Friday Night Final: La Salle no match for Cathedral; Arcadia romps Alhambra; Muir, Keppel, Rio Hondo Prep among winners

8-30-13 XLASALLE16-L

La Salle High School football coach Russell Gordon, after the Lancers suffered a heartbreaking loss in the first round of last season’s CIF-Southern Section playoffs, stepped up his team’s schedule in hopes of hardening them while using it as a barometer of where they stand.
Time holds the answer for the former, while La Salle showed at times Friday that it’s not too far off from the latter, pushing Cathedral before losing 34-9 in both teams’ season opener at La Salle High.
La Salle coach Russell Gordon: We think this will really help us down the line. I thought we had a real good chance against a really good football team. We played great offensively and defensively and created some opportunities for ourselves. I’m very proud of the team. We can only get better from here. We kept fighting.”


1. Monrovia (0-0), idle — hosts Ayala next week
2. St. Francis (0-0), idle — travels to Chino next week
3. Rio Hondo Prep (1-0) def. Brentwood, 36-6 – Kares don’t miss a beat. But Mission Prep looms next week.
4. La Salle (0-1) lost to Cathedral, 34-9 – Big plays did in the Lancers, who forced four turnovers in loss
5. Muir (1-0) def. Salesian – The Mustangs needed OT, which doesn’t bode well for them vs. Alemany next week
6. San Marino (0-0), idle – Hosts Duarte next week
7. Temple City (0-1) lost to Simi Valley, 55-2 – A slow start for Rams…but remember last year?
8. Maranatha (1-0) def. Bassett, 41-21 – Nice way to begin the Jude Oliva era.
9. Duarte (1-0) def. Cerritos Valley Chr., 28-24 –Solid win for the Falcons…It gets tougher next week
10. Flintridge Prep (0-1) lost to Army-Navy, 42-41 – A-N edges the Rebels for the second consecutive year.
Arcadia 38, Alhambra 6
Hoover 65, Blair 0
Keppel 22, Ganesha 18
Montclair 38, San Gabriel 6
Pasadena Poly 42, Marshall 7
Hacienda Heights Wilson 22, Bosco Tech 14

ROUNDUP: Keppel opens with win over Ganesha

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Star-News Pick ‘em, your predictions and ours: Week 1

The Contest: Once again, Keith Lair and I will go head-to-head picking football games throughout the season.

This week: Week 0 has some interesting matchups, highlighted by La Salle’s step up game at home vs. Cathedral. The Phantoms were 10-3 last season, finishing third in the tough Mission League and advancing to the Western Division semifinals. La Salle had a breakout season last year, but they might be overmatched in this game. Other notable games are Alhambra vs. Arcadia, which pits two new coaching staffs; Ganesha at Keppel, which could surprise people with transfer quarterback Marqus Valenzuela, and Rio Hondo Prep, seeking a three-peat in the Northeast Division, opening up at Brentwood.

This week’s games and predictions
Alhambra vs. Arcadia at Moor Field — Ramirez (Arcadia); Lair (Arcadia)
Blair vs. Hoover at Glendale HS — Ramirez (Hoover); Lair (Hoover)
Cathedral at La Salle — Ramirez (Cathedral); Lair (Cathedral)
Ganesha at Keppel — Ramirez (Keppel); Lair (Keppel)
Maranatha at Bassett — Ramirez (Maranatha); Lair (Maranatha)
Montclair at San Gabriel — Ramirez (Montclair); Lair (Monclair)
Pasadena Poly vs. Marshall at Pasadena HS — Ramirez (Poly); Lair (Poly)
Rio Hondo Prep at Brentwood, 4 p.m. — Ramirez (RHP); Lair (RHP)
Salesian at Muir — Ramirez (Muir); Lair (Muir)
Temple City at Simi Valley — Ramirez (Simi Valley); Lair (Simi Valley)
Cerritos Valley Christian at Duarte — Ramirez (Duarte); Lair (CVC)
Hacienda Heights Wilson at Bosco Tech — Ramirez (Wilson); Lair ()Wilson
Army-Navy vs. Flintridge Prep at Occidental College — Ramirez (FP); Lair (FP)
Gabrielino at Contreras — Ramirez (Gabrielino); Lair (Gabrielino)


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2-minute drill: La Salle vs. Cathedral

Second-year La Salle football coach promised to step up the Lancers’ slate this season, and he’s given his team a big-time challenge in the opener. La Salle, fresh off finishing 10-1 with a Del Rey League championship, opens the 2013 season Friday with a home game against Cathedral. The Phantoms finished a solid third in the tough Mission League and advanced to the Western Division semifinals last season.
Here’s our two-minute drill preview video. Can you guess who Aram and I picked?

