East Side sweeps Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic

Glendora's Thomas Rico (#5) with the Tribune All-Stars gets tied up by the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Boys Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Glendora’s Thomas Rico (#5) with the Tribune All-Stars gets tied up by the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Boys Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014.
(Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@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.

Bonita's Nikki Wheatley (#10) with the Tribune All-Stars makes a shot as they play the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Girls Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Bonita’s Nikki Wheatley (#10) with the Tribune All-Stars makes a shot as they play the Pasadena Star-News All-Stars in the Girls Basketball All-Star Classic at Damien High School in La Verne on Friday April 11, 2014. (Staff Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)


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

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STAR-NEWS ALL-STAR TEAM SELECTED FOR TRIBUNE/STAR-NEWS ALL-STAR CLASSIC ON APR. 11 AT DAMIEN HS …

IMPORTANT: If you’re a player or parent trying to find out about practice times, please contact Aram Tolegian at aram.tolegian@langnews.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

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Monrovia blanks Alhambra to win Arcadia Elks Tournament … San Marino done in by Oak Hills ace Solomon Bates …

Arcadia Elks Championship

Monrovia 2, Alhambra 0 — Brian McConnell threw a one-hitter as Monrovia blanked a Marco Briones-less Moors team.

Nonleague

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.

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St. Francis (boys), La Canada (girls), South Pas (girls) all win on the road … Keppel (girls) lose a close one … Pas Poly (girls) cruise at home …

STATE PLAYOFFS

BOYS

Division 3

St. Francis 67, Kearny 62 — The Knights never trailed in the second half, but when things got hairy toward the end, Evan Crawford hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute to play to extend a four-point lead to seven.

The Knights improved to 20-12 and will play at Santa Margarita on Saturday night.

St. Francis standout Kyle Leufroy finished with 17 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter.

GIRLS

Division 1

Mission Hills 54, Keppel 50 — The Aztecs saw their season come to a close despite hanging tough on the road against Mission Hills.

Keppel lead by by two with just over two minutes to play, but foul trouble added up and the Aztecs couldn’t hold off the host Grizzlies.

Kelli Kamida led Keppel with 18 points and Sophia Song added nine. Keppel, which lost two games in the open division during the Southern Section playoffs, finished 25-4.

Division 3

South Pasadena 74, Sierra 69 — The Tigers got 28 points from Sophia Hathaway and double-digit performances from Lexie Scholtz, Kristen Kafkaloff and Elise Takahama to advance over host Sierra of Tollhouse.

South Pasadena improved to 21-6 and will play either Lakeside or Hoover in Saturday’s second round.

Clinging to a two-point lead in the final minute, Kafkaloff hit three free throws to keep Sierra, which never led in the second half, at bay.

La Canada 52, Eagle Rock 49 — Sarah Borland buried a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to bury Eagle Rock and send the Spartans onto the second round where they will play at top-seeded Santa Barbara on Saturday night.

Division 5

Pasadena Poly 71, Liberty Charter 26 — The Panthers opened a big early lead and never looked back. How big? Try 38-0. Nuff said.

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BOYS BASKETBALL: La Canada and St. Francis win to force neighborly matchup in semis … Efferson scores 35 as PHS rolls on …

sfr

Division 2AA

Pasadena 70, Eisenhower 60 — Ajon Efferson scores 28 of his 35 in the second half. Bulldogs back at home on Friday in the quarters.

Division 3A

La Canada 57. Pioneer 53 — Sparty trails most of the game and rallies late to force semis showdown with St. Francis.

St. Francis 55, Gladstone 43 — The Knights fended off numerous rallies by Gladstone to forced semis showdown with La Canada.

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Pasadena, La Canada, St. Francis advance … Maranatha, Keppel lose in OT … Temple City ousted

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Boys Basketball Playoff Results from Friday

Division 1A
First round

AB Miller 62, Keppel 57 OT

Division 2AA
First Round

Pasadena 77, Ontario 58 — Ajon Efferson scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the second half and the Dogs shook off a shaky first half to rout the Jaguars. PHS hosts Eisenhower in Tuesday’s second round.

Division 2A
First round

Whittier 62, Temple City 52

Division 3A
Second round

La Canada 87, Lompoc 51 — The Spartans made 21 3-pointers and were led by Koko Kurdoghlian’s 23 points. Grant Arthur had 15. Sparts visits Pioneer in Tuesday’s quarters.
St. Francis 69, San Dimas 45 — Still cruising toward a showdown with neighbor La Canada in the semis.

Division 4AA
Second round

Harvard-Westlake 98, Maranatha 96 OT

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Maranatha, South Pas cruise into second round with easy wins …

Division 3A

South Pasadena 81, Rubidoux 18 — Thanks for coming. The Tigers led 26-1 after the first quarter and the game was played with a running clock for the entire second half. South Pas gets Gabrielino in a “locals-only” second round matchup on Saturday night.

Division 4A

Maranatha 76, Academy of Academic Excellence — Thanks for coming. The Minutemen led 27-2 after the first quarter and the game was played with a running clock in the fourth quarter. Channon Fluker had 16 points and Victoria Chang added 15 for Maranatha, which will host Crossroads in Saturday’s second round.

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Muir ousted by Valley Christian … Flintridge Prep falls … Maranatha cruises … St. Francis survives …

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First round
WEDNESDAY
DIVISION 3A
Cabrillo 86, Monrovia 81
La Canada 59, Glenn 39
St. Francis 63, Yucca Valley 59 OT
DIVISION 4AA
Maranatha 64, San Marino 31
Valley Christian 60, Muir 48
Bosco Tech at Laguna Beach
La Salle vs. Pacific Hills at Providence HS, 6 p.m.
Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 74, Flintridge Prep 49
DIVISION 5AA
Desert at Pasadena Poly
DIVISION 5A
Lucerne Valley vs. Renaissance Academy at Loma Alta Park, 7:30 p.m.

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La Canada names Ramsey Lambert new football coach

RAMSE

La Canada High School announced 31-year-old Ramsey Lambert as its next varsity football head coach on Wednesday. Lambert replaces James Sims, who won seven games in two seasons at the school.

“I’m excited and it’s a great opportunity to come in and hopefully turn some things around and keep that program going in the right direction,” Lambert said. “I hope we can bring some excitement to the community and a new brand of football that the community and school can be proud of.”

Lambert was most recently the offensive coordinator at Oak Hills in Hesperia, which is where he’s from. La Canada will be Lambert’s first head coach job.

La Canada hasn’t had a winning record since going 6-5 in 2006 under longtime coach Rich Wheeler. Since Wheeler stepped down after the 2008 season, the Spartans have had two head coaches.

Last season, La Canada finished 5-6, was third in the Rio Hondo League and made the Mid-Valley Division playoffs but was routed by Paraclete in the first round.

Lambert has said he’s researched about the last seven years of performance by the program and is hoping to build on last season’s progress.

“The people there in that community are really strung out on success,” Lamber said. “They want to see their kids do well. They want to see their kids do well not only in the class room but in every aspect no matter what extra-curricular activities they join.

“We’ll try to tap into that and see if we can excite some of the alumni about the program as well.”

Lambert in the process of putting together his staff and has already offered to retain assistant coach Jason Sarceda from last year’s staff. Lambert will teach on campus.

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