VIDEO: It’s a sweep! Pasadena, Renaissance Academy win CIF championships! Pasadena photos with box score.


Pasadena 50, Arroyo Grande 35

Renaissance Academy 67, Cal Lutheran 45


By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer

ANAHEIM — It takes more than wins to build on Pasadena High School’s storied legacy.

Championships are all that matter.

On Saturday afternoon, the No. 2 seeded Bulldogs etched their name in Pasadena lore, bringing home the school’s fifth CIF-Southern Section championship with a 50-35 win over Arroyo Grande in the Division 3AAA finals at Anaheim Arena.

It was Pasadena’s (25-6) 11th trip to the finals in school history.

The emotion of winning was joy and a mix of redemption. Brandon Jolley remembers vividly what it was like to lose two years ago to Eisenhower at the Honda Center. He said that memory would stay with him the rest of his life if he didn’t win a ring against the No. 8-seeded Eagles.

Jolley, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, made sure to replace that memory, scoring a game-high 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting. He’ll measure for a championship ring soon.

For Pasadena coach Tim Tucker, the title was especially meaningful because for so long the second title eluded him, slowing down his quest to join his former coach and mentor George Terzian as a two-time champion at Pasadena. Tucker previously led the Bulldogs as a player to titles in 1977 and 1978, but as a coach Tucker lost to Mater Dei in 2002 and Compton Dominguez in 2005.

Elusive no more.

“It puts me in great company,” Tucker said. “It’s speical. You want to be able to leave a legacy of doing something great.”

Pasadena 50, Arroyo Grande 35
Pasadena 9 11 7 23 — 50
Arroyo Grande 2 8 13 12 — 35

Pasadena: Brandon Jolley 18, Blake Hamilton 10, Ajon Efferson 9, John Haywood 9, Isaiah Johnson 3, Jeffrey Mcclendon 1.

Total FG: 19 of 53 (35.8 %). 3PT FG: 2 of 6 (33.3%). Free throws: 10 of 17 (58.8%). 15 steals, 12 turnovers, 9 assists, 35 rebounds (24 defensive, 11 offensive). Points off turnovers: 18. Second chance points: 7. Points off bench: 4.

Arroyo Grande: Brent VanderVeen 12, Matt Willkomm 11, Gunnar Gomez 8, Brennan Rivera 2, Jackson Zimmerman 2.

Total FG: 14 of 45 (31.1%). 3PT FG: 2 of 13 (15.4%). Free throws: 5 of 8 (62.5%). 21 turnovers, 7 assists, 6 steals, 30 rebounds (8 offensive, 22 defensive). Points off turnovers: 13. Second chance points: 2. Points off bench: 0.

Largest lead: Pasadena 50, Arroyo 35 (15 points). Lead changes: 0. Number of ties: 1.

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Boys Basketball: Vince De Guzman will have his father’s memory when the senior guard leads Renaissance Academy on Saturday in the CIF-SS Division 6 championship game vs. Cal Lutheran.

Above: Renaissance Academy’s Vince De Guzman, left, and teammate/best friend Troy Fontanilla.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

Vince De Guzman spent more time on the court shooting hoops with his father Napoleon than anywhere else.

The senior guard from Renaissance Academy and his father were virtually inseparable.

Then came last June when a special bond was broken.

De Guzman and his father had just finished watching the NBA Finals. Neither of their favorite teams – Vince for the Lakers and Napoleon for the Celtics – made the finals, but it was basketball after all; the only sport that came close to their love for each other.

When the game ended, Napoleon went out to walk the dog. He almost didn’t make it back. Napoleon began feeling ill and was rushed to the hospital by his wife, Carol. De Guzman, the responsible eldest son, stayed back to care for his brothers, Jarod, 14, and Christian, 10.

Napoleon had suffered a heart attack, and a week later, at the young age of 54, Napoleon was dead.

“He was my coach,” De Guzman said. “He helped turn me into the player that I am today.

It’s that memory De Guzman will take with him as he leads top-seeded Renaissance Academy against Cal Lutheran at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 championship game at Mater Dei High.

No 17-year-old is ever prepared to lose his father, much less being thrust into the new role as man of the house.

