About Steve Ramirez

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

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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Wrestling: Northview, San Marino receive top seeds for dual championships

By Stephen Ramirez
Northview and San Marino, arguably the top two wrestling teams in the area, received top seeds in their respective divisions when the CIF-Southern Section released pairings Thursday for Saturday’s the dual championships.
The Vikings, who won a dual title last season, are No. 1 in the Central Division, with San Marino taking the top spot in the Western Division.
The 16-team tournaments will be Saturday at selected sites. Preliminary rounds begin at 11 a.m., with the finals slated for 7:15 p.m. The six host sites are Alta Loma High School (Central), Marina (Coastal), Carter (Eastern), Dos Pueblos (Northern), Redondo (Southern) and Millikan (Western).

Northview has a bye in the first round and will face the winner of Colton and Norte Vista in the quarterfinals. Other area first-round matchups are Bonita vs. Walnut, San Dimas vs. No. 3 Ayala; Hillcrest vs. Charter Oak and Diamond Bar vs. No. 2 Bloomington.
San Marino faces Lakewood in the first round of the Western Division. Other area first-round matchups are Arroyo vs. California; Montebello vs. Millikan; La Canada vs. Gabrielino and Santa Fe vs. No. 2 Downey.
Bishop Amat is No. 2 in the Northern Division and faces Channel Islands in the first round.
Bassett, which won its first league title in nine seasons with a Miramonte League championship, is no. 3 in the Southern Division. The Olympians face Fillmore in the first round. The other area first-round matchup is Montview League champion Duarte vs. La Puente,
Sonora, which won the Freeway League, faces San Clemente in Coastal first-round matchup.
GIRLS REGIONAL PREVIEW
Northview will host the CIF-SS Eastern Region girls wrestling championships on Saturday.
The event features some of the top competitors in the area. Preliminary rounds are slated to begin at 10 a.m., with the finals scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
Other regionals are slated for Tustin, Pioneer Valley and Upland high schools. The CIF-SS finals are scheduled for next weekend at Roosevelt High School, with the state finals slated for Visalia Convention Center on Feb. 27-28.
Regional host Northview, which won the CIF-SS meet last season, is led by seniors Izzy Valles (137 pounds) and Daisy Velasquez (143) and sophomore Deidra Valles (150).
Other key area athletes competing are El Monte’s Brianne Penunuri (101) and krissiana Fregoso (11); San Dimas’ Haley Valez (116), Daishea Jaime (121) and Monique Barajas (126); Walnut’s Alyssa Barredo (101), Lauren Cuellar (111) and Sarah Arellano (131); Sierra Vista’s Angelica Ochoa (160) and West Covina’s Jennifer Lopez (116).

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Friday Night Final: Pasadena Poly is the last team standing; St. Francis, Monrovia, Maranatha, San Marino eliminated

Charter Oak surrounded San Marino on Friday.  (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Charter Oak surrounded San Marino on Friday.
(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)


CHARTER OAK 49, SAN MARINO 31
SAN MARINO — Charter Oak High School’s football team found itself in the shootout most expected on Friday night against San Marino. And in the end, the Chargers were the ones who didn’t run out of ammo.
Zion Echols rushed for 302 yards and five touchdowns as the Chargers withstood two rallies by host San Marino to post a 49-31 win and punch their ticket into next week’s CIF-Southern Section Central Division semifinals.
“Tonight, the team that throws the ball a lot ran for 302 yards from one running back,” Charter Oak head coach Lou Farrar said. “We’ve got a lot of gutsy kids who are playing their hearts out right now and our coaching staff are doing a great job.”
Charter Oak improved to 8-4 and will host Colony in next week’s semifinals. San Marino finished 9-3.

– Aram Tolegian

LA SERNA 38, ST. FRANCIS 35
WHITTIER — La Serna High School may have finished second in the Del Rio League and wasn’t considered one of the favorites for the CIF-SS Southeast Division football championship, but the Lancers, who won it last season, believe the title is theirs until someone takes it away from them.
They continued to live by that motto on Friday.
Enrique Pacheco threw for 112 yards and two scores, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter, and La Serna advanced to the division semifinals for the fifth consecutive season with a 38-35 victory over top seed St. Francis at California High School.
Anthony Garcia rushed for 143 yards and a touchdown and Ruben Rios had 77 and a score for the Lancers, who improved to 10-2 and will travel to Crescenta Valley for next week’s semifinals.
Miles Bryant, in place of injured Jeremiah Martin, threw for 267 yards and four touchdowns, and Dylan Crawford had five receptions for 136 yards for St. Francis, which finished 11-1.

