National Signing Day: Here’s who we have so far ….

Above: Last year’s football photo at the Rose Bowl.

Here’s who we have so far. We want to have a group photo that’ll run in Thursday’s paper. If you are on this list please come to the Star-News at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday wearing a sweater/shirt of your school. If you are signing to a Division I school on Wednesday and you are not on this list, e-mail me at for details.

Monrovia’s Ellis McCarthy — UCLA
Muir’s Kevon Seymour — USC
Muir’s Tairen Owens — UCLA
Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace — UCLA
Arcadia’s Myles Carr — Fresno State
St. Francis’ Travis Talianko — San Jose State
St. Francis’ Kristion Grbavac — San Diego
Monrovia’s Luke Williams — UC Davis

Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Katie Johnson — USC
Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Alexa Montgomery — Arizona
Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Breaana Koemans — Northeastern
Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Lindsey Espe — Belmont
Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Jillian Jacobs — LMU
Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Tera Trujillo — New Mexico
Flintridge Sacred Heart’s Katelyn Almeida — New Mexico
Arcadia’s Hayley Greep — Cal State Northridge
South Pasadena’s Taylor Colliau — Valparaiso

Pasadena Poly’s Colin Woolway — Yale
Pasadena Poly’s Henry Pray — UCLA

Pasadena’s Alegra Hueso — USC

Below: Girls soccer group photo from last year

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Boys Basketball: Keppel’s Matt Low scores 30 points as the Aztecs nail 12 3-pointers to beat rival Alhambra, 62-49, on Friday night.

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

ALHAMBRA — The forecast may have indicated clear skies on Friday night, but it was raining 3s inside Alhambra High School’s gym.

Keppel’s Matt Low hit five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 30 points as the Aztecs buried Alhambra for a 62-49 Almont League win.

Keppel (15-8, 5-1) hit 12 of 20 3-pointers and Alhambra (9-11, 2-3) never came close to matching the Aztecs’ efficient shooting from the perimeter, much less defending it. Keppel had open looks, and it gradually got better for the Aztecs, to the point that Low and Garrett Masada, who hit four 3-pointers to finish with 16 points, made the extra effort for step-back jumpers from beyond the arc.

“What we try to do is if we find a hot guy we try to run more sets for him and isolate him,” Keppel coach Hung Duong said.

It’s the third straight game Keppel has hit at least 10 3-pointers, and to no one’s surprise has won in convincing fashion. The Aztecs shot 6 of 10 from the 3-point line in the first half.

“After you hit one or two threes you have to play better defense than that,” Alhambra coach Robert Blanchard said. “They shot exceptionally well, but we could have played a little better defensively.”

Alhambra’s Miles Ford scored a team-high 14 points and Aaron Cosme, who played for the first time after missing two games because of a head injury, added nine points.

The Moors not only struggled matching Keppel from the 3-point line they also couldn’t establish a post presence dispite several mismatches, and with it the game slipped away.

“They just beat us physically to the spots,” Blanchard said. “We had a hard time executing our offense that way. When we started attempting to match them with outside shots it was out of frustration, guys not getting into open spots and instead forcing shots.

“Our game plan was to get the ball inside, but part of the problem was our bigs didn’t demand it enough and get in position. We were a step slow.”

Keppel took a 35-23 at the half and led by as much as 53-31 on Adam Thompson converted a free throw with 25.5 seconds left in the third quarter. In that quarter, Alhambra converted 2 of 6 three-point attempts from Kevin La and Cosme, who hit it as time expired. The Moors finished 4 of 16 from the 3-point line.

Keppel’s success running the floor and its full-court press was too much for Alhambra to handle as fatigue clearly set it late in the third quarter.The Moors at one stretch missed four consecutive layups on two possessions with under a minute left in the third quarter. And Alhambra still struggled defending the 3-point play as Low twice was fouled behind the 3-point line. Much to Duong’s chagrin, Low only hit one-of-6 free throws.

Still, the chess game was set, and Keppel took Alhambra out of its element.

“I think Alhambra’s more of a deliberate type of offense,” Duong said. “They like to make us play a half-court game, but they got caught in the running game with us and that’s our type of game.”

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Boys Basketball: Muir overcomes sloppy play, beats Burbank, 54-42, to remain unbeaten in Pacific League. Pasadena improves to 8-1 in league with 49-35 win over Glendale.

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

PASADENA — It’s becoming clear the longer the Muir High School boys basketball team remains undefeated in the Pacific League the more difficult it’ll become to keep it that way.

No surprise they’ve become the new team to beat, the Mustangswere given a formidable challenge by Burbank, which led by four in the third quarter before Muir reverted back to its style, swarming the visiting Bulldogs with a relentless defense that resulted in a 54-42 win Wednesday night.

Muir (20-1, 9-0) can’t simply count on its talent and unparalleled speed to keep it atop the league standings, and the Mustangs got a crash course of that against Burbank (11-11, 3-6), which also led by four at the half against Pasadena earlier this week before losing.

