FULL GAME STORY WITH VIDEO: Pasadena’s season comes to an end after 53-51 loss to St. John Bosco in semifinals of CIF State Division III playoffs.

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

MONROVIA — With 6.6 seconds left on the clock, St. John Bosco High School’s Daniel Hamilton dribbled from the baseline and banked in a pull-up jumper from the free throw line, leaving Pasadena with just 1.7 seconds to pull off a miracle.

But the heave from the length of the court never hit the rim as the visiting Braves ended Pasadena’s promising season with a 53-51 victory in the semifinals of the CIF State Division III playoffs Tuesday night at Monrovia High.

Pasadena (24-8) was the No. 2 seed and looked poise to make a run at this weekend’s Southern California championship game at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. Instead, it’ll be St. John Bosco (25-7) making the trip for a chance at Sacramento for the state championship next weekend.

This is where the Bulldogs ended two years ago when they lost to Lincoln of San Diego, only this time Pasadena came away the CIF-SS Division 3AAA champion. But the Bulldogs looked destined at making plans for Sacramento. Pasadena had been pummeling opponents the entire run that started nearly four weeks ago against Magnolia.

St. John Bosco would proved to be a formidable opponent with story lines throughout. Pasadena senior Blake Hamilton was going up against his cousins in St. John Bosco’s David and Isaac Hamilton, who chipped in 13 points, four assists and three steals despite battling headaches the entire game.

There also was Pasadena’s Ajon Efferson. The sophomore point guard was reunited with St. John Bosco coach Derrick Taylor, who coached Efferson while the two won a CIF L.A. City Section at Taft last season.

But the pleasantries ended when the whistle blew, and Pasadena got off to a roaring 10-2 start and forced the Braves into 11 first-half turnovers.

St. John Bosco didn’t buckle, ending the second quarter on a 9-0 run before stringing a 13-0 run that gave St. John Bosco its biggest lead of the game, 40-31, on an Isaac Hamilton midcourt steal that led to a monstrous one-handed dunk with 2:41 left in the third quarter.

Pasadena fought back thanks to Efferson’s relentless pursuit to the basket and clutch shooting from the 3-point line. But it started with Avo Yetenekyan coming off the bench to hit a crucial 3-pointer with 54.6 seconds left in the third quarter to pull the Bulldogs within 42-36. The Braves turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and Blake Hamilton came right back for a jumper on a Brandon Jolley miss to make it 42-38 heading into the final quarter.

Efferson hit a 3-pointer to pull within 46-44 with 5:31 left in the game and Hamilton’s put-back off his own miss with 4:14 left in the game tied it at 46-46 to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

Efferson, who finished with 10 points and four assists, hit another 3-pointer to once again tie the game at 48-48 with 3:06 left int he game. Bosco turned it over on the ensuing possession but Pasadena couldn’t capitalize. The Braves came right back with a Juwan Thomas 3-pointer with 2:12 left in the game.

Pasadena was taken out of its element in the second half. The Bulldogs stopped attacking the rim and St. John Bosco’s zone in the second half proved effective in slowing down Pasadena.

The Bulldogs began settling for shots, such as Blake Hamilton’s ill advised fadeaway 3-pointer.

“We got out of our game plan,” Pasadena coach Tim Tucker said. “We started launching shots like if we had the game in control. We didn’t attack the basket like we should have and that allowed them to get back in the game.”

But it was Hamilton who kept Pasadena in the thick of things with another putback to tie the game at 51-51 with 36.5 seconds left.

St. John Bosco worked needed a timeout after failing to create a high percentage shot that saw the clock shot wind down to 6 seconds and 6.6 on the game clock.

Pasadena’s plan was simple.

“The plan was if they got the ball up high to trap and foul,” Tucker said. “We didn’t execute that. We didn’t want (Daniel Hamilton) to dribble and get to the point. We were supposed to foul and give up a foul, but they’re just trying to contest shots, and as far as I’m concerned they contested the shot. It just banked in. It’s a lucky shot. Just count them being a little bit luckier than us.”