– Stephen Ramirez
LOS ALTOS 45, MONROVIA 35
HACIENDA HEIGHTS — Redemption or revenge, whatever you want to call it, it was sweet for Los Altos on Friday night.
The Conquerors avenged a last-second loss to Monrovia (10-2) earlier in the season with a resounding 45-35 victory, ending the Wildcats’ season and propelling themselves into the CIF-SS Central Division semifinals.
Los Altos (7-5) dominated the game on the ground, behind a great night in the young career of sophomore running back Tyler Nevens, who rushed for 290 yards and five touchdowns.
“Tyler (Nevens) has had the greatest sophomore season this school has ever seen,” said Los Altos head coach Dale Ziola. “With the likes of Jimmy Jastrab, Sean Forge, Binky Benton, all of those guys.”

– Richard Hernandez
PASADENA 20, LINFIELD CHR. 11
SOUTH PASADENA — The Pasadena Poly Panthers are one step closer to reaching their goal of playing in the Northwest Division championship game. They advanced to the semifinals Friday night by defeating visiting Linfield Christian 20-11 at South Pasadena High.
After a scoreless first quarter, Pasadena Poly (12-0) got on the scoreboard just before the end of the first half.

– Guillermo Tovar
ARROWHEAD CHR. 43, MARANATHA 28
REDLANDS — Bradley Mowbray usually does a lot of his damage for Arrowhead Christian Academy on offense.
On Friday night, he added defense to the equation.
The senior quarter back threw for one touchdown, ran for one more and had three interceptions in the end zone to squash Maranatha drives as the Eagles advanced the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division semifinals with a 43-28 victory over the Minutemen at Citrus Valley High School.

– Bill Norris, Daily Bulletin
SIERRA CANYON 33, ROSEMEAD 12
There is no two-minute warning in high school, but Sierra Canyon High School took that time element to heart in its CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley quarterfinal matchup against Rosemead at Granada Hills High on Friday night.
The Trailblazers took the lead for the first time with just less than two minutes to play in the first half, and rolled to a 33-12 victory over the Panthers.
The Mission Valley League champion Panthers (7-5) built a 12-0 lead through the first 14 minutes of the game. The second-seeded ‘Blazers scored less than a minute after Jesus Renteria kicked a 42-yard field goal to make 12-6 and then went up 13-12 just before the half.

– Staff Report
NEXT WEEK’S SCHEDULE
FRIDAY
NORTHWEST DIVISION
SEMIFINALS

Pasadena Poly at Nipomo, 7:30 p.m.

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Saturday Rewind: St. Francis, Maranatha continue perfect seasons; Monrovia rallies; Poly holds on; Muir ousted

Mission Prep's Joseph Miller (5) tries to catch Maranatha's Caleb Devine (7) as he heads for their first touchdown during Friday night's game at Maranatha High School in Pasadena on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

Mission Prep’s Joseph Miller (5) tries to catch Maranatha’s Caleb Devine (7) as he heads for their first touchdown during Friday night’s game at Maranatha High School in Pasadena on November 14, 2014. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

St. Francis and Maranatha, two of the area’s three undefeated teams, rolled to easy playoff wins, while the other, Pasadena Poly, held on for a 7-0 victory over Morro Bay. The big news might be bad for the Golden Knights as player of the year candidate Jeremiah Martin was hurt in the third quarter and may miss next week’s quarterfinals. Reports say it may be a possible broken collar bone. Rio Hondo League foes Monrovia and San Marino advanced, as did Rosemead. Muir, La Canada were eliminated.

GAMES OF THE WEEK
MARANATHA 47, MISSION PREP 21

PASADENA >> Maranatha High School looked every bit Friday like the top seed in the Northwest Division and a team capable of winning a CIF-Southern Section title.
Eli Snyder threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns and Caleb Devine rushed for 197 yards and three scores as the host Minutemen rolled to a 47-21 victory over Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo in their playoff opener.
Dmitri Mata also had 113 yards receiving and a touchdown for Maranatha, which improved to 11-0. The Minutemen, who scored on eight of their first nine drives, will travel to Arrowhead Christian, which beat Cantwell, in next week’s quarterfinals.
Bryce Fiedderman threw for 199 yards and three touchdowns for the Royals, who finished 4-7.

