Boys Hoops quaterfinals: Huge night with several area teams going head-to-head for semifinal berths

The Westside is busy tonight and here is how we’re going to handle it. Keith Lair is covering what we feel is the biggest game of the night, Bosco Tech at Muir (which feels kind of strange, normally this is PHS hoops time of year, but times are changing). Tyler Drohen, one of our best up-and-coming correspondents, will be at La Canada and Nathan “have you seen him in those commercials” Cambridge will cover the Blair-Flintridge Prep special. Aram Tolegian will be busy working the phones to bring you results of Buckley at La Salle, Ontario Christian at Maranatha, Poly at Renaissance and RH Prep at Agbu so that we can have something written on all teams in Wednesday’s paper. Aram also will update scores on this thread tonight. Good luck all.

Boys Hoops pregame advance: After a disastrous travel situation last Friday night before winning its second-round playoff game on a last-second shot, the Muir High School boys basketball team will be very happy to be in its home gym tonight as the CIF-Southern Section Division 5AA playoffs continue. The Mustangs had to scramble to secure travel arrangements for their game last Friday at Western Christian in Ontario and made it to the gym a minute before tip-off and 11 minutes before the game would have been a forfeit.

Boys Hoops
Tuesday’s quarterfinals, 7 p.m.Division 3AA

Bishop Montgomery at La Canada
Division 4A
Buckley at La Salle
Ontario Christian at Maranatha
Division 5AA
Blair at Flintridge Prep
Don Bosco Tech at Muir
Division 5A
Pasadena Poly at Renaissance Academy
Division 6AA
Rio Hondo Prep at AGBU Pasadena

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Miguel is on vacation, your back-up plan is here

Your prep editor is on vacation this week, but don’t blame him, all of us have to take at set amount of vacation or furlough by the end of March, and it was Miguel’s turn. So, I will do my best to keep up with my blog and this one for the rest of the week, so bare with me. Aram also will help out when he can posting scores and providing updates, so wake-up, it’s Monday morning and I’m ready to go … Really quick, if the FSHA girls soccer team doesn’t win CIF, I’m going to be extremely disappointed, because I think they’re the best team in Southern California, and that was based on what I saw last year … Hey, would love to watch a Maranatha-La Salle boys hoops semifinal, the Minutemen showed me a lot of heart in Friday’s win over Covina. Will have plenty more later…..Let’s start with your playoff schedule…

Hoops note: I forgot how many small schools advance each year, and there are some good ones, Blair at Flint Prep, RH Prep at AGBU, Pasadena Poly at Renaissance and Don Bosco Tech at Muir … BTW, don’t hate us if we can’t cover all of them, we will do the best we can. Aram will be in the office taking calls for games we can’t cover, our way of covering the most that we can with a short staff.
Boys Hoops
Tuesday’s quarterfinals, 7 p.m.
Division 3AA

Bishop Montgomery at La Canada
Division 4A
Buckley at La Salle
Ontario Christian at Maranatha
Division 5AA
Blair at Flintridge Prep
Don Bosco Tech at Muir
Division 5A
Pasadena Poly at Renaissance Academy
Division 6AA
Rio Hondo Prep at AGBU Pasadena

Girls soccer Note: Like I said, FSHA is something special, though I still think the Arcadia teams earlier this decade were just as good if not better, you know the ones with Brittany Klein and Co.. In any case, I’m covering Alverno at San Dimas tomorrow, and Keith Lair will be at Sierra Vista at San Marino.
Girls Soccer
Tuesday’s second round
All games at 3 p.m.