Daniel Hamilton after the game said the plan was to lob a pass to his brother Issac on a backdoor screen. But David wantd the shot to hit his second game-winner in the State playoffs.

Pasadena’s Blake Hamilton was nearly inconsolable after the game when he missed the last-second shot attempt. But he finished with a strong performance (22 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals) in game attended by college recruiters, including UCLA coach Ben Howland and Cal State Northridge coach Bobby Braswell. Jolley finished with nine points, five rebounds and one steal. He was isolated from the basket nearly the entire game.

Tucker took issues with lack of calls that he said were obvious.

“There was an incident where Jolley has a wide open layup and the guy is holding him,” Tucker said. “The ref misses the call and he (the ref) comes back and tells (Jolley) ‘I blew it.’ That may be a 3-point play, so it just wasn’t our day of calls.”

But Pasadena also didn’t capitalize on potential momentum-swinging plays, like when Hamilton missed the alley-oop dunk off a Jolley lob in the fourth quarter. There also was the four second-chance opportunities in the final minute of the third quarter on rebounds from John Haywood, Hicks and Hamilton before St. John Bosco missed the last-second shot attempt from mid-court. Pasadena was outrebounded, 34-28.

Isaac Hamilton was held well below his 26 point average. Daniel Hamilton finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

“Pasadena’s a tough defensive team,” Taylor said. “Coach Tucker’s known for that. It was a grind-it-out type of game and we knew that it was going to be in the 50′s. We give Pasadena a lot of credit because they fought until the end.”

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FULL STORY: Pasadena’s “King D” in full effect, Bulldogs blitz Bell, 77-44, in second round of CIF State Division III Playoffs on Saturday night. Will play St. John Bosco on Tuesday at Monrovia High (bigger capacity).

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

PASADENA — Finally, a sense of urgency.

The overwhelming pursuit came 45 seconds into the game when the Pasadena High School boys basketball team recorded three steals and three baskets that led to an eventual 10-0 run over Bell, and it was the Bulldogs’ staple defense that limited the Eagles to just six field goals the entire first half.

Blake Hamilton and Brandon Jolley muscled their way to the basket, Perris Hicks and John Haywood applied suffocating pressure and Ajon Efferson waltzed his way around the court, leading Pasadena to a dominating 77-44 victory in the second round of the CIF State Division III playoffs Saturday night.

Pasadena (26-7), the No. 2 seed in the State tournament, will host St. John Bosco on Tuesday at Monrovia High. The game was moved there because it has a higher seating capacity (2,400 seats) to Pasadena’s (1,150). A win next week would send the Bulldogs to next weekend’s Southern California championship game at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario.

That scenario didn’t seem all that plausible the way the Bulldogs had been playing, but with a monumental start against Bell (20-6) on Saturday night the bigger question was whether Pasadena could sustain that kind of intensity in the second half.

Pasadena responded with resounding authority, leading to Chris Hanayan, DeAngelo Stowers, Avo Yetenekyan and Jeffrey McClendon to replace the starters with 3:52 left in the third quarter. Joey Toyama, James Kirkland and Nick Brown also made their way into the game to give the hobbling starters some much needed rest, which they earned from the moment the whistle was blown.

Pasadena throughout the season had shown glimpses of a veteran team that can play to its potential. But there also have been times — plenty, actually — when the Bulldogs played uninspired basketball without capitalizing on numerous mismatches.

Against Bell, it wouldn’t be an issue, but it’s not as if the Eagles hadn’t earned their way here.

Bell entered the State tournament as the L.A. City Section Division 3 champion with an impressive resume that included a key win over Renaissance Academy, the CIF-SS Division 6 champion, and tough games against powerhouse St. John Bosco, Lakewood and El Camino. Bell recorded a 54-50 win over Mt. Whitney in the State tournament opener, another quality win.

But there was no matching Pasadena’s intensity on Saturday night.

Haywood recorded the first steal almost instantly for the quick layup. Efferson and Hamilton followed suit with each recording a steal and layup to make it 6-0, forcing Bell coach Alexander Del Hierro to burn a timeout with 7:15 still to play in the first quarter as the capacity crowd rose to its feet in appreciation.

