It’s Miller Time: Star-News girls all-stars ride Pas Poly’s Michelle Miller’s 39 points to 91-81 win over the Tribune



Star-News 91, Tribune 81:
Michelle Miller scored 39 points en route to earning Star-News team MVP honors and the Star-News proved stronger down the stretch to up its series lead to 6-3. The game was tied at 74-74 with 5:40, but big 3-pointers by Monrovia’s Gina Henderson and Miller helped the Star-News pull away. Diamond Ranch’s Chelsea Barnes scored 22 points and was named Tribune team MVP.

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Star-News/Tribune All-Star Game beginning at 4 pm at Damien High today. Boys game approx. at 6 pm.


Above: Pasadena coach Tim Tucker huddles with Star-News All-Stars at practice.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE STAR-NEWS BOYS PRACTICE

9th ANNUAL STAR-NEWS/TRIBUNE ALL-STAR GAME
Saturday, April 28 at Damien High
Girls game, 4 p.m.; Boys game, 6 p.m.

LAST YEAR
Boys:
Tribune 98, Star-News 87, Star-News leads series, 5-3.
Girls: Tribune 80, Star-News 69, Star-News leads series, 5-3.

BOYS ALL-STARS
COACH:
Tim Tucker, Pasadena

TEAM
Blake Hamilton, Pasadena, Sr.
John Haywood, Pasadena, Sr.
Dion Nelson, Muir, Sr.
Jessy Cantinol, Renaissance Academy, Sr.
Vince De Guzman, Renaissance Academy, Sr.
Ali Jabalameli, South Pasadena, Sr.
Javon Shields, South Pasadena, Sr.
Darrell Dansby, La Canada, Sr.
Taylor Lagace, Arcadia, Sr.
Robby Haines, Arcadia, Sr.
Jeffrey Radzwill, Arcadia, Sr.
PJ Dunn, Maranatha, Sr.
Garren Llorens, Maranatha, Sr.
Jeff Briegel, La Salle, Sr.
Jordan Hill, La Salle, Sr.

GIRLS ALL-STARS
COACHES:
Hon Trieu, Keppel and Kim Weber, Pasadena Poly

TEAM
Shaela Flynn, Muir, Sr.
Tahniya Sweatt, Muir, Sr.
Brandi Dubose, Muir, Sr.
Michelle Miller, Pasadena Poly, Sr.
Gina Henderson, Monrovia, Sr.
Domynyque Johnson, Monrovia, Sr.
Kaela Barnes, Monrovia, Sr.
Kelsey Nakamura, South Pasadena, Sr.
Sydney Zarate, La Canada, Sr.
Kristin Leung, San Marino, Sr.
Megan Rutherford, Pasadena, Senior
Sandra Gao, Keppel, Sr.
Lana Haddad, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Sr.
Carrie Morris, Mayfield, Sr.
Devanie Davis, Rio Hondo Prep, Sr.

It didn’t take long for Muir High School’s Dion Nelson to work up a sweat during Thursday’s practice with the Star-News All-Star team.

It was his first organized practice representing his school since the first week of February. Nelson has not played an organized game since Feb. 10 when the Mustangs lost to Pasadena in their regular-season season finale, 71-53. That’s when Muir found out that it would have to forfeit 20 games and miss the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs.

Nelson will get a chance to play one more game wearing his high school jersey when he takes part in the ninth annual Star-News/Tribune All-Star Basketball Game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Damien High in La Verne.

Nelson, a point guard who earned second-team All-Area honors, does his best to not think about what could have been. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking about Muir’s promising season in which it went 24-2 at season’s end, won the school’s first Pacific League title in over a decade and had a top-50 ranking in the state with a strong chance to go deep in the Division 4AA playoffs, long considered the “Super Division” in which the Mustangs were the only public school team ranked in the top 10.

By the time Muir was preparing to play rival Pasadena in the season finale, the hammer had all but fallen on the Mustangs’ program. It would eventually lead to the dismisal of Robert Galvan as athletic director, coach Gamal Smalley’s resignation and principal Sheryl Orange’s demotion as principal at school year’s end.

Disappointment and anger are the emotions Nelson tries to avoid, but it’s tough.

“When I start to really think about it it hurts a little bit,” he said. “When I reminisce how good we were actually doing, it actually stings a little bit.”

That was then and this is now, the present that has Nelson back on the court with familiar faces and a future that burns bright. Nelson on Monday committed to Whittier College, an NCAA Division III school.

