Local high school girls basketball starts off with a bang with Rialto’s “Jam the Gym” Classic, which will run through Saturday at RHS. Hosting the tournament is Rialto, which split the Citrus Belt League title with Redlands last year and return much of that team, namely junior guard Janae Sharpe and senior guard Diamond Smith.
Also playing in the tournament was Chino Hills, led by Sacred Heart signee Ericka Norman, San Bernardino – led by senior guard Jasmine Ray – and La Puente Bishop Amat.
Ganesha vs. San Bernardino, 3 p.m.
Victor Valley vs. Kaiser, 4:30
Upland vs. Chino Hills, 6
Arroyo Valley vs. Rialto, 7:30
Bloomington vs. Riverside North, 3:30 p.m.
Lancaster Eastside vs. Corona Roosevelt, 5
Palm Springs vs. Riverside La Sierra, 6:30
Wednesday’s first-round game
La Puente Bishop Amat vs. Fontana, 3 p.m.
Los Angeles Lakers Hall of Fame guard and general manager Jerry West will speak from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at San Bernardino High School as part of “The Power of Mentoring” program.
West will talk to parents and children from the San Bernardino, Colton and Rialto Unified School Districts. Free tickets to the event are currently available at the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino.
One more week until the season basically ends. Where has the time gone? No real changes in the top 6, and everything after them is basically colored bubbles.
1. Florida (1) – Killed Florida State in Tebow’s last home game. Now on to Alabama.
2. Texas (2) – Survived a scare at Texas A&M and have a tricky matchup with Nebraska, which has a very good defense.
3. Alabama (3) – Just like Texas, survived a scare, going ahead late to beat Auburn.
4. TCU (4) – The 12-0 Horned Frogs have become the world’s biggest Nebraska fans.
5. Boise State (5) – Oklahoma State loss might put Boise in the BCS.
6. Cincinnati (6) – Need to beat Pitt, have Texas lose and get some computer help. Would have helped if the Panthers hadn’t lost this week.
7. Oregon (9) – Best of the two-loss crowd. Can go to the Rose Bowl with a win over Oregon State.
8. Ohio State (10) – Already has its Rose Bowl bid.
9. Penn State (12) – Upsets this week might give Nits a BCS at-large berth.
10. BYU (13) – Nice OT win over Utah puts Cougars in top 10.
11. Georgia Tech (7) – Lost to rival Georgia, but ACC title win would put them back in top 10.
12. Virginia Tech (14) – The Hokies have a copyright on 9-3 seasons it seems.
13. Iowa (15) – Pretty much ticketed for Cap One Bowl.
14. Pittsburgh (8) – Panthers can still win BCS title despite loss at West Virginia.
15. LSU (17) – Moved up bowl position by holding off Arkansas.
16. Miami (Fla) (18) – Got nice win over South Florida for nifty 9-3 record.
17. USC (19) – Yeah, the Trojans shouldn’t have thrown that last touchdown. But UCLA shouldn’t have called the timeout either.
18. Oregon State (20) – Can go to Rose Bowl with win over Oregon.
19. Oklahoma State (11) – Even when the Sooners struggle, Okie State can’t beat them.
20. Houston (21) – In Conference USA title game. Whoopee.
21. California (23) – Win over Washington this week essential for bowl positioning.
22. Nebraska (24) – Can throw the title game into chaos with an upset victory this week.
23. Stanford (25) – The Cardinal killed Charlie Weis I think.
24. Clemson (16) – The loss to South Carolina will be forgiven with a win this week over Ga. Tech.
25. West Virginia (NR) – Mountaineers oust Pitt to move back in the rankings.
Receiving consideration: Wisconsin, Utah, Central Michigan
Dropped out: No. 22 Utah
Just got back from the fog and cold of Rim. Some pretty solid upsets tonight.