“I’m not a coach that likes to call timeouts early but I had to because we were overwhelmed in the begining,” said Del Hierro, who led Bell to an L.A. City Section Division 3 title. “This is the best team we’ve seen all year. We got a deer in a headlights type of shock by their defense, and their intensity we just couldn’t handle.”

On the next play, Hicks recorded another steal on Bell’s fourth possession. It didn’t lead to a basket, but the tone was set.

“I thought we got off to one of the best starts,” Pasadena coach Tim Tucker said. “Those first six guys were just incredible. I wanted the game to be as soon as possible.”
And it was.

Pasadena jumped to a 53-17 lead at the half on 24 of 40 shooting, recording eight steals and forcing Bell into 12 first-half turnovers.

Jolley and Hamilton fed each other with no-look passes on fastbreaks, leading to three momentum-building dunks from Hamilton, who scored 23 of his 25 points in the first half along with six rebounds, four steals and three assists.

Efferson, the sophomore point guard, added 12 points, five assists and two steals. Jolley showcased his mobility and quickness, splitting double teams to finish with 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and one block. Pasadena also got solid contribution from the bench with Stowers (nine points), a sophomore, and freshman Jeffrey McClendon (four points, four rebounds) leading the way.

Bell was held to 35 percent shooting (16 of 45). The Eagles were led by Mychal Deas (11 points, five rebounds) and Jesus Chiquete (10 points, 11 rebounds). Angel Grimaldi added 12 points.

Pasadena’s challenge now is carrying this renewed spirit with a short turnaround.

“We can’t celebrate too much,” Hamilton said. “We have a big game ahead of us, and we have to make sure we come out and play the say way and play our hearts out.”

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Boys Basketball: Pasadena’s Tim Tucker familiar with Bell coach Alexander Del Hierro, his former player at PCC. They will lead their teams in the second round of CIF State Division III Playoffs on Saturday night at 7.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

It was quite the turnaround this season for the Bell High School boys basketball team.

The Eagles went 13-11 last season, and around this time last year they were getting ready to watch March Madness. This year, Bell is 22-5 and creating its very own kind of madness, the kind that has Pasadena’s attention.

Bell will visit No. 2 seed Pasadena on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second round of the CIF State Division III playoffs.

Bell’s turnaround hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially to Pasadena coach Tim Tucker. Bell is coached by Alexander Del Hierro, who played under Tucker while he was an assistant to George Terzian at Pasadena City College. Del Hierro was a big man who possessed the kind of quality most big men in high school lack these days: discipline.

“He was a little injury prone but he had good skills and was a really hard worker,” Tucker recalls. “He’s a smart kid and I can understand why his team is so smart. They’re disciplined because he was disciplined.”

Bell is the L.A. City Section Division 3 champion, and the Eagles earned their way to a banner season. Bell’s schedule is loaded with big challenges. The Eagles are one of only six teams to hand CIF-SS Division 6 champion Renaissance Academy a loss. The Eagles swept Garfield in Eastern League play. Garfield reached the semifinals of the L.A. City Section Division 2 playoffs before losing to eventual champion El Camino.

Other big teams on Bell’s schedule includeSt. John Bosco, also in the state playoffs, and Oak Park, which reached the CIF-SS Division 3AA title game.

“His team mirrors him as a coach,” Tucker said. “He’s getting the most out of them. They work hard and that win (Wednesday) night came against a very good Mt. Whitney team.”

Bulldogs persevering

Pasadena has gotten off to slow starts in almost every playoff game, and a lot of that has to do with piling injuries and ailments.

First, sophomore point guard Ajon Efferson rolled his ankle in the semifinals and that’s limited his time in practice. Junior forward Brandon Jolley in the week leading to the finals experienced headaches that kept him out of practice.

As if that wasn’t enough, John Haywood spent most of last week at the dentist’s office and Perris Hicks had his knee slammed by an opening door during school.

On Wednesday night, Blake Hamilton took an elbow to the head that required a visit to the hospital after the Bulldogs’ 72-55 win over South Torrance.

“It’s a long season,” Tucker said. “We’re tired and we have a bit of injuries. We didn’t have a solid starting five in practice the whole (last) week. Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, but we’re still playing.”