“I got over it,” he said. “It was just fun to come back and play again.”

`Friendly’ competition

Pasadena’s Blake Hamilton and John Haywood squared off in a scrimmage Thursday. The two were relentless trying to outdo one another, and it seemed like Haywood got the better end of it, dunking over Hamilton on one play.

“He didn’t dunk on me, I just got out of the way,” was Hamilton’s response.

Hamilton, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, will make a decision today on whether he’ll attend Hawaii, Cal State Northridge or Northern Arizona. Haywood, a 5-foot-11 guard, will attend Citrus College.

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Baseball Updates: San Marino beats Monrovia 3-1; Temple City beats South Pasadena 5-1, tied for first in Rio Hondo League; La Salle gets Bishop Amat again, 3-2; Pasadena beats Hoover, 14-6; Arcadia blanks Glendale, 8-0.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE MONROVIA-SAN MARINO GAME

Temple City 5, South Pasadena 1: Jonah Jarrard went 3 for 3 with a home run and Corey Copping went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Ben Arue 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Rams to cap their eight total hits for the game. “Three kids,” said Temple City coach Barry Bacon of the hits. “We’re a funky hitting team. It’s been a fun Rio Hondo League. Every game has been a battle.”

San Marino 3, Monrovia 1: Garret Glazier pitched a gem and Jeff Bain came in relief to record the save. San Marino scored its first two runs thanks to an error, a fielder’s choice and two wild pitches to go ahead 2-0 after the first. The Titans scored their third run in the second on an infield single on a 3-2 count before stealing second and scoring on a base hit to center field to take a 3-0 lead. San Marino turned three double plays, fueling its win.

Arcadia 8, Glendale 0: Erik Trask threw a no-hitter and struck out 15 to lead the hot-streaking Apaches in Pacific League play.

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Girls Hoops: Monrovia’s Gina Henderson impressive.

Boys practice at Pasadena High tonight, 6-7:30 p.m.

9th ANNUAL STAR-NEWS/TRIBUNE ALL-STAR GAME
Saturday, April 28 at Damien High
Girls game, 4 p.m.; Boys game, 6 p.m.

LAST YEAR
Boys: Tribune 98, Star-News 87, Star-News leads series, 5-3.
Girls: Tribune 80, Star-News 69, Star-News leads series, 5-3.

BOYS ALL-STARS
COACH: Tim Tucker, Pasadena

TEAM
Blake Hamilton, Pasadena, Sr.
John Haywood, Pasadena, Sr.
Dion Nelson, Muir, Sr.
Jessy Cantinol, Renaissance Academy, Sr.
Vince De Guzman, Renaissance Academy, Sr.
Ali Jabalameli, South Pasadena, Sr.
Javon Shields, South Pasadena, Sr.
Darrell Dansby, La Canada, Sr.
Taylor Lagace, Arcadia, Sr.
Robby Haines, Arcadia, Sr.
Jeffrey Radzwill, Arcadia, Sr.
PJ Dunn, Maranatha, Sr.
Garren Llorens, Maranatha, Sr.
Jeff Briegel, La Salle, Sr.
Jordan Hill, La Salle, Sr.

GIRLS ALL-STARS
COACHES:
Hon Trieu, Keppel and Kim Weber, Pasadena Poly

TEAM
Shaela Flynn, Muir, Sr.
Tahniya Sweatt, Muir, Sr.
Brandi Dubose, Muir, Sr.
Michelle Miller, Pasadena Poly, Sr.
Gina Henderson, Monrovia, Sr.
Domynyque Johnson, Monrovia, Sr.
Kaela Barnes, Monrovia, Sr.
Kelsey Nakamura, South Pasadena, Sr.
Sydney Zarate, La Canada, Sr.
Kristin Leung, San Marino, Sr.
Megan Rutherford, Pasadena, Senior
Sandra Gao, Keppel, Sr.
Lana Haddad, Flintridge Sacred Heart, Sr.
Carrie Morris, Mayfield, Sr.
Devanie Davis, Rio Hondo Prep, Sr.

From half-court passes and no-look passes to crisp, deep three-pointers, Monrovia High School’s Gina Henderson showed during Wednesday’s practice with the Star-News All-Stars why it’s ready to extend its lead over the Tribune All-Stars.
The teams will meet Saturday at 4 p.m. in the ninth annual Star-News/Tribune All-Star Game at Damien High in La Verne. The Star-News leads the series, 5-3.

