Breaking News: Pasadena’s Efferon transfers to Serra

By Keith Lair, SGVN

Pasadena High School lost point guard Ajon Efferon on Thursday when
he transferred to Serra, coach Tim Tucker said.
The junior was the starting point guard on the Bulldogs’ 2011-12
CIF-Southern Section 3AAA championship team.
“He has a different philosphy in the type of offense he wants to work
with,” Tucker said. “Serra’s offense does what he wants to do. We’ll
move on.”
Pasadena completed its first grading period on Friday.
The Bulldogs went 28-7 last year and reached the CIF State Division
III Southern California semifinals. Serra went 31-3 last year,
winning the CIF-SS 4AA title. The Gardena school lost in the CIF
State Division IV Southern California semifinals.

Friday Night Final: No. 2 Monrovia beats No. 1 St. Francis in thriller; San Marino goes to 5-0 and Muir rolls in Pacific League; Pasadena loses to CV

WHO’S NO. 1 NOW?: Monrovia, led by running back Ge Vontray Ainsworth’s 176 yards rushing, held off No. 1 St. Francis, 17-13.
Photo by Larry Goren

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – The only thing missing from the Monrovia High School football team’s resume the past two years was a signature victory over an upper-division team.
Not anymore.
Deshawn Potts scored two touchdowns and David Gallegos recovered a St. Francis fumble on the Wildcats 1 with just over a minute to play and Monrovia got its milestone win with a 17-13 victory over St. Francis on Friday in a nonleague game at Friedman Field.
Monrovia, which also got 176 yards rushing from Ge Vontray Ainsworth, improved to 3-2.
St. Francis, which got 177 yards passing from Jared Lebowitz and 71 yards rushing and a touchdown from Daniel Kawamura, slipped to 3-2.
“We expect (to win),” said Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox, whose Wildcats have won the past two CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division titles. “That’s what we expect, that’s what we’re about. We want to play the best. I’m just real proud of the kids and the way they played tonight.”
But St. Francis, which led 13-10 at halftime, nearly stole it away.
Lebowitz had completions of 19, 21 and 14 yards to drive the Golden Knights from their 35 to the Wildcats1. The final toss to John Carroll came on fourth-and-3 from the 15.
But on the next play, Lebowitz fumbled the snap, and Gallegos fell on it to preserve the victory.
“We showed what our defense is made out of,” Gallegos said. “We just tried to stop them. We knew they were going to run up the middle, we just covered our end.
“I saw the ball there, and I just took it. I was so hyped.”
Monrovia, which held St. Francis to 232 yards, took a 17-13 lead when Kawamura fumbled and Potts returned it for a score with 9:01 left in the third quarter.
The first half was all about big plays, and St. Francis one-upped Monrovia for a 13-10 advantage.
St. Francis, which nearly rallied from a two-touchdown deficit before losing to La Mirada two weeks ago, made it 10-6 on 26-yard field goal by Mark Verso before using a 48-yard drive to take the lead.
Kawamura grabbed a 26-yard pass from Lebowitz to the Monrovia 21 before scoring from the 3 for a 13-10 advantage with 3:22 left in the half.
No. 3 San Marino 31, South El Monte 21 — The Titans complete a perfect 5-0 nonleague slate with a come-from-behind victory over the Eagles. But can San Marino, which received 109 yards rushing from quarterback Matt Wofford, beat Monrovia? Can’t wait for week 9.
No. 7 South Pasadena 37, Beverly Hills 25 – The Tigers went into the 90210 to improve to 4-1. The Tigers are looking good going into Rio Hondo League play next week.
No. 8 Muir 63, Hoover 0 — The Mustangs have the look of the Pacific League’s best with an easy victory to improve to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in league play. Muir gets another easier one next week when it faces Glendale.
Bell-Jeff 50, No. 9 Pasadena Poly 49 – A heart-breaking loss for the Panthers, who gave up a touchdown and two-point conversion with four seconds to play.
Crescenta Valley 17, Pasadena 14 – The Bulldogs came up short in perhaps their final game without standout Brandon Cox. Pasadena should get a boost from the senior, but will it be enough. Kylon Fleming had 123 yards rushing for the Bulldogs.
Temple City 20, Rosemead 10 — How ’bout those Rams. Temple City, after failing to score during the first three weeks, is suddenly 2-3 after winning its second consecutive game. Nick Starling had 144 yards rushing for the Rams.
Arroyo 42, La Canada 7 — Another loss for Sparta, which slipped to 1-4.
Burbank 41, Arcadia 20 – The Apaches, getting 48 yards rushing from Sheldon McKinley, came back to early after opening Pacific League play with a victory.
Marshall 38, Angelou 20 – The Eagles, getting three TDs from Mark Metino and two from Christian Clark, won their third game of the season.
Eagle Rock 85, Blair 0 — The Vikings, lost 22 players due to grades two hours prior to kickoff and were no match for the Eagles.

