About Steve Ramirez

Steve Ramirez has covered prep sports for San Gabriel Valley Newspapers since 1989.

CIF State Basketball Pairings: Keppel girls seeded No. 1; Maranatha boys No. 2

Here is the CIF State basketball pairings released by the CIF State office today. The first round is scheduled for Wedneday, with the quarterfinals on Saturday. The regional semifinals are slated for March 17, with the regional finals on March 21 at either The Pyramid in Long Beach or Colony High School in Ontario. The state finals are scheduled for March 27-28 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
BASKETBALL
BOYS
DIVISION II

10 Gardena (21-9) at 7 La Mirada (26-5)
DIVISION III
12 El Cajon Valhalla (22-9) at 5 Sonora (28-4)
14 L.A. Franklin (13-16) at 3 Cantwell (15-13)
15 Selma (22-7) at 2 Damien (24-5)
DIVISION IV
15 Carlsbad Pacific Ridge (22-6) at 2 Maranatha (22-6)
GIRLS
DIVISION II

16 Hart (23-7) at 1 Mark Keppel (22-7)
DIVISION III
9 South Hills (23-7) at 8 Tulare Mission Oak (28-5)
10 South Gate Legacy (26-9) at 7 South Pasadena (23-2)
DIVISION IV
13 St. Paul (19-14) at 4 Los Angeles View Park (26-4)
DIVISION V
12 Douglas (17-17) at 5 Flintridge Prep (24-2)

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CIF Southern California Regional Soccer Pairings: Monrovia boys, Maranatha girls score home games

Here is the CIF Southern California Regional soccer pairings, just released by CIF. The first round is scheduled for Tuesday, with the semifinals on Thursday and finals on Saturday. All games begin at 4 p.m. and are at home sites.
BOYS
DIVISION III

8 La Canada at 1 Cathedral
5 San Dieguito Academy at 4 Monrovia
6 South Pasadena at 3 Cathedral Catholic
GIRLS
DIVISION I

7 La Serna at 2 Carlsbad
DIVISION II
5 West Torrance at 4 La Mirada
DIVISION III
5 Bishop Amat at 4 Santa Margarita
DIVISION IV
7 Chula Vista at 2 Maranatha

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CIF State Wrestling Championships: San Marino’s Julian Flores wins state title


By Stephen Ramirez
steve.ramirez@langnews.com
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
BAKERSFIELD >>
Julian Flores, along with brothers Zander and Evan Wick, were the core of San Marino High School’s rise from afterthought to one of the top wrestling programs in the state.
Saturday, Flores climbed the highest mountain, scoring the 132-pound title at the CIF State wrestling championships at Rabobank Arena.
He’s San Marino’s first state champion.

“It’s unbelievable,” Flores said. “I really didn’t have a good postseason, but it all matters here in March. I just let it go. It was amazing.”
Flores title capped a stellar day for San Marino, which also had Zander Wick place second at 145, with Zander Silva (113), Luke Troy (152) and Evan Wick (138) all earning top-eight medals.
But Saturday was all about Flores, who opened the day with a 5-2 win over Pitman’s Angel Velasquez in the semifinals before scoring a 3-1 win over Mission Oak’s Jaden Enriquez in the final.
He used an escape with 1:25 left in regulation to force overtime before taking down Enriquez early in the extra period for the win.
“I wasn’t really panicking,” Flores said. “I knew I would get a takedown some how. I didn’t know what I was going to do exactly, but I just hit on something.”
Zander Wick, after beating Palm Desert’s Anthony Mantanona in the semifinals, was hoping to join his teammate atop the podium. But was denied by Poway’s Ralphy Tovar, 5-0.
“He definitely knew what I was going to do,” Wick said. He slowed me down and I couldn’t get any of my offense. I tried my all, but it just wasn’t good enough.
“As far as the season, I did really well this year. I didn’t place here last year. To make it to the finals is a huge accomplishment, but it’s always a bummer when you lose in the finals.”
It was also a strong weekend for area competitors, who scored 10 medals. The others were San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (113, third), San Marino’s Silva (113, fifth), Wick (138, fourth) and Troy (152, third); Northview’s Richie Casillas (120, seventh) and Ricky Padilla (160, sixth); Sonora’s Russell Rohlfing (126, sixth) and Bishop Amat’s Nigel Ruiz (145, seventh).
Gonzalez fought back from 6-3 loss to Clovis’ Justin Meija in Friday’s quarterfinals to win four consecutive bouts on Saturday. He beat De La Salle’s Donovin Guerrero, 4-2, to take third.
“(Third is) the closest thing you can get in the consolation bracket,” Gonzalez said. “I came here to take first. Lost a tough one in the quarterfinals yesterday, and came back strong today.
“Once you lose, you can’t do any better. I wrestled my heart out. I can believe how fast these past four years have flown by. Everything worked out the way it did.”
Northview’s Joe Dominguez (145) and Damien’s Patrick Sanchez (285) lost in the consolation fifth round and will not medal.

