Star-News Pick’em: Monrovia, Rio Hondo Prep go for repeat titles….can they do it?

THERE GOES FRAZIER: Monrovia’s George Frazier is a key part in the Wildcats’ title game quest against Paraclete.
Staff photo by Michael Owen Baker

Keith Lair and I will go head-to-head in the Star-News Pick’em. Here is this week’s predictions along with how we did last week.

Last Week: Ramirez (5-1); Lair (6-0)
Season: Ramirez (142-56); Lair (146-52)

Last week: Keith enjoyed a perfect weekend, guessing right on all six semifinals of the Mid-Valley, Northeast and Southeast divisions. I missed on the Satan Fe-Downey encounter, going with the Chiefs, who looked so good the week before with the upset of La Mirada.

This week: It’s championship week and the Star-News area again has two teams going for titles. Monrovia is seeking a three-peat in the Mid-Valley, with Rio Hondo Prep going for back-to-back titles. The Wildcats host No. 1 Paraclete in what looks like a pick’em game. Monrovia is averaging nearly 300 yards rushing in three easy playoff wins, including last week’s win over Sierra Canyon. But Paraclete has been ranked No. 1 or 2 most of the season. I like the ‘Cats, mainly because I don’t see Paraclete having an answer for George Frazier V, who is averaging nearly 30 yards a carry with 207 yards rushing during the past two weeks. Championship games are all about big players stepping up big, and G5 looks like the guy for the ‘Cats. Rio Hondo has bigger worries. The Kares are getting the rematch they wanted against Mission Prep, which has been No. 1 in the Division all season. Will that change on Friday? I have hard time picking against a team that beat another, 47-14 the first time. I do think it will be closer, but Mission gets the pick.
Here’s Friday’s championship schedule:
Paraclete (12-1) at Monrovia (11-2), 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Monrovia), Lair (Paraclete)
Mission Prep (12-1) at Rio Hondo Prep (11-1), 7 p.m. — Ramirez (Mission Prep); Lair (Mission Prep)

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Friday Night Final: Monrovia, Rio punch tickets to finals….stay in hunt for regional bowls

The West Valley usally play ssecond fiddle to the East Valley. But no more! While the East counterparts are done, the West will keep on playing as Monrovia and Rio Hondo Prep advanced to the CIF-Southern Section finals with easy wins in the semifinals. Monrovia got 149 yards and two touchdowns from George Frazier V and is a victory away from a Mid-Valley Division 3-peat, while Rio Hondo rolled over St. Monica to set up a rematch with Mission Prep, the only team to beat the Kares, in a Northeast Division tilt. Both games are Friday and both will be home. Below is the short recaps, with links to the game stories.

GRANADA HILLS – George Frazier V might be the best linebacker in the West Valley.
He’s also a pretty good as a running back, and the senior showed why Friday night against Sierra Canyon.
Frazier rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns and Monrovia High School will play for the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division title for the third consecutive season after rolling to a 42-31 victory over the Trailblazers in a semifinal at Granada Hills High School.
Monrovia improved to 11-2 and will host top-seeded Paraclete, which beat San Dimas, 28-20, in next Friday’s title game.
Sierra Canyon, getting 225 yards passing and three touchdowns from Andre Nunez, finished 11-2.
Monrovia, which rushed for nearly 500 yards the previous two weeks, ran for 324 on Friday. Ge Vontray Ainsworth and Darione Jones each gained 90 yards and combined for three scores.
Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox: “We played a great game. Sierra Canyon is a very good football team. I’m proud of my kids. In the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, we muscled it up and put it away with a touchdown drive. We had turnovers tonight, but the defense played well and we ran the ball well.”
George Frazier V: “I just had to run hard. That’s all I tried to do, to do it for the team.”
SANTA MONICA – It’s a rematch that was four months in the making for Rio Hondo Prep.
The Kares, who lost to No. 1 Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo in August, will play the Royals in next week’s CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division final after an easy semifinal victory at St. Monica, 42-14, on a foggy Friday night.
Rio Hondo Prep’s only loss of the season came at the hands of Mission Prep, 47-14.
Rio Hondo Prep will be making its 21st appearance in a CIF-SS championship game since 1972 and will look to defend its Northeast Division crown.
Second-ranked Rio Hondo Prep (11-1) will host Mission Prep, a 56-26 winner over Salesian in the other semifinal, next Friday.
Nate Tayco led Rio Hondo with 246 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Rio Hondo coach Ken Drain: Mission Prep is awfully good. They’re fast, they’re big and their quarterback is fantastic. I think the biggest thing was that we pumped everyone in that first game (against Arcadia) and we had a big letdown the next week. It’s No. 1 against No. 2, and we’re looking forward to it.”
Nate Tayco: “With those holes (created by the offensive line), how can you not run through them?”