Henderson stepped onto the West San Gabriel Valley scene as a sophomore when she transferred from Bishop Amat. She gained attention when as a sophomore scored 39 points in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs against Magnolia. The first-team All-Area selection and Rio Hondo League most valuable player displayed deft passing Wednesday with a soft stroke from mid-range and beyond the arc.

She was so impressive Star-News All-Star co-coach Kim Weber (Pasadena Poly) unsuccessfully persuaded Henderson to switch from Cal State Bakersfield to Occidental, Weber’s alma mater. Henderson averaged 20 points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds for the Wildcats this season.

“She’s good, I like her, ” said Star-News co-coach Hon Triue of Keppel. “She reminds me of our point guard, however, as a senior she’s more mature and you can tell. It’ll be fun to watch and coach her.”

In just one practice it became obvious that the Star-News’ strength would be at the guard level, and this was all without Pasadena Poly’s Michelle Miller on the floor, who was limited as she prepares for the Prep League swimming finals.

Familiar faces

Pasadena’s Megan Rutherford, Muir’s Tahniya Sweatt and Henderson reunited on the court for the first time since playing together as sixth graders with the travel team Pasadena Vikings.

Rutherford, at 5-foot-11, gives the Star-News a strong post presence and Sweatt brings athleticism and speed.

Three-point contest

It didn’t take long to figure out who the best shooters were in practice, so it came as no surprise who was tabbed to take part in the 3-point contest during halftime of the girls game. Monrovia’s Domynyque Johnson will join Henderson and Miller.

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Baseball: Alhambra on a roll with Briones, Arroyo.

Alhambra (13-3, 8-1) went with sophomore Marco Briones when the Moors were in a pinch last week against Montebello. Briones pitched out of a jam and recorded a big Almont League victory to all but secure the Moors’ eighth consecutive league title.

Briones pitched four innings of relief and gave up just three hits with no runs and three strikeouts. He went on to pitch six strong innings later that week and pitched the Moors to a 1-0 victory over Bell Gardens. He went six innings in that game, and Andrew Arroyo picked up the save. Juan Morales produced his second game-winning RBI for the week. And in a doubleheader against San Marino that weekend, Arroyo picked up his second save of the week.

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Baseball: Shupper, Maranatha a good fit.

It’s been a pleasure so far in Matt Shupper’s first season as Maranatha’s baseball coach.

Sure, some of it has to do with the success the Minutemen (12-7-1, 6-2 in Olympic League) are having, but from the time Shupper landed at Maranatha in the fall it’s all been smooth sailing.

Maranatha is coming off a split with Cerritos Valley Christian and earned a 7-6 victory that handed the Crusaders their first loss in league and stayed in the race for a league title. Maranatha has two home-and-home series left this season with Village Christian (9-9, 4-2) and L.A. Baptist (5-14, 1-7).

Shupper is hoping to build on the solid foundation laid out by Brian DeHaan, who resigned last summer after five seasons and led the Minutemen to a CIF-SS Division 5 title and a 93-52-2 career record. When the position opened up it was an attractive one because of the returning talent and potential. But it’s become evident there’s more to coaching at Maranatha.

“Coming to Maranatha has been a dream come true,” Shupper said. “I love working with these kids. The experience has been great, the administration, the parents, the support.”

Shupper previously coached at the high school level, but it’s a high comfort level he feels at Maranatha that’s made it an easy transition.

“When you feel like you can go out there and be yourself, that’s always great,” he said. “They hired me based on who I’ve been. I don’t have to be someone I’m not. I love going to work where the parents are at the game and always looking for a way to help the team. It’s such a family environment.”

Shupper couldn’t have asked for better senior leadership from twins Josh and Ryan Marrs. Josh is batting a team-high .463 with 13 RBIs and two home runs. Ryan is batting .355 with 10 RBIs.

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BREAKING NEWS: Arcadia hires Chris Long as its next head football coach, takes over Jon Dimalante who resigned a few weeks ago.

Arcadia athletic director Ryan Press has announced Chris Long as the next head football coach at Arcadia High School. He replaces Jon Dimalante who spent 17 seasons at the helm, compiling a 113-76-1 career record after deciding to step down on April 10.