Thursday Night Final: Duarte snaps Azusa’s 27-game leauge win streak, blows out Aztecs, 40-14

STREAK BREAKERS: Duarte’s Marcus Lewis (2) dives for a touchdown against Azusa in the teams’ Montview League encounter Thursday night. The Falcons won, 40-14, to snap the Aztecs’ 27-game league streak.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

By John Honell, Corespondent

LA VERNE - Azusa High School’s 27-game Montview League winning streak came to an end Thursday night.
Duarte broke open a close game late in the first half and went on to score a 40-14 win over the Aztecs at Bonita High School.
“All good things must come to an end,” first-year Falcons coach Jason Martin said. “We knocked ‘em off, but that team won’t be down for long. They’ve got one of the best coaching staffs around. We’re 2-0, but the league, from top to bottom, is real competitive.”
The Falcons (3-2, 2-0) went on an 80-yard, 12-play scoring drive late in the first half that was the turning point in the game. Senior quarterback Denzel Talifero scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak to cap the drive, putting the Falcons ahead, 20-14, with 30 seconds left in the half.
The key play came on the fourth play of the drive. The Falcons went for it on a fourth down and inches from their own 30-yard line.
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Titanic Duo: Wood, Gott lead San Marino’s resurgence

SAN MARINO’S ONE-TWO PUNCH: The play of San Marino’s Ryan Woods, left, and Nick Gott is a big reason why the Titans are 4-0 this season.
Staff photo by Keith Birmingham

By Keith Lair, SGVN

SAN MARINO - Ryan Wood does not mind playing follow the leader and Nick Gott is not shy to be that leader.
The San Marino High duo have been running circles around their competition this season. The pair have rushed for a combined 800-plus yards in the Titans’ 4-0 start.
It is the first time San Marino has been 4-0 since 2009, when the Titans were 5-0. San Marino can complete an undefeated preleague start with a victory at South El Monte on Friday.
“I love to follow this guy,” Wood said of his teammate. “I want to follow him.”
“It’s not a problem,” Gott replied. “Blocking is good.”
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“Big Game James” Worthy gives pep talk at Maranatha

WORTHY TALK: Former Los Angeles Lakers forward James Worthy
gave a motivational talk at Maranatha High School on Thursday.
Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb

By Keith Lair, SGVN

PASADENA – Everyone has a journey and people need to follow that path, Lakers broadcaster James Worthy told the Maranatha High School student body and teachers on Thursday morning.
“No matter where you’re from, one thing we share in common is that you cannot escape the journey along the way,” Worthy said. “It is your journey that you have to your platform.”
Worthy, selected as one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA, was the speaker at the school’s weekly assemblies. He was invited, athletic director Brian DeHaan said, by a Maranatha president.
That platform, the 6-foot, 9-inch 51-year-old said, is to use talents wisely and to give back.
“Using your talents and your responsibility and to not say, `Look at me; I’m the best,”‘ he said. “Your responsibility is to look at someone with humility and passion and to bring that person up to your level.
“It’s how you bring a teammate who may not be a great shooter up to your talent. It’s what teachers do day in and day out. They use their talent to fill your mind with knowledge and decision-making powers.”
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Pasadena Quarterbacks Club to host Rio Hondo League football coaches on Friday

