St. Francis (6-4, 0-2) lost 13-3 and 1-0 to Crespi in the Mission League opener last week. The top-ranked Knights also lost to Saugus and Crescenta Valley the previoius week, bringing their losing streak to four. Not exactly what I anticipated after St. Francis breezed through the Elks Tournament. We’ll get another chance at St. Francis taking on local talent when it takes part of the Apache Invitational next week, but for now it’s not only about winning to stay atop the rankings, but also about proving it can compete in the Mission. The first score was lopsided, and the Knights bounced back (?) with a respectable 1-0 loss. Did we mention St. Francis lost to Saugus (7-3) and Crescenta Valley (3-3)? Does this mean St. Francis will be dethroned come Tuesday afternoon when the rankings are posted on the blog? To be fair, St. Francis lost to a Crespi team ranked No. 1 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 coaches’ poll. But did we mention they lost to Saugus and Crescenta Valley? The only teams that have a chance at taking the top spot is Monrovia (10-1, 4-0) and Alhambra (9-1, 3-0). I know, St. Francis beat both Monrovia (8-3) and Alhambra (9-1) in the Elks Tournament, but is that enough to claim the title of “Best Area Team”? Perhaps. But since the Elks Tournament, St. Francis, as mentioned before, is on a four-game losing streak, while the Wildcats are on a seven-game winning streak and the Moors on a five-game winning streak. Reason enough for one of the teams to takeover the No. 1 spot? Perhaps. But who?
Sure, La Caada had a hiccup early last week but bounced back nicely with a solid win over South Pasadena under the lights. There’s no argument in removing La Caada from the No. 1 spot when the new rankings are released Wednesday (posted Tuesday afternoon here). But what about the rest of the teams? Will San Marino give La Caada a run for its money? Also, what games would you like to see covered this week?
The Star-News Winter All-Area teams will be released this week and early next week, the dates are as follows below. Also, the date for the annual Tribune/Star News All-Star basketball Classic, which matches the boys and girls senior all-stars from the Tribune against the Star-News is still being finalized by tournament organizer Gordon Hamlow.
ALL-AREA PUBLICATION DATES
Boys Soccer, Tuesday, March 30
Girls Soccer, Wednesday, March 31
Girls Water Polo, Thursday, April 1
Wrestling, Friday, April 2
Girls Basketball, Tuesday, April 6
Boys Basketball, Wednesday, April 7
Monrovia’s bats came alive in the seventh, that’s when Adrian Velasco connected on a 1-1 pitch for a 3-run home run to give the Wildcats a 5-2 win over Temple City in Rio Hondo League play Thursday afternoon. Monrovia’s Nick Bueno went 3 for 4 and Aaron Murphee pitched six solid innings for his fifth win of the season. Temple City’s Calvin Copping was solid as well. He struck out six and made it difficult for the Wildcats (10-1, 4-0) at the plate. “I’m going to give credit to their kid,” Monrovia co-head coach Brad Blackmore said. “He pitched great. It was not a very good offensive day for us. We had some horrendous at-bats in the first few innings. I thought we were taking good swings as the game went on, but early in the game we were clueless.” Bueno made a diving stop at second to help record the first out and Jairo Jiorge made a spectacular stop on a liner down the third base line to give Temple City (4-4, 2-1) two quick outs on what seemed like sure hits. “To make two very good plays to start the game I think gives your pitcher good confidence that he can pitch the contact all day and not let guys hit,” Blackmore said. Temple City couldn’t find what it was looking for at the plate. “The whole game the one hit we needed we didn’t get,” Temple City coach Barry Bacon said. “I told the kids, ‘We need back-to-back hits’ and we didn’t get them.”