– Stephen Ramirez
ST. FRANCIS 49, MAYFAIR 14
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE >> It has been a successful year of firsts for the St. Francis football program, which opened the postseason hosting Mayfair at Friedman Field in its first playoff contest in the CIF-SS Southeast Division after moving up from the Western Division last year.
On Friday night, top-seeded St. Francis took care of business against the Monsoons with a 49-14 victory behind five touchdowns from Areg Nazarian.
“I thought we came out hitting on all cylinders in the first half. I’m just proud of our guys,” said St. Francis coach Jim Bonds, who in last week’s regular-season finale won his first league title in his tenure at the school.
The Golden Knights (11-0) were led by running back Nazarian. The junior returned the opening kickoff 89 yards up the middle for the Golden Knights’ first score. Nazarian struck again on St. Francis’ third possession, finishing it with an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeremiah Martin. Nazarian caught the ball on the run and plowed through two Mayfair defenders to get into the corner of the end zone for a 22-0 lead.

– Nathan Cambridge
ROSEMEAD 31, COVINA 27
ROSEMEAD >> Luis Luna’s interception with 34 seconds left put a halt to Covina’s bid to upset Rosemead in the first round of the CIF Mid-Valley Division playoffs Friday night and gave the Panters a 31-27 victory.
Luna added 138 receiving yards as well.
A wild fourth quarter resulted in zero points for either team. The Colts (6-5) stopped the Panthers (7-4) and got the ball at their own 15-yard line with 1:57 left in the game. Two big plays by Colts’ quarterback Joe Benavidez, including a 43-yard bomb to Greg Hennes with 59 seconds left, got his team to the Panthers’ 20 with 39 seconds left. That was when Luna came up with the interception to end Covina’s season.

– Robert Schmitt
ROUNDUP
MONROVIA 26, DON LUGO 20, OT

Lawrence Spicer scored from the 12-yard line in overtime to lead Monrovia High School to a 26-20 overtime victory over visiting Don Lugo in the first round of the CIF-SS Central Division playoffs on Friday night.
The second seeded Wildcats (10-1) drove 43 yards in the game’s final 3:48 to set up Blake Cusick’s game-tying 42-yard field-goal with 3.3 seconds to play and force the overtime.

SAN MARINO 49, CLAREMONT 28
Carson Glazier passed for 405 yards and seven touchdowns to lead the fourth-seeded Titans in the Central Division opener. He completed 22 of 27 passes and had three TD throws of 52 yards or more.
PASADENA POLY 7, MORRO BAY 0
Griffin Carter scored the game’s lone touchdown after the Pirates muffed a punt in the first quarter of the Northwest Division game played at South Pasadena High.
FRIDAY’S SCORES
SOUTHEAST DIVISION

St. Francis 49, Mayfair 14
Cathedral 36, Muir 22
CENTRAL DIVISION
Monrovia 26, Don Lugo 20, OT
San Marino 49, Claremont 28
Colony 48, La Canada 0
MID-VALLEY DIVISION
Rosemead 31, Covina 27
NORTHWEST DIVISION
Maranatha 47, Mission Prep 21
Pasadena Poly 7, Morro Bay 0
TODAY’S GAME
NORTHWEST DIVISION
Rio Hondo Prep vs. Big Bear at Big Bear Middle School, 1:30 p.m.
QUARTERFINALS
FRIDAY, NOV. 21

SOUTHEAST DIVISION
St. Francis vs. La Serna at Cal HS, 7:30 p.m.
CENTRAL DIVISION
Charter Oak at San Marino, 7:30 p.m.
Monrovia at Los Altos, 7:30 p.m.
MID-VALLEY DIVISION
Rosemead at Sierra Canyon, 7:30 p.m.
NORTHWEST DIVISION
Maranatha at Arrowhead Chr., 7:30 p.m.
Linfield at Pasadena Poly, 7:30 p.m.
Templeton at Rio Hondo Prep (if it wins today), 7:30 p.m.

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