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Gardner leaves La Salle basketball program

La Salle High School boys basketball coach Jelani Gardner resigned on Tuesday, citing differences with school administrators.
“His resignation was based on unresolved differences in the basketball program administration and style and is a result of extensive and thorough reviews and evaluations of the program.” athletic director Anthony Harris said.
Gardner, in his only year with the Lancers, started two talented freshmen, Vance Jackson and Milan Acquuah. The Lancers went 14-10 and lost to St. Genevieve, 75-60, in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
Gardner was a standout player at St. John Bosco. He played at Cal and Pepperdine.

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Kieffer-Wright finishes fourth

South Pasadena’s Claire Kieffer-Wright finished fourth in her first international competition at the Pan American Junior Games in Medallin, Colombia this past weekend.
Competing for Team USA, the South Pasadena High School senior was one of five jumpers to clear 1.76 meters, 5 feet, 9.29 inches. She finished fourth based on misses.
Cuba’s Dutil Garay Daniellys won gold with no misses.
Kieffer-Wright missed on her first attempt at 1.70 meters, 5-7, and then cleared 1.73 meters, 5-8, and 1.76 meters on her first attempts. She missed on all three attempts at 1.79 meters, 5-10 1/2.

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Scoby cleared to play at Monrovia

By Keith Lair
Heralded and much-traveled running back Kurt Scoby has been cleared by the CIF-Southern Section to play for Monrovia High School the entire season.
The senior received CIF-SS transfer approval on Friday.
“It’s been a seamless transition,” Monrovia coach Ryan Maddox said. “He’s thrilled. It’s been kind of business as usual. He’s been practicing.”
Scoby has played at Charter Oak and St. Paul. He had previously attended Duarte, Cathedral and Alemany, but never played at any of those schools.

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Kieffer-Wright to compete in Pan-Am Games Saturday

Claire Kieffer-Wright, who starts her senior year at South Pasadena High School in a matter of days, will compete in her first international competition on Saturday in the Pan-

Claire Kieffer-Wright in her team USA unfiform

Claire Kieffer-Wright in her team USA uniform

American Junior Championships.
Kieffer-Wright, who won the CIF-Southern Section high jump title last May, will compete for the U.S. in Medellin, Colombia. She is one of two female high jumpers and one of 72 Americans competing in the four-day meet, which begins today.
Kieffer-Wright had one of the top high school marks in the nation last season, clearing 6-feet. She won the CIF State title in 2011.
She qualified for the Pan-Am Games by finishing fourth, on misses, at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. She cleared 5-8 3/4 on her first attempt, but took fourth based on two misses at 5-7 earlier in the competition.
The Pan-Am Games open to athletes age 16 to 19 as of December 31, 2013.

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Surprise, surprise, Monrovia opens the year No. 1 in Star-News Top 10 …

Sneak preview: PrepXtra Season Preview Magazine will be out on Aug. 29 in home delivery and news racks. But we knew you couldn’t wait to get a look at the opening the Star-News Top 10, so here it is in the eyes of Steve Ramirez.


Outlook: The Wildcats, after winning the Mid-Valley the past three seasons, look to become the first West San Gabriel Valley team to win four consecutive CIF-SS titles, matching the legendary Temple City teams (1970-73). They will be the favorites and should be be able to muscle their way through the league and division.


Outlook: The Golden Knights have one of the better rosters in the area, and they should be able to lineup against anybody in the West Valley. They are still a step behind Serra and Chaminade, which means competing for third place and a playoff spot is their only hope.


Outlook: Despite its graduation losses, Rio Hondo Prep is still one of the top teams in the Northeast Division. They will ride the legs of Tayco, who might be the best returning back in the area.


Outlook: The Lancers were the surprise Del Rey League champs last season, responding from a 1-9 record the season before to go 10-0 in the regular season last year. They won’t sneak up on anyone, but La Salle is again the favorite in the Del Rey League and this time a few wins in the playoffs is not out of the question.


Outlook: Muir, despite it’s graduation losses, is still the favorite in the Pacific League. The speed option gives them the advantage, so expect another league title and at least a quarterfinal appearance in the playoffs.


Outlook: No one is expecting a repeat of last season, when San Marino was 10-2 and pushed Monrovia in the Rio Hondo League. But the return of the big boys up front should make the Titans highly competitive in league play and in the Mid-Valley Division.


Outlook: The Rams made a good turnaround to finish third in the Rio Hondo League and make the playoffs. They are a step behind Monrovia and San Marino, but a third-place finish looks to be in their future.


Outlook: Maranatha just missed the playoffs last season. They look in position to change that, with Olivia and solid core of returners. Taking first in the Olympic League might be a tough road, but a playoff spot is an attainable goal.


Outlook: The Montview League title, with Gladstone and La Puente under new coaching regimes, could be Duarte’s for the taking. They have the potential and talent to take advantage of it.


Outlook: You can pencil in the Rebels for second place in the Prep League. They are not yet at the level of Rio Hondo Prep, but another trip to the quarterfinals looks to be in their future.

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