The challenge for Pasadena will be figuring out how to improve offensively while some of its starters are sidelined to nurse injuries. Tucker is not worried about Pasadena’s defense, which recorded 21 steals and forced 19 turnovers against South Torrance.

But offense is lacking, and not having a full lineup at practice has put a damper on how to make improvements.

Calling on all fans

Pasadena sold out its game against Bonita in the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs and then again against Beverly Hills in the semifinals, but in both games the Bulldogs were overwhelmed with the visitors bringing a large contingent of supporters that made Pasadena look more like the visiting team.

In the finals, Pasadena was outdrawn again, by Arroyo Grande, which made the 200-mile trek from San Luis Obispo to Anaheim.

Besides winning, Pasadena is trying to do everything it can to draw fans, like bringing three food trucks, which will be parked outside the footsteps of the gym.

Perhaps Bulldogs fans are just used to winning and taking this next run for granted.

After all, Pasadena made its fifth CIF-SS finals trip in the last 10 years.

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Baseballl: Temple City’s Copping no-hits Alhambra.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

TEMPLE CITY – Calvin Copping was dominant on the mound for the Temple City High School baseball team, so it’s not like he needed any help from visiting Alhambra.

But the Moors helped out anyway by virtue of 12 walks and two errors as Copping put the finishing touches on a no-hitter in the Rams’ 6-0 victory Thursday afternoon in the finals of the Arcadia Elks Tournament.

Copping threw 94 pitches (58 strikes) and struck out nine while giving up just three walks for the Rams (3-0-1). If there was a tournament MVP, surely Copping was worthy of the honor. He pitched four shutout innings against Montebello in the tourney opener and then hit a game-winning, two-run home run against San Dimas to lead the Rams into the final.

To top off his big week, he handed Alhambra (3-1) its first no-hit game in the 17 years coach Steve Gewecke has been at the helm.

“He hit his fastball and his curve ball,” Temple City coach Barry Bacon said. “He located very, very well. I thought he had a dominating performance. He’s just really good.”

Alhambra (3-1) fell apart almost from the start and the Moors needed four pitchers to get through the afternoon.

Gary Acuna walked seven batters and threw 83 pitches (45 balls) in 2 2/3 innings pitched. Andres Garcia, Jesus Lopez and Juan Crespo also saw time on the mound, but a five-run third inning by the Rams all but sealed the inevitable.

“We did it to ourselves,” Alhambra coach Gewecke said.

“If we’re going to walk 12 guys and make two errors we’re not going to win games.”
But miscues happen in every game. What seemed to really bother Gewecke was the uninspired effort.

“We don’t play with enough passion,” Gewecke said. “It can’t start in the seventh inning. When you go down six early it’s not like we can drag and push. We don’t have guys that can knock the ball out of the park and get us back in the game.”

Alhambra was aggressive at the plate, but not when it mattered most, which only further complicated things for the Moors.

“We didn’t have enough grind-it-out at bats,” Gewecke said. “We didn’t make (Copping) work. We’re aggressive on sliders, on low and away pitches early in the count. We weren’t aggressive on challenge fastballs. That’s when you need to be aggressive but we didn’t try anything against this guy.

“We didn’t get ahead on the count, we can’t mix, we can’t locate and we don’t make plays to help us get out of jams.”

Temple City’s Jonah Jarrard drove in what proved to be the winning run in the first inning when he singled up the middle to score Kyle Starling, who drew a four-pitch walk.

In the third inning, Jarrard drew a walk on a full count and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Corey Copping then drew a walk on five pitches before Calvin Copping made it 2-0 on a single up the middle to score Jarrard.

Brad Guerrero, Copping’s courtesy runner, advanced to second on another wild pitch. That’s when Benji Sanderson connected on a 2-2 pitch for a base hit up the middle with the infield drawn in to make it 4-0.

“I liked the fact that with two strikes we’re putting the ball in play,” Bacon said.

“That’s just quality baseball. That’s what we need out of Sanderson, and that’s what broke this game open.”