Rancho Cucamonga 28, Colton 21
Los Osos 28, Chaffey 26
Chino Hills 35, Etiwanda 14
Upland 21, Colony 17
Palm Springs 33, Summit 26
Kaiser 28, Rim of the World 13
Riverside Norte Vista 36, Apple Valley 21
Serrano 3, La Quinta 0
EAST VALLEY DIVISION
St. Margaret’s 35, Aquinas 0
Bishop 29, Fillmore 0
Grace Brethren 28, Oak Hills 26
Ontario Christian 28, Pasadena Maranatha 24
Temecula Chaparral 14, Redlands East Valley 7
Corona Centennial 52, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 21
Norco 26, Riverside Arlington (2OT)
Vista Murrieta 33, Redlands 6
The only thing that kept me from having a perfect bracket was picking against Riverside Arlington. So all in all, not bad.
No. 1 Redlands East Valley at Temecula Chaparral
Can REV remove the Chaparral monkey from its back? That’s the million-dollar question in this game, as otherwise the Wildcats would seem to be odds-on favorites to advance. But the Pumas have eliminated REV two of the last three years, something that will give them confidence to take out the top seed. However, I picked the Wildcats to persevere before and see no problems sticking with that.
Redlands East Valley 24, Chaparral 20
Corona Centennial 37, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde 28
Norco 40, Riverside Arlington 28
No. 2 Vista Murrieta at Redlands
The Terriers got their first postseason win in three years in impressive fashion, trouncing Moreno Valley Valley View. However, Vista Murrieta is a different animal altogether, as the Broncos have been extremely potent in starting 11-0. Redlands will fight and claw, but just like two weeks ago against REV, they’ll be outgunned and need a perfect game to advance. I don’t see it happening.
Vista Murrieta 27, Redlands 16
Whiffed on a couple of the games featuring local teams last week, so I have some explaining to do to the likes of Aquinas and Ontario Christian, respectively.
Aquinas at No. 1 San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret’s
Note for next year – don’t pick against Aquinas at home in the playoffs. The Falcons dusted Sierra Canyon, making me look pretty dumb. And for good reason. However, they are on the road against the defending CIF and small-school state champions. I have to pick against Aquinas again here. Sorry fellas.
St. Margaret’s 27, Aquinas 13
Fillmore 34, Bishop 18
Simi Valley Grace Brethren at Oak Hills
The Bulldogs redeemed my trust last week, ekeing past No. 3 seeded Kern Valley 21-19 to continue their historic run as a first-year school. Now they get another first – their inaugural home playoff game. Oak Hills is straight rolling and I’m not a huge believer in Grace Brethren. Plus, gotta keep my sleeper alive.
Oak Hills 38, Grace Brethren 27
No. 2 Pasadena Maranatha at Ontario Christian
All of a sudden, the Knights have become a tough out. They took Aquinas to the wire in the regular season finale two weeks ago and pulled the upset against a hot Twentynine Palms team on the road in the first round last week. However, OC is at home and they have a very explosive Maranatha team to face. I see the Knights’ recent run of spunk coming to an end.
Maranatha 35, Ontario Christian 21
This division messed me up quite a bit last week. Then again, with the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds being upset, I wasn’t the only one who screwed up in their predictions. Hopefully I’ll do a bit better this time around.
Palm Springs at Summit
Thanksgiving came six days early for Summit, as they shocked No. 1 seeded Perris Citrus Hill 48-36 last Friday, breaking Citrus Hill’s 38-game winning streak in the process. I guess Summit could be ripe for a letdown, but Palm Springs whipped Summit in the first round a year ago, so the SkyHawks are looking for revenge. I’m tempted to pick them again, but I think I like Palm Springs to carry this.
Palm Springs 26, Summit 19
Kaiser at Rim of the World
This is the game I’ll be at tomorrow, as the Cats and Fighting Scots get together for the third time in four years. Both teams feature dominating running games, with Kaiser depending on Anthony Brown – who is committed to USC – while Rim rides junior RB Dillon Pretzinger. Kaiser won close battles the last two times they’ve played and will likely do the same in this one.