Division 1
Flintridge Sacred Heart at Aliso Niguel
Division 3
Cypress at Flintridge Prep
Division 6
Beaumont at South Pasadena
Sierra Vista at San Marino
Alverno at San Dimas
La Canada at Tahquitz
Division 7
ST. Genevieve at Marshall

Girls hoops note: Would love to see Muir win and face Diamond Ranch from our area on Saturday, provided the Ranch wins also. Keppel, what can you say, they’re always in the mix, and as usual, a handful of small area Pasadena schools are alive in the lower divisions.
Girls Hoops
Wednesday’s quarterfinals
All games at 7 p.m.
Division 2A

Mayfair at Keppel
Division 3AA
Serra at Muir
Division 4A
Duarte at Cerritos Valley Christian
St. Anthony at La Salle
Division 5AA
Flintridge Sacred Heart at St. Bernard
Division 5A
Pasadena Poly at Lifield Christian
Division 6AA
Mesa Grande at Mayfield
AGBU Pasadena at Lone Pine
Rio Hondo Prep at California Lutheran

Boys soccer note: Kind of surprised there are only a handful left this early in the second round. St. Francis is usually always the best, but La Canada from what I hear is the best this year. Lucky for them Mountain View was knocked out of the tournament. In any case, expect the Spartans to go deep, deep in the postseason.
Boys Soccer
Wednesday’s second round
all games at 3 p.m.

Division 1
St. Francis at Ventura
Division 5
Whittier Christian at La Canada
Victor Valley at Monrovia
Division 7
West Shores at Bosco Tech

Note: How silly is it that two San Gabriel Valley based teams have to go to Irvine to play a semifinal at 5 p.m.? They should call CIF and say thanks, but no thanks, we’ll do it right here at PCC where we can play in front of big home crowds, right? Well, I tried anyway. FYI, sorry South Pas, this St. Lucy’s team is gonna roll…
Girls Water Polo
Wednesday’s semifinals
Division 3

St. Lucy’s vs. South Pasadena at William Woollett Aquatic Center, Irvine, 5 p.m.

P.S., see you all on Tuesday, will have more….

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Girls Basketball: Flintridge Sacred Heart advances to next week’s quarterfinals; Post your scores here.

Here’s what you’ll see in Sunday’s paper:
Coverage of Workman-Flintridge Sacred Heart; 29 Palms-La Salle; and St. Anthony’s at South Pasadena. Be a pal, post your scores!

Arcadia at Edison
Cypress at San Gabriel
Keppel at Sunny Hills
Sonora 47, Pasadena 30
Muir at Righetti
Monrovia at Antelope Valley
Yorba Linda 56, Maranatha 49
La Canada at Bishop Montgomery
Duarte 60, Estancia 48
29 Palms at La Salle
St. Anthony 66, South Pasadena 45
Flintridge Sacred Heart 77, Workman 50
North City Christian at Pasadena Poly, 4 p.m.
Calvary Chapel at Mayfield
AGBU/Pasadena 55, Hesperia Christian 54
Temecula Prep at Rio Hondo Prep

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BHoops: Maranatha wins in a thriller, 54-52; La Salle shocks Paraclete, 66-44; Pasadena loses in second round to Upland, 56-51; I’ll post scores as they come in.




Here’s what you’ll see in Saturday’s paper:
Coverage of Maranatha at Covina; Northview at St. Francis; Pasadena at Upland; and Paraclete at La Salle. Be a pal, post your scores! If you have my cell number, feel free to text me your final score.


Upland 56, Pasadena 51
Segerstrom 53, Keppel 51
La Canada 48, Pacific Hills 38
Orange Lutheran 83, Gabrielino 45
Northview 66, St. Francis 54
La Salle 61, Paraclete 44
Maranatha 54, Covina 52
Flintridge Prep 75, Whitney 46
Blair 73, Crossroads 65
Muir 55, Western Christian 54
Bosco Tech 55, Fairmont Prep 54
Renaissance Academy 56, Mary Star 40
Pasadena Poly 64, Saddleback Valley Christian 61
AGBU/Pasadena 65, Pacific Christian 61
Rio Hondo Prep 70, Rolling Hills Prep 49

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Girls Basketball: Monrovia turns up the heat, dispatches La Mirada 55-32; Arcadia beats Santa Fe to advance; La Caada shocks St. Lucy’s; Post your scores here.