Ben Arrue drew a walk before he and Sanderson advanced a base on another wild pitch.

Arrue and Sanderson then scored on an infield error.

Alhambra had runners on the corners in the fifth inning, but Copping proved too strong despite walking Jesus Lopez to start the inning. Copping got Marco Briones to fly out on a 1-2 count before Blake Kuehle reached base on Temple City’s lone error. But a fielder’s choice got Kuehle on the force at second. That put runners on the corners, but Copping needed just four pitches to get a strikeout and end the threat.

Corey Copping made a diving catch at shortstop to rob Jonah Lybarger of a single on his first at-bat, about the only Calvin needed to keep the no-hitter intact.

“We talked about it yesterday that we wanted to take pride in the defensive side because we committed six errors against San Dimas,” Bacon said. “We wanted to put the leather on the field to see if we can play a solid defensive game, and we did.”

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Baseball: Arcadia outlasts La Salle after 10 innings.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

ARCADIA – The sprinklers told the baseball players it was time to go home.

Minutes after the sprinklers popped on at the Arcadia High School baseball field in the 10th inning, Drew Klein ended the game with a sharp single down the third-base line. The hit scored David Dominguez for the game’s only run to defeat La Salle in a masterful pitcher’s duel by the Lancers’ Bowdein Derby and the Apaches’ Erik Trask.

The 1-0 victory netted the Apaches a third-place finish in the Arcadia Elks tournament.

Klein sent a 2-2 curveball down the line off reliever Austin Wallis to score Dominguez, who had singled to left field with one out, stole second and took third on a wild pitch.

“I never thought it was going to end,” Klein said. “It was a crazy game. He was hanging his curveballs so I thought I would wait on the curve and try and pull it.”

By the 10th inning, both Derby and Trask were long gone from the affair. Trask left after the eighth inning, throwing 112 pitches. He struck out eight and gave up two hits.

“All the guys were throwing really good,” Klein said.

Derby was gone after nine, throwing 112 pitches. He gave up two hits and struck out nine.

Andrew Cordeiro got the win, surviving a harrowing 10th inning. He struck out four in his two innings.

But the Lancers almost drew first blood in the 10th. With one out, Noeh Martinez drew a walk and Derby hit an 0-1 pitch just barely to the right of theright-field foul line. He then hit a high foul ball that both catcher Brendan Campbell and third baseman Darren Kerfoot called for but neither caught.

Derby then hit a shot to left-center field that the Apaches again failed to call for. The ball fell in for a double, putting runners on second and third.

“I think we played well overall except for that last inning,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “It showed up in communication. We showed a lot of character to get out of it.”

Following Derby’s double, Chris Williams hit a ball at second baseman Dominguez, who threw home to catch Martinez.

Austin Wallis took the loss for La Salle, giving up the game’s lone run.

Trask faced the minimum 30 batters in his stint, despite giving up the two hits, walking two and hitting a batter.

Five Lancers got on base, but La Sale never left an inning with a runner stranded. Williams walked and was knocked out on a double play. Derby had the game’s second hit, a double down the right-field line. But he tried to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out by Dominguez.

“Our pitchers did a good job of controlling the running game,” Lemas said. “Eventually someone had to win. Ten innings, a Trask-Derby battle. They both showed they are the top two pitchers in the area and I think we showed we’re the two best teams in the area.”

Antonio Ruiz singled in the eighth and was picked off trying to steal second base.

The game took 3 hours, 1 minutes to play.

Arcadia had one runner reach second until the ninth. The Apaches put runners on first and second bases with one out, but did not score

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BREAKING NEWS: Gamal Smalley has resigned as Muir High School’s boys basketball coach.


BREAKING NEWS: Muir’s Sheryl Orange to be ousted at year’s end (Pasadena Star-News)

Muir A.D. Robert Galvan relieved of duties (Pasadena Star-News)

BREAKING NEWS: Gamal Smalley placed on administrative leave (Pasadena Star-News)

FULL STORY: Muir forfeits 20 games, will miss playoffs (Pasadena Star-News)

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

Muir High School’s boys basketball coach Gamal Smalley announced his resignation following a three-week administrative leave, the Star-News learned Wednesday.