Kaiser 20, Rim of the World 14
Riverside Norte Vista at Apple Valley
I saw the Sun Devils pull a 48-27 surprise over No. 3 Silverado last week, which marked Apple Valley’s first first-round playoff victory in over 25 years. Norte Vista doesn’t have a long history of success either, so one of these teams will be in the Cinderella role come next week. Having seen both teams at different times this season, I feel that Apple is a bit more balanced and will prevail.
Apple Valley 31, Norte Vista 23
La Quinta at Serrano
The Eastern Division opened up a ton for the No. 2-seeded Diamondbacks last week with Citrus Hill and Silverado going down hard. La Quinta is always a tough out this time of year, but I picked Serrano to win this division for a reason – they are darn good. I see the Diamondbacks being a bit too physical for the Blackhawks.
Serrano 24, La Quinta 13
First of all, I want to wish all of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you are getting fat and happy and enjoying time with family and friends. I enjoyed the Central Division last week, going 8-for-8 in my picks last week. We’ll try to stay perfect again.
No. 1 Colton at Rancho Cucamonga
A rematch of a great first-round game from last year, as the Yellowjackets almost pulled the upset against No. 1 Rancho, going up 17-7 before falling 21-17. Colton is a year older and has been reminded of that result almost every day for the past year. While the Cougars are dangerous, I like Colton to advance in what should be another great game.
Colton 28, Rancho Cucamonga 23
No. 4 Los Osos at Chaffey
The Tigers are feeling good about life, as last week’s win over Hemet West Valley was their first first-round playoff win since 2005. Unfortunately, they play one of the hottest teams in the area in Los Osos. The Grizzlies scored 35 points in the first 16 minutes of their game against Arroyo Valley and have scored 177 points in the last three games. I don’t think Chaffey can keep up against that fiery offense.
Los Osos 45, Chaffey 20
Etiwanda at Chino Hills
I made the Huskies my sleeper before the playoffs started and they made me look kind of smart last week, killing No. 3 seeded Wildomar Elsinore 42-13 last week. Etiwanda also was impressive, putting a 38-6 beatdown of Cajon. However, I picked Chino Hills to go to the championship game and there’s no way I’m backing down from that now.
Chino Hills 28, Etiwanda 24
No. 2 Colony at Upland
Since losing to Los Osos in the opening week of the season, Colony has been on point, winning 10 games in a row. However, the Mt. Baldy League isn’t exactly the Baseline League, which gave Upland quite a few tests during the season. I like the playoff experience and the defense of the Highlanders to come through with a minor “upset” at home.
Upland 17, Colony 15
For as bad as I’ve done in the NFL lately, I’ve been the opposite in college. Let’s keep it up shall we?
USC (-13) over Ucla
Arizona (-3) over ARIZONA STATE
Washington State (+24.5) over WASHINGTON
Notre Dame (+10) over STANFORD
Texas (-21) over TEXAS A&M
WEST VIRGINIA (even) over Pittsburgh
AUBURN (+10) over Alabama
Utah (+7.5) over BYU
Oklahoma State (+8) over OKLAHOMA
FLORIDA (-24.5) over Florida State
I really think that the Thursday games have messed up my mojo. Maybe more of them is what I need.
Green Bay (-11) over DETROIT
DALLAS (-13.5) over Oakland
DENVER (+6.5) over N.Y. Giants
HOUSTON (+3.5) over Indianapolis
CINCINNATI (-14) over Cleveland
MINNESOTA (-10.5) over Chicago
Washington (+9) over PHILADELPHIA
Miami (-3) over BUFFALO
Arizona (even) over TENNESSEE
Seattle (-3) over ST. LOUIS
ATLANTA (-11.5) over Tampa Bay
Carolina (+3) over N.Y. JETS
Jacksonville (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO
SAN DIEGO (-13.5) over Kansas City
BALTIMORE (even) over Pittsburgh
NEW ORLEANS (-3) over New England