Look for Tim Esguerra and Antonio Alaniz to be too much for the Rebels to handle. FYI, Calpreps has Rio Hondo Prep winning, 31-8.
RIO HONDO LEAGUE: There could be a three-way tie for first at 4-1 if Temple City beats La Canada and San Marino beats Monrovia. A coin flip determines the final league placement. The call here is Monrovia wins outright by edging SM by 3, Temple City finishes second and San Marino third.
Thursday’s game with prediction:
Pasadena Poly at Webb, 3 p.m. — Melendez (Pas Poly)
Friday’s games with predictions:
Muir vs. Pasadena at Rose Bowl, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Muir)
San Marino at Monrovia — Melendez (Monrovia)
La Canada at Temple City, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Temple City)
Crescenta Valley at Arcadia, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Crescenta Valley)
Flintridge Prep vs. Rio Hondo Prep at Occidental, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)
Maranatha at Brentwood, 2 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha)
Chaminade at St. Francis, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (St. Francis)
Blair at South Pasadena, 7 p.m. — Melendez (South Pasadena)
Marshall vs. Kilpatrick at PCC, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Kilpatrick)
Bishop Montgomery at La Salle, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Bishop Montgomery)
San Gabriel at Montebello, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Montebello)
La Puente at Duarte, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Duarte)
El Monte at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Gabrielino)
Alhambra at Keppel, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Alhambra)
Bosco Tech vs. Harvard-Westlake at St. Matthias, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Harvard-Westlake)