Smalley sent a letter of resignation to the Pasadena Unified School District last week. The administrative leave placed Smalley under strict orders to have no contact with players or their parents.

The move comes amid a scandal surrounding the program having to forfeit 20 wins. It disqualified the Mustangs from the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs as well as negating a Pacific League championship. An independent investigation also led to the suspension of Muir athletic director Robert Galvan. It coincides with the planned replacement of Muir Principal Sheryl Orange next year.

Muir was in hot water after it was discovered that a valid change of address could not be provided for Muir forward Andre Frazier, who previously attended Bell-Jeff, University of Los Angeles and Fairfax. He’s since transferred back to Fairfax. A clerical error led to the discovery, and upon making a frantic effort to prove a change of address, Muir also missed the deadline to apply for an at-large playoff berth, which was denied by the CIF-SS.

Smalley compiled a 76-30 record in three seasons as coach, leading the Mustangs to a Division 5AA finals run last year. Muir was the only public school listed in the final Division 4AA top 10 poll this season, was 24-2 at season’s end, ranked in the top 50 and poised to make a run in the so-called “Super Division.”

Smalley, who previously coached at Blair, leaves a program poised to make a good run next season with the return of 6-foot-4 junor wing/forward Jelani Mitchell.

Smalley, an Altadena resident, said Muir has made a lot of progress over the last three years. But the scandal bore a heavy personal burden.

“It’s a very personal and hurtful situation,” he said. “Because I have a lot of roots at Muir. We had three children graduate from Muir, myself and my wife. I’m very sad in the way it ended.”

Smalley sent an e-mail to the parents of returning players to inform them of his decision.

“I know a lot of parents were frustrated after the forfeitures and it’s understandibly so,” Smalley said. “The parents felt they wanted to go in another direction, and I certainly understand that. I hope that they understand I gave the very best I can. I’m hurting with them, too.”

Smalley has been in talks with the independent investigator hired by the district, and he is expected to meet with the investigator again next week.

“I’m hoping I can make a difference so this does not happen again.”

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Basketball: Pasadena sets sight on CIF State playoffs, explains their calm “celebration” after winning CIF-SS Division 3AAA championship.

It’s been a few days since the Pasadena High School boys basketball team won the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA championship, the fifth in school history, and coach Tim Tucker reflects on the team’s celebration at Anaheim Arena, or lack thereof.

“I thought about it and I was happy, but more relieved,” Tucker said. “It’s hard when people just come out and say you’re supposed to win it or that you shouldn’t be in that division based on your talent. But we don’t have a say in any of that.

“People know that this program doesn’t run from anywhere or from anyone. But to be in that division and expected to win, that was a heavy burden on us because anything short of winning on Saturday would have been a failure.”

Pasadena, which beat teams by an average of a 15-point margin in the playoffs, didn’t jump up and down in or raise their arms in celebration. Players embraced each other with a hug and quickly proceeded to shake hands with Arroyo Grande. By contrast, Alemany, which played in the game right before Pasadena, piled on each other near mid-court after winning the Division 3AA title against Oak Park despite the lopsided score.

With a CIF-SS title now in store, Pasadena (25-9) sets its sights on the higher bar when it hosts South Torrance (19-12) on Wednesday in the CIF State Division III playoffs. The Bulldogs earned a No. 2 seed, meaning they will host every game forward save for the Southern California title game at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario and the CIF State title game at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento.

Pasadena was one of three area teams that earned an invitation to the State playoffs. Renaissance Academy (24-6), the Division 6 champion, is the No. 3 seed in Division V and will play Vincent Memorial (22-6) of the San Diego Section on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Pasadena City College.

The Keppel girls, which lost in the Division 2AA semifinals, also earned an invitation. The Aztecs (27-4) are the No. 3 seed and will host West Hills (24-7) of the San Diego Section also on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Tucker on Saturday speculated Pasadena would be a No. 2 seed, citing the state rankings according to MaxPreps, and he was right.

“I’m happy that they (the CIF seeding committee) got it right,” he said. “We can play at home as long as we keep winning until we’re lucky enough to get to the final.”