Click here for a photo gallery from Thursday’s Monrovia-La Mirada game

Click here to read the La Caada-St. Lucy’s story.

Click here for a photo gallery from Thursday’s La Caada-St. Lucy’s game

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

MONROVIA — It’s not often teams can flip a switch and shift into third gear.

But that’s exactly what the Monrovia High School girls basketball team did, taking off in the second quarter and never looking back for a 55-32 win over La Mirada in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A playoffs Thursday night.

La Mirada (9-15) seemingly looked to be in complete control after opening the first quarter on an impressive 10-2 run.

Monrovia (17-6) by then had had enough, building its own 11-2 run to turn the tables on the talented but still young Matadores.

Monrovia will be on the road Saturday against the Notre Dame-Antelope Valley winner in the second round. Click on thread to continue reading.


Arcadia 58, Santa Fe 49
San Gabriel 44, Culver City 41
Keppel 53, Whittier Christian 42
Pasadena 45, Godinez 24
Peninsula 59, Rosemead 19
Muir 52, Arlington 46
Monrovia 55, La Mirada 32
Paso Robles 42, Flintridge Prep 32
Maranatha 59, Gabrielino 32
La Caada 52, St. Lucy’s 40
Burroughs 72, Blair 65
La Salle 42, Notre Dame Academy 37
Duarte 64, El Segundo 41
San Marino 58, Santa Ynez 49, OT
South Pasadena 78, Costa Mesa 38
Flintridge Sacred Heart 57, Alverno 32
Pasadena Poly, bye
Mayfield 68, San Jacinto Valley Academy 47
AGBU/Pasadena 64, Newbury Park Adventist 39
Rio Hondo Prep 43, Capistrano Valley Christian 18

Continue reading

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Football: No leads in homicide of Muir football player. UPDATE: Pasadena chief Sanchez to discuss Altadena homicide at Robinson Park community forum.

UPDATE: The police department will host a community meeting Thursday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. about the department’s response to recent incidents of violence in Pasadena and Altadena, including the slaying of 18-year-old Brandon Jackson. Officials announced the event Wednesday via a press release posted on Facebook.

The event will be in the gymnasium at Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena police Chief Phillip Sanchez and other department staff will discuss the incidents and answer questions from the community, the press release issued by City spokeswoman Ann Erdman said.

The meeting is free and open to the public. Spanish interpretation services will be provided.

For more information contact Lt. Jari Faulkner at 626-744-6485.


By Brian Charles, Staff Writer

ALTADENA – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide investigators had no leads Tuesday in the investigation into the slaying of Brandon Jackson, an 18-year-old John Muir High School student, officials said.

Jackson was shot and killed on Saturday in the 300 block of West Palm Street as he was walking home from a friend’s party. A source close to the investigation said the shooting likely was gang related.

With no leads coming in during the first three days of the investigation, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Luis Castro said the case will proceed slowly for the rest of the week.

“If it happened on the 12th and there are no updates yet there probably won’t be one for the rest of the week,” Castro said. Multiple shots – all to the abdomen – killed Jackson, according to the autopsy conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

The report doesn’t indicate the exact number of gunshots, or whether the bullets that struck Jackson killed him instantly, said Lt. Fred Corral of County Coroner’s Office.

Friend and relatives of Jackson set up a sidewalk memorial for the victim on West Palm Street on Monday and the Muir football booster club held an emergency meeting Monday night to talk about how to help the Jackson family with funeral costs.

A memorial for Jackson has yet to have been planned, Muir football coach Ken Howard said Tuesday.

Those close to Jackson said the student-athlete had turned himself from a troubled student to one with relative success in the classroom and on the football field. Jackson brought his grade point average up to 2.7, Howard said.

The 5-foot, 11-inch, 175-pound football player scored a touchdown in November’s Turkey Tussle game between Muir and Pasadena High School. Muir won, 63-6.

