By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LA VERNE – Which side of the San Gabriel Valley is the best basketball played?
For one night, it appears its the east side that reigns surpreme after sweeping the boys and girls games Friday night in the 11th Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic at Damien High School.
The Tribune All-Stars, getting 20 points from Walnut’s Rob Harrelson and 19 from Glendora’s Thomas Rico, rallied to beat their Star-News counterparts, 89-81.
In the girls game, Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley capped arguably one of the top area high school careers by scoring 18 points in leading the Tribune to a 85-60 victory.
Wheatley and Rico were their team’s game MVPs. The Star-News MVPs were Muir’s Dejon Williams, who had 12 points in the boys game, and the Mustangs’ Chy’annea Hodges, who had 11.
The Tribune now leads the boys’ series, 6-5, with the Tribune trimming the Star-News’ lead in the girls series to 6-5.
“This was great,” Rico said. “They were saying we’re undersized, so it’s great to come out and get the win.”
The Star-News, which rallied back from a 21-point deficit to tie the score at halftime, 44-44, looked like it might split the doubleheader when Alhambra’ Miles Ford (13 points) hit a 3-pointer and Keppel’s Adam Thompson converted a fast-break layup for a 70-66 lead. But then Rico, one of the area’s best 3-point shooters, got hot, scoring the next 12 points on three 3-pointers and a 3-point play for a 78-72 lead with 3:23 left.
The Star-News cut it to 87-81 with less than a minute left, but missed back-to-back 3-pointers with 30 seconds to play.
“I just wanted to make sure we got the win,” Rico said. “It got close, and I was able to take over and get us the win.”
The first half of the boys game was two halves in one before the teams settled for a 44-44 deadlock.
The Tribune, which got 13 first-half points from Harrelson, opened with a 34-13 blitz. Harrelson; Damien’s Cade Cunniff, who was a late replacement, and Glendora’s Thomas Rico each hit 3-pointers during the run.
But the Star-News team rallied back with runs of 11-0 and 20-8 to tie it at 44 at halftime.
In the girls game, the Tribune All-Stars put it away early in the second half after opening with an 18-3 surge for a 56-30 lead with about 10 minutes to play. Wheatley, who also had six steals, scored 10 in the second half to put the finishing touches on her high school career, which includes being a four-time All-Area player.
“It feels good to finish with all these amazing girls,” Wheatley said. “It was really fun, and to play with these amazing players was a great way to end my high school career.”
Bishop Amat’s Paulina Santana and Dagmar Ramirez had 15 and nine points, respectively, for the Tribune
I just got out of Sunday mass and received a text from St. Francis coach Jim Bonds announcing that USC has offered Golden Knight receiver Dylan Crawford.
Crawford, a sophomore, was first team All-Area after helping St. Francis to a 10-3 record and a trip to the CIF-Southern Section Western Division semifinals. Crawford had 54 receptions for 993 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013.
From left to right: Yarem Park, Roni Yamane, Megan Steinberger, Adriana Maldonado and Kyra White
Five Arcadia High School athletes signed national letters of intent to compete at NCAA Division I and II on Thursday.
Adriana Maldonado will play soccer at Cal State L.A., Yarem Park will play softball at Brown, Megan Steinberger will play soccer at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Roni Yamane will compete in track and field at UCLA and Kyra White will compete in track and field at Cal State Northridge.
Maldonado was a four-year starting goal keeper. She earned Pacific League MVP honors each season.
Park is in her fourth year on the softball team. She plays on majoring in biology and to go to medical school and become a pediatrician.
Steinberger played forward and central midfielder and was a three-year starter.
Yamane is a three-time Pacific League cross country champion and has the school’s No. 2 all-time marks in the 1,600 and 3200 meters.
White has the No. 2 marks in the 200 and 400 meters. She anchored the 4×100 school record-setting relay team and also anchored the 4×1,600 team, which is holds the No. 2 mark.
IMPORTANT: If you’re a player or parent trying to find out about practice times, please contact Aram Tolegian at email@example.com
GAME: FRIDAY, APRIL 11 at Damien HS
Boys: 8 p.m.
Girls: 6 p.m.