Alemany is the No. 1 seed.

Pasadena has had its share of traveling during the State playoffs. The Bulldogs have made trips to Stockdale, and two years ago Pasadena played on the road at Murrieta Valley in the second round and in San Diego in the semifinals. Pasadena traveled nearly 3,000 miles playing four games in seven days, which also included a trip to the Division 2AA finals at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

“That’s why we do sprints and build endurance,” Tucker said. “For runs like this.”

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Baseball: Tiebreakers put a damper on season-opening weekend; Former San Marino standout Stevie Yortsos in a coma.

By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

It was an odd opening to the high school baseball season last week when the area’s top two teams in No. 1 La Salle and No. 2 Temple City ended in a 2-2 tie in eight innings because of darkness in the opening round of the Arcadia Elks Tournament.

It got more bizare when it was determined that Temple City (1-0-1) would move on to the semifinals despite the tie. The reason the Rams move on and not La Salle (1-0-1)? The first tiebreaker is broken down by which team touched more bases. Temple City won, 22-19. Bases touched is the first tiebreaker used in the first game, and from that point the first tiebreaker is which team have less total runs against.

That was the tiebreaker that determined who would move on between Monrovia (2-0) and Pasadena (2-0). Because the teams never faced each other, the tiebreaker was instituted, and the Bulldogs won the tiebreaker since they gave up just three runs in two games. Monrovia gave up four.

“It’s something you hope doens’t happen, and it hasn’t really happened in our tournament,” said Temple City coach Barry Bacon, who co-hosts the tournament along with Monrovia’s Brad Blackmore and Dave Moore. “Three out of the four (groups) had some kind of tiebreaker. San Dimas just won it flat out.

“It was stranger. I acutally ahd to re-read the rules and make sure we did the whole thing correctly. We did it right. It’s not fun, and Monrovia and La Salle played very well.”

So now, the semifinals are set. Pasadena will visit Alhambra (2-0) at Moor Field at 3:15 p.m. today while Temple City hosts San Dimas.

In the end, La Salle coach Harry Agajanian said a lack of communication is probably to blame for the tie. The Lancers gave up two runs in the first inning to Temple City on a seemingly routine pop fly. The ball landed in front of four La Salle players just past the mound.

La Salle still will have a marquee matchup when it visits Monrovia. The teams have had some history, most notably two years ago when Monrovia beat La Salle, 2-1, in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

In other Elks games involving area teams, Pasadena Poly visits Arcadia and South Pasadena hosts Montebello.


La Salle pitcher Bowdien Derby is arguably the area’s best pitcher, and he proved his worth in the season opener.

He pitched seven innings, allowed only three hits and struck out 11 against Temple City. Agajanian said the San Diego-State bound senior is hitting around 91 miles per hour on his fastball. It’s around what he threw in the season finale against Palm Desert in the second round, and it was that kind of performance that created a lot of buzz for the three-year letterman.

But look for Derby to continue making progress, as Agajanian said he’s expected to reach 93 to 95 by mid to season’s end.


Fromer San Marino three-sport standout Stevie Yortsos, a Star-News Athlete of the Year in 2010, is in a medically induced coma, according to San Marino baseball coach Mack Paciorek.

Yortsos reportedly suffered a concussion a week ago during a game while playing for the USC men’s soccer club team.

Yortsos was a three-sport athlete all four years at San Marino. He was a captain in football, soccer and baseball. Yortsos was at his best his junior year when he earned Star-News All-Area first-team honors in all three sports.

Paciorek said Yortsos has made progress, but he’s got some ways to go.

“He’s a fighter,” Paciorek said. “He’ll fight through this, no question about it.”

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CIF State Brackets are out: Pasadena, Renaissance Academy, Keppel girls all home on Wednesday.


South Torrance (19-2) at No. 2 Pasadena (25-9), 7 p.m.

Vincent Memorial (San Diego Section, 22-6) vs. No. 3 Renaissance Academy (24-6) at PCC, 7 p.m.


West Hillss (San Diego Section 24-7) at No. 3 Keppel (27-4), 7 p.m.

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