2015 AREA STATE MEDALISTS
113

David Gonzalez, San Dimas, 3rd
Zander Silva, San Marino, 5th
120
Richie Casillas, Northview, 7th
126
Russell Rohlfing, Sonora, 6th
132
Julian Flores, San Marino, Champion
138
Evan Wick, San Marino 4th
145
Zander Wick, San Marino, 2nd
Nigel Ruiz, Bishop Amat, 7th
152
Luke Troy, San Marino, 3rd
160
Ricky Padilla, Northview, 6th

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Wrestling: San Marino wins 2015 CIF-SS Masters title; Arroyo’s Jackie Quinones wins girls state title

Zander Wick, from San Marino, celebrates after defeating Corona Santiago's Jeremy Thomas during their 145 pound match Saturda at the CIF-SS Master Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario February 28, 2015. (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

Zander Wick, from San Marino, celebrates after defeating Corona Santiago’s Jeremy Thomas during their 145 pound match Saturda at the CIF-SS Master Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario February 28, 2015. (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

By Stephen Ramirez

ONTARIO –
San Marino High School had big expectations entering the 2015 wrestling season.
The Titans lived up to that billing Saturday.
San Marino, a few years removed from being the doormat in the Rio Hondo League, is the best in Southern California after taking the CIF-Southern Section Masters title in dominating fashion at Citizen’s Business Bank Arena.

The Titans, led by two-time Masters champion Zander Wick (145 pounds) scored four individual championships and had six qualifiers to the CIF State championships en route to a first-place finish, St. John Bosco was second with Northview third. The Titans and Vikings each qualified six competitors to next weekend’s state championships, scheduled for Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
The other individual champions for San Marino were Zander Silva (113), Julian Flores (132) and Luke Troy (152).
“We did really well,” said Wick, who won at 126 last season. “It was awesome. It’s amazing, because three years ago we weren’t even league champions, we were like last in our league. We got good coaches to come in and we got a lot better.

“Nobody would have thought back then we could come in and take first at Masters. It’s great.”
The rest of the area had a pretty solid day as well, with six champions. The other two were Northview’s Richie Casillas (120) and Ricky Padilla (160). The area qualified 21 to next week’s state championships.

The other area qualifiers were Montebello’s Nico Gomez (103, fifth); Bishop Amat’s Eddie Flores (103, seventh) and Nigel Ruiz (145, fourth); San Dimas’ David Gonzalez (113, second); Sonora’s Russell Rohlfing (126, third) and Josh Kawaguchi (132, second); Northview’s Andres Hooper (126, sixth), Andres Estrada (132, fourth), Joe Dominguez (145, third) and Roger Arce (170, fifth); California’s Richard Pocock (132, fifth); San Marino’s Evan Wick (138, second) and Aaron Padilla (160, third); Charter Oak’s Antonio Zavala (152, seventh) and Damien’s Patrick Sanchez (285).

Zander Wick was one of two from the area to repeat as Master champions. He was joined by Padilla, who won at 152 last season.
Wick, ranked No. 3 in the state, beat No. 2 Jeremy Thomas, of Corona Santiago, 7-2. He led 3-2 late getting a takedown and near-fall to win by 5.
“My match was very tough,” Wick said. “He had me on a single leg, and I can’t remember what I did but I was able to put him on his back to win 7-2.”
Padilla was steady in beating Hemet’s Caleb Wilson, 3-0.
“It’s a great feeling to be two-time Masters champion,” Padilla said. “Not too many people have done it. It’s a tough section, so its real good.”

GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
It was mission accomplished for Arroyo High School’s Jackie Quinones Saturday.
The senior had a season-long of goal of winning CIF-Southern Section and CIF state wrestling titles this season. She accomplished the former two weeks ago and finished off the aspiration by winning at 189 pounds at the CIF State championships at Visalia Convention Center.
Quinones’ title quest was the area highlight, which also included Northview finishing second for the second consecutive season.
The Vikings, who won a state title in 2013, had three competitors score a top-eight medal. They were Izzy Valles (137, second), Deidra Valles (150, fifth) and Azusenna Molina (170, second).
The area had 10 athletes win medals. The others were Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (101, second) and Mia Dow (121, fourth); California’s Nadia Escamilla (111, sixth); West Covina’s Jennifer Lopez (116, seventh); Arroyo’s Lesly Ramirez (150, sixth) and San Dimas’ Daishea Jaime (121, second).

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Girls Soccer: Maranatha wraps up Olympic League with 1-0 win over Whittier Christian

 Maranatha's Morgan Howe (C) (12) with the header past Whittier Christian's Tania Amaya (4) in the first half of a prep soccer match at Maranatha High School in Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

Maranatha’s Morgan Howe (C) (12) with the header past Whittier Christian’s Tania Amaya (4) in the first half of a prep soccer match at Maranatha High School in Pasadena, Calif., on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Stephen Ramirez

PASADENA – Maranatha High School wasted an opportunity to win the Olympic League girls soccer title last season. The Minutemen made sure Tuesday it wouldn’t happen again.
Alexis Phillips scored in the 52nd minute and Maranatha secured the league championship with a 1-0 victory over visiting Whittier Christian.
The Minutemen, ranked No. 3 in CIF-Southern Section Division 6, held a 20-5 advantage in shots to improve to 16-5-2 overall and 6-0-1 in the Olympic League. They close the regular season with a home game vs. Heritage Christian on Thursday.
Shiloh Moore stopped eight shots for Whittier Christian, which slipped to 10-9-2 and 4-2-1 in league play. The Heralds host Valley Christian on Thursday.

Maranatha’s Alexis Phillips: “The big thing for us was that we wanted to secure league. We didn’t last year and we had it taken away from us. Our coach wanted us to possess and switch and in the second half and we did it.”

Whittier Christian’s Shiloh Moore: “(Maranatha) had speed on us. I thought we played well together as a team. I’m really proud of my team. We’ve come a long way from last year.”

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