Oak Hills’ Marchese advances to national finals

Oak Hills junior wrestler Robert Marchese, competing at the NSCA National Wrestling Championship, Junior Division, in Virginia Beach, Virginia has advanced all the way to the finals.

Marchese, who was seventh at the state meet four weeks ago, had to win five matches in the 171-pound weight class to reach Friday’s final. The medal rounds for the juniors are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. PDT today.

Marchese won his first two matches of the tournament 12-3 and 11-1, then won by fall. His last two were close: 9-7 and 3-1 to advance to the final where he’ll face California State champion Nikko Reyes of Fresno Clovis West. Marchese and Reyes did not meet in the state tournament.

Oak Hills freshman heavyweight Justin Gillham, competing in the Freshman division of nationals, advanced all the way to the semifinals, before losing 2-1 on Thursday. He’ll be competing in consolation today before wrestling for a medal.

The Senior Division gets underway Friday, including 135-pound state champion Chris Mecate of Redlands East Valley.

Barstow names new football coach

Barstow recently hired its next football coach, as Victor Valley assistant coach John Marquez was named to replace Jose Rubio, who coached the Aztecs the last three seasons.

Rubio, who resigned after this past season to spend time with family, was highly successful during his first two years at Barstow, leading the Aztecs to a 17-8 overall record and two playoff appearances, including a run to the CIF-SS Eastern Division championship game in 2008. But Barstow struggled last year, only going 1-9 with a young team.

San G baseball on Florida vacation

The San Gorgonio baseball team is spending its spring break in sunny, though sometimes rainy, Florida, as the Spartans are competing in the Orlando Invitational. With the Inland Empire Classic tabeled this year, the Spartans raised money through fireworks booths, program sales and even proceeds from the County Clash.

The trip harkens back to trips San G used to make in the past, as the Spartans used to travel to Las Vegas for baseball tournaments before working with the IE Classic.

“I think (San G coach) Bill (Eatinger) has a job as a travel broker when he retires from coaching,” San G athletic director Matt Maeda said. “He’s done such a great job managing money and getting the most out of this trip and the kids are really appreciative of it.”

Along with playing some of the premier high school baseball teams in the United States, the Spartans have gone to Disney World and dealt with chaotic Florida weather, as tornado warnings and thunderstorms have made their Florida vacation an adventure at times.

“It’s been crazy out here with the tornado warnings and power going out,” Maeda said. “We are definitely getting quite an experience from being out here.”

Heartbreaker for the SkyHawks

Dorian Cason’s inbounds pass with 18.7 seconds left went over Montigo Alford’s head, resulting in the final two points of Mitty’s 53-50 victory over the SkyHawks. Alford saved the pass, which came from midcourt along the sidelines, under his basket but threw it into the arms of White, who laid it in to give the Lions a 53-50 lead.

Alford dribbled the ball up the court but was off on a contested 3-pointer, leaving Summit just short of a state championship. Both players played their hearts out, with Cason scoring 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half and pulling down 10 rebounds. He held his own against Mitty sophomore Aaron Gordon, who finished with 17 points and 21 rebounds after having 13 and 12, respectively, in the first half. Alford finished with 14 points for Summit.

48-43 Mitty, 3:57 left

The Lions have opened up a five-point lead thanks to the efforts of Brett Younger, who hit two crucial baskets for Archbishop Mitty. However, Aaron Gordon has picked up his fourth foul and is on the bench, so perhaps this is the time for Summit to strike.

The SkyHawks’ senior leaders are doing their thing, with Montigo Alford and Dorian Cason scoring 14 points each thus far.

39-36 Mitty through 3

A 3-pointer by Neil Vranicar with 45 seconds left in the third quarter gave Archbishop Mitty the 3-point lead going into the final quarter. Summit tied the game three times in the third period but hasn’t been able to take the lead. Montigo Alford has 11 points and four assists to lead the SkyHawks while Dorian Cason has 10 points and eight rebounds.

Aaron Gordon has 17 points and 17 rebounds for Mitty.

All square at 34

Summit has come out firing in the second half, outscoring Mitty 15-8 to tie the game 34-34 with 3:07 left in the third. Montigo Alford has six of his 11 points in the third quarter, also assisting on a dunk by Dorian Cason. Cason now has eight points for the SkyHawks.

The story for Mitty continues to be Aaron Gordon, who has 17 points and 15 rebounds thus far.