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Monrovia, Rio Hondo Prep still chasing state bowl games

SGVN Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz

The lastest Cal-Hi CIF State bowl rankings are out, and Monrovia, at No. 3 in the South Division III, is sitting pretty. The Wildcats, who face Division IV No. 2 Sierra Canyon on Friday, will likely get an invite to the Division III South Region bowl if they win the Mid-Valley Division, since Paraclete, which faces San Dimas on Friday, is No. 1 in the rankings and would move into one of the two coveted slots. Rio Hondo Prep, which faces St. Monica Catholic at Santa Monica College in a Northeast Division semifinal on Friday, is also in position to go bowling. The Kares are No. 5 in Division IV and would move into the top three if Monrovia beats Sierra Canyon Friday and Rio Hondo wins the Northeast title, which includes No. 4 Mission Prep in its final four.


1. (1) Paraclete (Lancaster) 11-1
2. (2) St. Augustine (San Diego) 9-2*
3. (3) Monrovia 10-2
4. (4) Wasco 11-0
5. (5) Madison (San Diego) 10-1
6. (6) Nordhoff (Ojai) 11-1
7. (7) Laguna Beach 11-0-1
8. (8) San Dimas 11-1
9. (9) Mission Oak (Tulare) 9-2
10. (10) Brawley 10-1
*Forfeit win not included.
Drops: None.
Bubble Teams: Banning 11-1, Corona del Mar (Newport Beach) 9-3*, Garden Grove 10-2, Jurupa Hills (Fontana) 8-4, North (Torrance) 10-2, San Marino 10-2**, Rim of the World (Lake Arrowhead) 10-2, Salesian (Los Angeles) 11-1, Valley Center 7-4.
*Forfeit win not included. **Indicates season complete.

1. (1) Bishop Diego (Santa Barbara) 12-0
2. (2) Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) 11-1
3. (3) Ontario Christian 12-0
4. (4) Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 10-1
5. (5) Rio Hondo Prep (Arcadia) 10-1
6. (7) Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) 8-3
7. (9) Francis Parker (San Diego) 7-4
8. (10) Horizon (San Diego) 8-3
9. (NR) Christian (El Cajon) 8-3
10. (NR) Bakersfield Christian 9-2
Drops: Previous No. 6 St. Margaret’s (SJ Capistrano) lost to Rim of the World (Lake Arrowhead) 28-14; No. 8 La Jolla Country Day lost to Horizon (San Diego) 40-24.
Bubble Teams: Boron 10-2*, Calipatria 9-3*, Flintridge Prep (La Canada) 6-5*, La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 7-4*, St. Margaret’s (SJ Capistrano) 10-2*, Windward (Los Angeles) 5-4*.
*Indicates season complete. **Win by forfeit not included.

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CIF State girls volleyball playoffs: St. Monica advances, La Salle, Alverno come up short

Alverno’s Ali Peterson (3) covers her face as Jessica Hamilton (C) (23) walks away as Calvin Christian scores late in the third game of a CIF State volleyball playoff match at Pasadena High School on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 in Pasadena, Calif. Calvin Christian won 25-23, 26-24, 25-14. (Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Calvin Christian def. Alverno, 25-23, 26-24, 25-14
There will be no CIF State girls volleyball championship for Alverno High School.
But two days removed from making history with the school’s first CIF-Southern Section title, the host Jaguars weren’t exactly fretting after dropping a 25-23, 26-24, 25-14 setback to Calvin Christian, of Escondido, in a Southern California Regional Division V first-round match Tuesday at Pasadena High School.
Christina DenBoer had 15 kills and Brooke Bell added nine to lead the Crusaders, who improved to 25-7 and advanced to Saturday’s second round against St. Monica Academy.
Alverno, getting 14 kills from Jessica Hamilton and 17 assists from Asia Chapa, finished 20-4. The Jaguars, who beat Pomona Catholic for the 5AA Division title on Saturday, lost their first sets of the postseason.
Alverno coach Brent Fabbri: “I just finished telling my girls to forget about this (match). We had one goal this year, and it was to win (a CIF-SS title). I’m proud of my girls. I give it to (Calvin). They are young and they’re good. But we had them in (the first two sets). I’m not disappointed at all. We came into this (match) not nervous, because we accomplished what we set out to. We’re a proud school.”
St. Monica def. Minarets, 25-16, 26-24, 26-28, 25-22
Solid defense propelled St. Monica Academy to the second round of the CIF State Division V playoffs.
The Crusaders rallied from two game-point deficits in the second game and also had two match points in the third game, but could not close it out.
The Crusaders travel to Escondido to play Calvin Christian on Saturday.
Caitlin Hall had close to 30 kills for St. Monica, which lost in the CIF-SS Division 5A title match.
Clovis West def. La Salle, 19-25, 25-23, 25-15, 18-25, 15-11
The Lancers ended their season with a loss to Central Section champion Clovis West. La Salle, getting 16 kills from Haley DeSailes, finished 34-3. Riley Spriestersbach had 12 kills, Katrina Palffy seven, Alyssa Tavera 40 assists and Caroline Knop 40 digs for the Lancers, who won the school’s first CIF-SS volleyball title on Saturday, defeating El Dorado for the 1A championship.

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