SPEAKING THEIR MIND: Rio Hondo League football coaches,
led by Monrovia’s Ryan Maddox, above, will speak Friday
at the Pasadena Quarterbacks’s Club luncheon in Pasadena.
SGVN file photo

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN

Monrovia High School has been the dominant football program in the Rio Hondo League the past few years.
San Marino, after starting 4-0 with back-to-back shutouts, believes it might be able to challenge the Wildcats this season.
Will it?
Area fans will get to hear what the six league coaches think Friday when they speak at this week’s Pasadena Quarterbacks luncheon, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Courtyard by Marriott, 180 North Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.
Lunch is $23 for Pasadena Quarterbacks Club members and $30 for non-member quests. Valet parking is available for $5 at the hotel.
The coaches scheduled to speak are Monrovia’s Ryan Maddox, San Marino’s Mike Hobbie, Temple City’s Mike McFarland, South Pasadena’s Marty Konrad, La Canada’s James Sims and Blair’s Johnny Lopez.
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Volleyball Notebook: La Canada puts Rio Hondo League streak on the line today; travels to South Pasadena

END OF AN ERA?: South Pasadena will look to end La Canada’s Rio Hondo League streak today.
Staff file photo by Keith Birmingham

By Keith Lair, SGVN

The La Canada High School girls volleyball team has been the dominant force in the Rio Hondo League for more than a decade.
The Spartans have won 58 consecutive league matches and are 174-6 in games since their last defeat, in 2006.
The young, injury-plagued Spartans will get an extreme test in today’s league opener at South Pasadena at 3:30 p.m.
“It is open,” South Pasadena coach Ben Diaz said of the league race. “We’re going to try and take their spot.
“We should be able to do some damage and we can definitely beat them.”
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VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS: La Salle still showing the way; Mayfield, San Gabriel next in line

SPIKING THE COMPETITION: La Salle, helped by Haley De Sales, above,
leads the area top 10 rankings for another week.
Staff photo by Sarah Reingewirtz

Here’s this week’s Star-News girls volleyball rankings, compiled by staff writer Keith Lair

1. La Salle (18-2) – Stirring St. Lucy’s match
2. Mayfield (8-2) – Undefeated in Prep League
3. San Gabriel (5-1) – Lost in Kennedy tournament
4. San Marino (6-3) – Time for league play
5. La Caada (3-7) – Tough times in the OC
6 Arcadia (6-4) – Lost to Burbank in 3
7. Maranatha (4-4) — Knocked off Alverno
8. Alverno (9-3) — Brutal nonleague about over
9. Flint. Sacred Heart (3-3) – Looking for progress
10. Westridge (9-4) — Poly test on Thursday

VOLLEYBALL: La Salle holds off Flintridge Sacred Heart in three-game sweep

SWEPT AWAY: La Salle players celebrate after a point during their nonleague match against Flintridge Sacred Heart. The visiting Lancers scored a three-game sweep.
Photo By Sarah Reingewirtz

By Keith Lair, SGVN

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE - La Salle High School girls volleyball coach Tiare Tuitama covered her face in an OMG moment. Coaches on her bench raised four fingers.
The Lancers were not calling out a play. They were signalling how many times officials had called her team for an illegal rotation.
“That’s the first time we’ve done that this year,” Tuitama said. “We had a couple of bad serves and a couple of shanked shots which gave them momentum. But we held in there.”
The Lancers overcame the alignment, and other issues, to hold off pesky Flintridge Sacred Heart for a very tough three-game nonleague victory on Tuesday evening.
“That’s part of our inexperience,” Lancers sophomore Haley DeSales said. “We have a lot of new people on this team. We all have to adjust to our new rotations. It is still early in the season.”
La Salle (19-2) committed more than rotation errors in the 25-19, 25-21, 25-21 victory. There were service errors and missed sets. Solid play from the Tologs certainly contributed to those miscues.
“We’ve been talking about being consistent and we were a little bit iffy here and there,” said La Salle’s Jessica Kennedy, who had nine kills. “We got it together. It could have been a little more clean, but we did well.”
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