“I agree,” Muir coach Gamal Smalley said. “I think team’s are getting up for Muir becuase we’ve had a little bit of success. We have to fight through our fatigue.”

That Muir had finals earlier in the day isn’t an excuse, but the early-school release meant the Mustangs had a long break before tipoff.

“They’re out at 12:30, lounging around for most of the day,” Smalley said. “But we have to play through it and recognize it won’t get easy. Nobody is going to give up on us.”

Muir got off to a solid start, quickly building a 9-0 lead and its defense limiting Burbank to 0 for 6 shooting on its first eight possessions while forcing them to commit four turnovers. Dion Nelson’s 3-pointer off a Bulldogs turnover made it 16-2 with 1:48 left in the game. Alex Voskanian scored the only points for Burbank, on a putback to make it 9-2 and two three-pointers in the final minute. Burbank shot 3 of 14 in the first quarter.

Muir’s Brian Carrier and Nelson scored the only points in the second quarter while the Mustangs were burned with dribble penetration and kick-outs.

Burbank took the lead on a Voskanian 3-pointer with 2:39 left in the third quarter to make it 31-28. Caine Brown’s layup made it 33-28 and the Bulldogs led, 36-34 heading into the fourth quarter.

Muir went into a zone late in the third quarter but it went into full effect in the fourth quarter. Burbank found it tough adjusting to the zone, committing seven turnovers in the fourth, four of which came inthe first minute that saw no shot attempts from the Bulldogs.

Jelani Mitchell, who finished with 13 points and four steals, stole the inbounds pass on the opening play in the fourth and tied it with a fastbreak layup, 36-36. On the ensuing play, it was Tevin Polk making a steal. He scored in similar fashion to make it 38-36, a lead the Mustangs would only add to. Burbank’s Brown on the next play was called for a foul trying to position himself against Polk. Brown’s frustration was evident as he pushed Polk from behind to give Muir possession. Brown fouled out with 3:45 in the fourth quarter and the Bulldogs suddenly went away from driving in, looking for the outside shot that never came.

Andre Frazier played a big hand in forcing Burbank outside. He became a force in the middle and finished with five blocks along with eight points.

“Once we went into the zone he was able to be the shot blocker,” Smalley said. “He’s capable of doing that. That’s a big weapon, as an eraser, so to speak.”

Nelson showed no ill effects of a sprained ankle suffered
on Monday, finishing with 12 points.

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Basketball: For the first time in at least four years, there’s a new No. 1 boys team in the Star-News area.

For the first time in at least four years, Pasadena is not the No. 1 team in the Star-News area. The honor belongs to rival Muir (19-1, 8-0) after the Mustangs dethroned Pasadena (14-6, 7-1) last week in the much-anticipated game that definitely lived up to its hype. The teams will meet again Feb. 9 in the season finale at Muir, but for now, the No. 1 spot will belong to Muir. Ever since I came to work here four years ago, Pasadena from the very beginning and through the entire season — from the preseason rankings to the final top 10 rankings — the Bulldogs were always the No. 1 team. It didn’t matter if Pasadena had a sub .500 record in nonleague or what result ensued in the Pacific League because at the end of the day the Bulldogs without question had the best talent in the area and could play with anyone in the area. That’s why you rarely, if ever, saw Pasadena schedule area teams in the area for nonleague competition. You always saw them play out of the area, and for good reason: No team was on par with the Bulldogs. That’s not the case anymore. Muir has risen from the ashes, drumming some noise last year and finally showing us what they’re really made of this season. I saw Muir on Monday, and to watch the Mustangs on defense was like watching an artist paint a masterpiece with every brush stroke. Check back later today for the Burbank-Muir result. For now, here’s the rest of the top 10 rankings for boys and girls basketball:

1. Muir (19-1)
Special team in the making
2. Pasadena (14-6)
Loss to Muir left side effects
3. Renaissance Acad. (17-2)
Handedly beat Cantwell SH
4. Maranatha (15-5)
Showed heart vs. Village Chr.
5. La Salle (12-9)
Blown out by Serra, 70-29
6. La Caada (12-7)
Spartans back on track
7. Flintridge Prep (11-7)
Rivalry vs. Poly loses luster
8. San Marino (12-8)
Tough 47-45 loss to Blair
9. South Pasadena (11-10)
Win vs. Spartans no fluke
10. Blair (9-9)
Keeping games too close

1. Keppel (17-3)
Beat Bishop Montgomery by 1
2. Muir (19-3)
Forfeit keeps Mustangs 8-0
3. Duarte (13-1)
12-game winning streak
4. Pasadena Poly (15-4)
Miller closes in on No. 2 scorer
5. La Salle (13-6)
Kopcha scored 30 vs. CSH
6. South Pasadena (15-6)
Big game vs. Monrovia Friday
7. Monrovia (7-5)
Four consecutive wins
8. Rosemead (13-7)
Gauthier carrying load
9. Pasadena (11-9)
Showed can play big
10. Arcadia (11-7)
Three consecutive defeats

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