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Boys Basketball: Plenty of action with first-round games


Pasadena 63, Trabuco Hills 34

Highland 77, Arcadia 71

Keppel 61, Hawthorne 55

La Canada 55, West Torrance 47

Bonita 81, Temple City 38

Gabrielino 86, South Pasadena 81 (OT)
St. Francis 62, Sierra Vista 55
Alemany 77, Monrovia 65

JSerra 89, Marshall 58
La Salle 55, Lompoc Cabrillo 15
Maranatha 69, Barstow 66

Flintridge Prep 77, St. Paul 41
Blair 91, Excelsior 40
Muir 66, Oxford Academy 38
Bosco Tech 71, Milken 57

Renaissance Academy 57, Downey Calvary Chapel 37
Pasadena Poly 70, Villanova Prep 40

Pasadena AGBU 59, Capistrano Valley Christian 54
Rio Hondo Prep 72, Public Safety Academy 45

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Football: Muir’s Brandon Jackson, a junior fullback, was fatally shot in Altadena over the weekend.

NOTE: Those wishing to make donations can contact Deanna Howard at

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

ALTADENA – Coronor’s officials Monday identified a man shot and killed in a drive-by shooting this past weekend as 18-year-old John Muir High School football standout Brandon Jackson.

Jackson, who played fullback/linebacker for the Muir Mustangs, was gunned down at about 10 p.m. Saturday in the 300 block of West Palm Street as he was walking home from a friend’s party.

Neighbors said someone pulled up in a car, then called Jackson over and opened fire. He died later at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

Coroner Chief Ed Winters said Jackson suffered gunshot wounds to the abdomen. An autopsy was expected to be performed today or Wednesday, he said.

Sheriff’s Detective Adan Torres said investigators had no motive or suspects. He said no witnesses had come forward to offer any clues.

But a source close to the investigation said the shooting likely was gang related. A shooting Sunday night in Pasadena that left a 44-year-old man wounded might have been done in retaliation to Jackson’s slaying, the source said.

Muir Principal Sheryl Orange said Monday she requested a stronger police presence at the school.

“I asked them to watch the perimeters,” Orange said.

On West Palm Street on Monday, friends and relatives of Jackson set up a sidewalk memorial to the victim.

People who knew him said Jackson was in the process of turning his school career around. The 5-foot, 11-inch, 175-pound football player scored a touch down in last year’s Turkey Tussle game between Muir and Pasadena High School in which Muir won, 63-6.

“This kid was off and running in the classroom, bringing his GPA to a 2.7,” Muir football coach Ken Howard said Monday. “He was all about becoming successful, keeping a positive attitude.”

Howard held a team meeting where the mood was somber as players consoled each other.

Jackson was described as a “good kid” and “respectful,” a starting fullback who was expected to shoulder more offensive responsibility next season.

As a sophomore Jackson forced a key fumble that helped the Mustangs tie and nearly knock off the defending CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champions.

Adrienne Lett, vice president of the football booster’s club, said the club held an emergency meeting Monday night to talk about how to help Jackson’s family with funeral costs.

Also, grief counselors and counselors from Child Welfare and Attendance and the Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development were at Muir on Monday speaking to students.

Muir senior wide receiver Karl Holmes Jr. remembered Jackson’s ambition to improve his personal life.

“He would say, `I just want to get a job and help my sister,’ because his mom had passed away when he was in the seventh grade,” Holmes said. “He had said he just wanted to help his family and he wanted to be the man of the family, and I respected him for that.”

Holmes and Jackson were among a group of Muir High students who as sophomores went to Washington, D.C., to witness President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration.

“He was crying when it all happened,” Holmes recalled.

The two had known each since they were both 12 years old, Holmes said.

“He was more than a teammate – he was like a brother. The sad thing is, I can’t remember the last thing I said to him.”

Howard pressed his players to keep Jackson’s memory alive.

“I told them, `If you have Brandon’s phone number, keep it and don’t delete it,”‘ Howard said. “That if they have his picture, don’t delete it – keep it.”