Long played high school football at Serra High, leading it to a CIF championship in 1989. He attended L.A. Southwest College and earned a full ride to Eastern Michigan where he played linebacker. He graduated with a degree in sociology in 1996. He started coaching at Arcadia in 1997 and 998 under Dimalante then coached throughout the Los Angeles area, including a few years at L.A. Southwest College. He was the head coach for three seasons at Western Christian High and spent another three seasons at Hoover High. He served as an assistant head coach and defensvie coordinator at Arcadia last season.

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PrepXtra Live REPLAY: CIF’s Thom Simmons joins Aram, Fred and Stevie R. discuss Wednesday’s close Southern Section vote …


BREAKING NEWS: Aram tweeted that the 30-day, sit-out transfer rule was voted in at the CIF-Southern Section meeting this morning, passing by ONE VOTE, 41-40. The proposal still has to pass at the state level during other section votes for it to go into effect for the 2012-13 season, but passing the Southern Section is a huge step. We will have more later. You can follow Aram on Twitter @ChemicalAT

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Baseball: La Salle rallies to beat Bishop Amat for the first time ever, will meet again Friday at Citrus College.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer

LA PUENTE – When La Salle High School’s Bowdien Derby struck out Andrew Medina to end Tuesday’s game with Bishop Amat’s tying and game-winning runners in scoring position, La Salle coach Harry Agajanian’s face was a picture of relief.

La Salle overcame a five-run deficit to beat Bishop Amat 7-6 for its first win over Amat in school history.

Agajanian made the risky decision of starting junior pitcher Austin Wallis instead of his senior ace Derby, especially with Amat sending out left-hander Daniel Zamora.

But the move paid off.

With the exception of giving up five runs in the second inning, Wallis was solid while La Salle battled back before giving way to Derby to get the final two outs in the seventh.

“I thought throwing Wallis we could get them off-balance,” Agajanian said. “They’re a good fastball-hitting team and Derby is a good fastball pitcher. That’s why we thought we would mix it up a little and throw Austin at them. He has a pretty live fastball, too. It’s not 90 (mph), but he’s got some good off-speed that keeps you off-balance. I think it worked.”

Since Amat entered the Del Rey League in 2007 it has won five consecutive league titles. Tuesday’s loss was just its second defeat in more than 70 league games since ’07.

La Salle (14-6-1, 6-1) can take Tuesday’s big win a step further when it faces Amat (14-8, 8-1) for the third and final time in the regular season on Friday at Citrus College.

La Salle has played two fewer games than Amat in league play, but both have only one loss. The winner will have the inside track toward the title, and La Salle is in a good spot with Derby set to go.

“It would be sweet,” Agajanian said of the possibility of beating Amat again. “They beat Derby in our first meeting (March 23), so we’re not going in with the expectation of it’s a lock or anything. It’s baseball and they’re very good. We have to go in, make our pitches, hope Derby’s on and keep swinging the bat like we did today.”

For Bishop Amat, the top-ranked team in CIF-SS Division 4, the loss was unsettling.

After Bryan Menendez drove in a pair of runs, Adam Alcantara followed with a bases-loaded triple to clear the bases and give Amat a 5-0 lead in the second inning.

But La Salle countered by scoring five runs, all with two outs, to tie the game in the third at 5-5.

After Zamora struck out the first two batters in the inning Noeh Martinez, who went 3 for 4, singled, stole second and scored on Jordan Rodgers’ infield single to make it 5-1.

After Zamora hit Derby to put a second runner on base he appeared to get an inning-ending ground ball to short, but it was bobbled for an error. La Salle made Amat pay with four unearned runs courtesy of Antonio Ruiz’s single that drove in two, and Michael Pedote’s RBI single that brought in the game-tying run.

Amat wasn’t done with the miscues.

After Derby singled to lead off the fifth, Chris Williams’ fly ball to left was dropped for an error. After Antonio Ruiz’s bunt single loaded the bases, Derby scored on a wild pitch and David Sanchez’s infield single scored Williams for a two-run lead.

“For us to squander a 5-0 lead with Zamora on (the mound), that’s not all right,” Amat coach Andy Nieto said. “That’s a formula and recipe for being eliminated in the first round (of the playoffs).

“But you have to give them credit. It was a great job on their part for taking advantage of the extra opportunities that we gave them.”

Nieto then turned his attention to Friday’s game that ultimately could decide the league title.

“We’ve got to lick our wounds,” Nieto said. “Our players should be hurting and should be wounded and deserve to be. But we got a find a way to pick ourselves up from this and get back to work.”

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