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: 10-6-1; Overall: 124-51-1
Lair: Last week: 10-6-1; Overall: 135-38-1
Last week: Whoa! What were Keith and I drinking last week?!?! Keith and had the same picks wrong: Gabrielino (lost to El Monte); Temple City (tied with La Canada); South Pasadena (lost to Blair); Maranatha (lost to Brentwood); St. Francis (lost to Chaminade); Montebello (lost to San Gabriel).
This week: Here we go again. Freddy J trying to stir things up. Here’s what he said over on his blog:
“In the Southeast, I’m taking Diamond Ranch over Muir. Muir’s all-everything Rueben Thomas injured his knee against Pasadena on Friday and is questionable, and two others suffered injuries but will likely play Friday. I know it’s not a popular pick on the Westside, but the Panthers’ brutal schedule finally pays off for them. It’s tough beating a good team twice in the same season, but Muir is limping into the playoffs while the Panthers are hitting their stride.”
This time it’s not Ken Howard providing bulletin-board material. I’ll know more about Thomas later today. But my guess is he wouldn’t miss the playoffs for anything. That said, Thomas carries much of the load for the Mustangs and if he can’t run like he’s used to that can be a liability for Muir. San Marino, St. Francis and Flintridge Prep go down this week.
Friday’s first-round with predictions:
Diamond Ranch at Muir, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Muir)
Arroyo at Temple City, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Temple City)
El Monte at Monrovia, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia)
Duarte at L.A. Baptist, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Duarte)
Cerritos Valley Christian at Rosemead, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead)
San Marino at Paraclete, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Paraclete)
San Gabriel at La Serna, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (San Gabriel)
St. Francis at Quartz Hill, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Quartz Hill)
Ontario Christian at Maranatha, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha)
Flintridge Prep at Riverside Christian, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Riverside Christian)
St. Anthony at Rio Hondo Prep, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)