Michael Burnes, a sophomore who had known Jackson since both played Pop Warner football as 11-year-olds, was still trying to comprehend the death of his childhood friend.

“It’s just a sad day,” he said. “Known him since we were kids.”

Dennis Vaughn, a senior linebacker, said he recognized Jackson’s leadership skills early on.

“He was only a sophomore and he was on the sidelines telling us to keep our heads up,” Vaughn recalled. “He always had a positive attitude. There was definitely no gang involvement. That’s not what he was about. He was about getting his work done and moving on.”

Staff Writer Beige Luciano-Adams contributed to this report.

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Boys Basketball: Duke has the Cameron Crazies, Flintridge Prep has the Rambunctious Rebels.

There’s no other crowd like Flintridge Prep, check that, student section like Flintridge Prep, unless you want to count the Cameron Crazies. If you’ve been to a high school boys basketball game this season, or the last few years for that matter, you’ll notice a boisterous student section sitting, err, standing in the far corner of each section. I went to the Rebels game last week against Pasadena Poly. The entrance was crowded, and soon I realized there was no seating for the late-arriving crowd. In a sense, I’m glad it was so crowded, because to tell you the truth, I was illegally parked outside. I was afraid of getting my car towed, again. Anytime a student section chants “fascism”, “communism” and “Mussolini” you know you have a pretty unique and creative section. If you’ve ever been to a Prep game, you’ll hear another chant: “You can’t do that!”. That’s when the Rebels’ favorite player is fouled intentionally, as is usually the case when there’s a 6-foot-8, 270-pound center ready to go on a fastbreak. At home or on the road, you’ll have a hard time finding a seat in either section, and it’s why, I feel, the Flintridge Prep student section is the best student section in the West San Gabriel Valley. Here are the others:

1. Flintridge Prep: Read above.

2. Maranatha: Jeremy Major, a sophomore guard, alone draws a crowd.

3. Pasadena Poly: Worth the drive just to catch a Poly student drenched with orange paint.

4. La Canada: When they win, they always draw a near-sellout.

5. Pasadena*: The asterisk is there because they usually only draw a crowd when they play Muir.

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BHoops: Pasadena keeping foot on pedal vs. Muir

Pasadena (19-6, 13-0) clinched its 10th consecutive Pacific League title earlier this week. But with one game left in the regular season, don’t expect the Bulldogs to hold back.

Pasadena hosts crosstown rival Muir (14-9, 7-6) today at 5 p.m. That’s reason enough for the Bulldogs to get fired up as they await the Division 1AA playoff pairings.

But there’s more on the line for Pasadena.

“We have to win this game because we need to keep our position in 1AA,” said coach Tim Tucker, whose Bulldogs are ranked No. 7 in the division coaches poll. “We can’t afford to drop in that division. I’d like to go into the playoffs with a 14-game winning streak as opposed to coming off a loss.”

Tucker knows Muir will be clawing for a better league placement in hopes of keeping its No. 2 spot in the Division 5AA poll.

“Muir is fighting for third place and to keep their position in the division that they’re in,” Tucker said. “So they’re coming in here needing to win.

“When it comes to the Muir-PHS game, you never look at who’s playing for what, records and what it looks like on paper. It’s about who laces them up and is ready to play.”

Muir, in the first meeting, raced to a 16-point lead before falling, 54-51.

Tucker knows the feeling of losing an impact player, and such has been the case for Muir.

News about the dismissal of Deshawn Hayes (18.2 points, 7.5 rebounds) from Muir’s team because of repeated team violations is something Tucker can relate to. He, too, lost his best player in Todd Lewis Jr., but for a much different reason.

“I look at it two ways,” Tucker said. “One is you lose a kid like Deshawn and other guys step up. We lost our No. 1 player with a broken foot. He was an All-CIF guy who led his team to the CIF State semifinals, and now we have other guys step up.

“That’s what I see with Muir. Other guys will step up. Secondly, often times you have teams that focus more. I don’t see that much of a letdown because the rest will come together.”

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