But De Guzman, a 5-foot-9 guard who averages 14.1 points per game, was taught the values of hard work and dedication, and assuming responsibility all but came natural for him. He muscled the courage and strength to carry on; emotionally when channeling for his father’s spirit and physically when he faced opposing players who were as tall as 6-10. He scored 24 points against El Camino, the L.A. City Section Division 2 finalist.

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BREAKING NEWS: Muir High School’s Sheryl Orange will be ousted as principal at year’s end.


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 Brian Charles and Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writers

PASADENA – John Muir High School Principal Sheryl Orange will be replaced at the end of the school year, Pasadena Unified School District officials said Thursday.

Recent incidents at the school led top PUSD leadership to ask Orange to resign her post as principal effective at the end of the year, according to a district source who commented on the condition of anonymity.

Orange will remain with the PUSD in some capacity, according to the source.

The Muir principal’s position has been posted as an open job on the Ed Join educational job website.

Pasadena Unified School District spokesman Adam Wolfson declined to give detailed comments on the issue.

“Any comment right now would be premature,” he said.

Several sources close to the district said Orange was informed of the decision to remove her weeks ago.

However, other PUSD officials said Thursday that the story posted on this newspaper’s website caught Orange and others at the district by surprise.

Orange did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

Orange becomes the second PUSD principal removed from her post since the arrival of Superintendent Jon Gundry in July.

Hoori Chalian was reassigned from her principal’s post at Jefferson Elementary in the fall.

Ranking officials within the PUSD said more principals could be moved before the end of the school year.

Orange took the reins at Muir in 2008 in an effort to

turn the underperforming school around.

Muir underwent a so-called reinvention. The school was divided into separate small learning communities called academies, and the district invested an additional $2.8 million into instruction at Muir.

The results were below expectation, according to PUSD board member Scott Phelps. The district “spent $2.8 million, and we didn’t get the improvement we expected,” he said.

Additionally, Orange’s administration has been mired in controversy during the past year.

A fight between Latino and black students broke out last April, leading to a district investigation into racial tensions on the campus.

In September, Muir football coach Ken Howard allegedly assaulted a student during a bag search.

Howard was told by a Muir administrator to conduct the search, even though he was employed as a security guard and therefore was not authorized to search students.

Howard was placed on administrative leave after the incident. The school has since advertised for a walk-on football coach.

Recently, the boys varsity basketball team vacated all it wins because of the participation of Andre Frazier, who was deemed ineligible to play.

Basketball coach Gamal Smalley and athletic director Robert Galvan were temporarily relieved of their duties pending an investigation into what led the boys basketball team to forfeit 20 games and miss the playoffs, district officials said Thursday.

PUSD hired an independent investigator to look into the matter involving Frazier and the basketball team.

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Boys Basketball: Brandon Jolley’s maturation evident.

By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer

The knock on Brandon Jolley two years ago as a freshman forward on the Pasadena High School boys basketball team was he rarely played at full speed and wasn’t receptive to constructive criticism.

With high expectations as a 14-year-old, Jolley made every attempt he could to show why he was surrounded by such hype. He demanded the ball and grew frustrated when it didn’t come his way. When double teams collapsed inside, his tendency was to force a shot. When a coach wanted to give advice, Jolley turned away with a scowl.

“I used to have an on-and-off game,” Jolley admitted. “At times I was on and other times it was switched off. I feel like I still have a lot to give, and now I want to leave it all on the court.”

Jolley was a 6-foot-3, 235-pound freshman. He’s since grown to 6-5 and slimmed to 220. The junior forward said he still has to improve some aspects of his game, but it’s that admission that speaks volumes. He’s taken giant strides by simply seeking out help. He’s a more complete player who has developed a deft turnaround jumper to his post presence and game-changing shot-blocking ability. He’s also dramatically improved his free-throw shooting.

That he’s a more complete player stems from a renewed attitude and mental approach, which in turn has added value to his upside.

Jolley will lead the No. 2 seed Pasadena against Arroyo Grande in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA championship game Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Jolley doesn’t dispute the reputation that followed him his sophomore year, which was plagued by injuries. He’s a kid at heart, he admitted, and at times he’s not handled certain situations the way he would now.

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