STAR-NEWS BOYS TEAM
Coaches: Ray O’Brien and Jeff Stephens, St. Francis
BOYS TEAM PRACTICE TIMES ARE: Mon, Apr. 7 and Wed. Apr. 9 at St. Francis HS, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Ajon Efferson, Pasadena
Rayjon Moore, Pasadena
Steve Herve, Renaissance
Marty Gaizuaskas, Renaissance
Josh Ayaji, San Gabriel Academy
Dejon Williams, Muir
Evan Crawford, St. Francis
Noah Willerford, St. Francis
Musa Daama, Maranatha
Nick Springer, Maranatha
Goren Lee, Temple City
Adam Thompson, Keppel
Robert Cartwright, Flint. Prep
Justus Tucker, Monrovia
Will Genske, Pasadena Poly
STAR-NEWS GIRLS TEAM
Coach: Tamar Hill, La Canada
Courtney Chen, La Canada
Caroline Knop, La Salle
Teresa Wang, Gabrielino
Aundrea Issakhanian, La Canada
Alyssa Miller, La Canada
Vivian Tran, Gabrielino
Christina Huynh, Arcadia
Kaitlyn Olah, Polytechnic
Alexis Parker, Rio Hondo Prep
Tierra Adams, Muir
Chy’annea Hodges, Muir
Claire Fitzgerald, La Salle
Hope Peron, Maranatha
Kyrstin Nakamura, Keppel
Gabriella Chan, Temple City
By Keith Lair
ONTARIO – Did the basketball leave Marquise Mosley’s hand before the 30-second shot clock expired?
The Renaissance Academy junior guard said he was unsure. His coach, Sid Cooke, said the 3-pointer clearly beat the clock. View Park coach Ken Henderson said it did not.
No matter, the 3-pointer hit nothing but net with 3.3 seconds to play to give the Wildcats a 58-55 victory over View Park in the CIF State Division V Southern Regional championship game on Saturday afternoon at Colony High in Ontario.
By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – St. Francis High School’s best season ever is over, but the Golden Knights proved to be a tough out Saturday night.
Devonte Klines scored 22 points and Joe Furstinger had 19 and host Santa Margarita rallied for a 74-66 victory over St. Francis in a CIF State Southern California Regional Division III second-round boys basketball game.
Santa Margarita, also getting 10 points from Scott Wieserski, improved to 25-8 and will travel to Cathedral, an 82-52 winner over La Mirada in the regional semifinals on Tuesday.
St. Francis, which previously had never advanced to the CIF-Southern Section semifinals, finished 20-13, with a trip to the divisional finals and the state playoffs. Kyle Leufroy and Evan Crawford led the Golden Knights with 20 and 19 points, respectively.
For a while, it looked like the Golden Knights’ dream season might continue. They opened the second half with a 16-7 surge for a 54-48 lead late in the third quarter, and took a 55-52 advantage into the fourth. But eventually Santa Margarita’s size advantage, which features four players 6-foot-6 or higher, including Furstinger at 6-8, took it’s toll.
Wieserski made it 55-54 with two free throws at 7:47 before Klines hit a 3-pointer for a 57-55 lead 6:46, St. Francis’ Markar Agakanian made a layup to tie it before Santa Margarita put together a quick 7-0 blitz off turnovers and missed shots to go up 64-57 at 4:48 following a Furstinger putback, a 3-pointer by Yifan Shou and a fastbreak layup by Wieserski.
Wieserski and Furstinger made inside shots to push it to 70-59 with 2:23 left to all but clinch it. Crawford hit a 3-pointer to make it 72-66 with 37 seconds left, but Klines countered with a quick layup for a 74-66 lead with 29 seconds to play.
St. Francis co-head coach Ray O’Brien: “It was a great year. You saw the effort these kids putout tonight. We ended up coming up short in total points, but we probably played one of our best games of the year against a (CIF-SS) champion. They had a size advantage, but it didn’t kill us because of the effort these kids had and it was the same effort we’ve had all year. That’s why they have 20 wins, because of the effort they put out.”
Arcadia Elks Championship
Monrovia 2, Alhambra 0 — Brian McConnell threw a one-hitter as Monrovia blanked a Marco Briones-less Moors team.
Oak Hills 5, San Marinp 0 — In a battle of aces, Oak Hills’ Solomon Bates got the better of San Marino’s Jeff Bain. Bates also went 3-4 at the plate to with his 11 Ks and six shutout innings.