Cajon girls hold off Miller, 55-53 in a great game

On the surface, there might be little to enjoy about Cajon’s girls basketball 55-53 Citrus Belt League victory over Miller on Thursday.

  • Cajon won despite being held scoreless for the final 2:50.
  • The teams went a combined 0-for-4 from the line in the final 1:01, with Cajon twice missing the front end of a one-and-one.
  • More than 4 1/2 minutes into the game, the score was 4-4.
  • Miller made just eight of 18 free throws in the game.

But despite all that, it was an incredible game. It was probably one of the best league girls basketball games I’ve seen in a long time. It had a great pace to it. Both teams are fast, move the ball and play tough defense, and neither team led by more than seven points at any point in the game. Every shot and pass was contested. Neither team goes deep into their benches for a game like this, and both teams were in foul trouble but that made the game interesting.

Miller definitely has more size and experience. Miller has 6-foot-3 senior LaCrisha Mackall and starts two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. Cajon has no player taller than 6-feet, and starts three freshmen, a junior and a senior. The contrast in styles was interesting.

I am already looking forward to the rematch, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at Miller. But both teams need to be careful as there is plenty of talent in the league. On an off-night, Miller or Cajon could lose to someone else in the league.

Inland Empire Shootout Schedule for basketball

This Friday and Saturday, Eisenhower High is hosting the Inland Empire Shootout, a two-day showcase event for mostly boys teams, but also one girls game.
The schedule:
Friday, Jan. 4
Corona Santiago vs. Eisenhower (girls), 4 p.m.
Summit vs. Miller (boys), 5:30 p.m.
Riverside M.L. King vs. Eisenhower (boys), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5
Moreno Valley Canyon Springs vs. Cajon (boys), noon
Citrus Valley vs. Carter (boys), 1:30 p.m.
Miller vs. Rialto (boys), 3 p.m.
Long Beach St. Anthony vs. Chino HIlls (boys), 4:30 p.m.
Damien vs. Eisenhower (boys), 6 p.m.
Etiwanda vs. Riverside M.L. King (boys), 7:30 p.m.

San Bernardino County wrestling highlights from Saturday

Here are some highlights for San Bernardino County schools at wrestling tournaments on Saturday.
Sultana: The Sultans took only eight wrestlers to the Megatron Tournament in L.A., and seven of them placed. Chris Mesa (106), Corey Griego (170) and Matt Williams (182) all won,  and other placers included second: Dylan Bollinger (195), third: Evaristo Sena (113) Trent Smith (126), fourth: Ryan Gonzalez (132). No team scores were available.Thanks for Sultana coach Rocky Humphrey for sending that in. I know Bloomington was there too, but I had a hard time figuring out the tpurnament web site.

Montclair: The Cavaliers took second behind Rowland at the Bishop Amat Tournament. Montclair had one champion (K. Silva, 120)  and nine placers.

Los Osos: The Grizzlies won the Damien Invitational, although it was small, only 12 varsity teams. Los Osos had seven champs, Mike Pajaro (120, lower MVP), Dustin McNicholl (126), Justus Cervantes (138), Alex Miller (145), Sebastion Salsgiver (160), Travis MacChessney (170, upper MVP), Jon Solano (182). Other county champs in the tournament were: John Odenbaugh of Grand Terrace (106), Sam Ring of Cajon (132), E. Mendez of Etiwanda (152), and Frankie Valenzuela of Fontana (220).

Victor Valley: According to the Daily Press, the Jackrabbits were second in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, behind only San Clemente. Blake Fifer (170) was a champion for VVHS. Michael Lopez (third, 152), Efrain Velasquez (fourth, 140), Jonathan Oliveira (fifth, 160) and Hector Ruvalcaba (seventh, 120) also placed.

Oak Hills: Also according to the Daily Press, the Bulldogs were 30th out of 78 teams at the Zinken Classic in Fresno, as heavyweight Justin Gillham (fifth) and 182-pounder Anthony Hernandez (seventh) placed.

Carter captures SAL wrestling title

Carter won its first-ever San Andreas League wrestling title with a 45-24 victory over Cajon on Wednesday. It was not, however, Carter’s first-ever league title in wrestling. The Lions won a league title for the 2007-08 season when they were in the Citrus Belt League.

Carlos Navarro (106), Casper Sherow (138), Clayton Atlas (152), Jesse Medina (170), Michael Martinez (220) and Kenneth Clark (285) recorded pins for Carter.

Cajon had won the last two league titles and 13 of the last 15 in the SAL. But now the Cowboys will be headed to the Citrus Belt League.

Week 1 Sun top 10

Sun Top 10

1. Redlands East Valley (0-0)
Previous ranking: 1. Last week: idle. Up next: Friday vs. Compton Dominguez (0-1).

2. Upland (1-0)
Previous ranking: 2. Last week: def. San Bernardino, 63-14. Up next: Thursday at Tustin (1-0).

3. Rancho Cucamonga (1-0)
Previous ranking: 5. Last week: def. Silverado, 52-0. Up next: Friday vs. Temecula Great Oak (1-0).

4. Cajon (1-0)
Previous ranking: 6. Last week: def. Temecula Chaparral, 30-14. Up next: Friday vs. Eisenhower (1-0).

5. Serrano (1-0)
Previous ranking: 8. Last week: def. Paraclete, 7-6. Up next: Friday at Silverado (0-1).

6. Redlands (1-0)
Previous ranking: 9. Last week: def. Apopka (Fla.) Wekiva, 21-7. Up next: Friday vs. No. 8 Summit (0-1).

7. Etiwanda (1-0)
Previous ranking: NR. Last week: def. Summit, 49-36. Up next: Friday vs. Vista Murrieta (0-0).

8. Summit (0-1)
Previous ranking: 3. Last week: lost to Etiwanda, 49-36. Up next: Friday at No. 6 Redlands (1-0).

9. Kaiser (0-0)
Previous ranking: 10. Last week: idle. Up next: Friday vs. Barstow (0-1).

10. Yucaipa (1-0)
Previous ranking: NR. Last week: def. Oak Park, 52-0. Up next: Friday at Moreno Valley Canyon Springs (0-1).

Just missed the cut: Chino (1-0), San Gorgonio (0-0), Chino Hills (0-1).

Dropped out: No. 4 Colton (0-1), No. 7 Chino Hills (0-1).

Carter to sign with Portland State

Cajon quarterback Thomas Carter, the 2010 All-Sun Most Valuable Player, will sign with Portland State, according to a text I received from Carter Tuesday night. Carter, who passed for 1,853 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for 584 yards and five scores in leading Cajon to a San Andreas League title and a berth in the CIF semifinals, is up at Portland State today to finalize his scholarship before flying down to Arizona for Saturday’s SoCal/Arizona all-star game.

County teams dot final Calhisports girls basketball top 25

20 percent of the teams ranked in the top 25 of the Calhisports girls basketball top 25 are from the county, led by San Andreas League co-champion Cajon’s No. 9 mark. Other teams to be ranked include fellow SAL co-champion Rialto at No. 15. The Knights also won the CIF-SS Division 2AA title and made it to the CIF-State Division II championship game before losing to Stockton St. Mary’s. Baseline League champ Etiwanda clocked in at No. 17, with Rancho Cucamonga and Summit notching rankings of No. 24 and 25, respectively.

Here’s the final rankings.

1. Mater Dei
2. Stockton St. Mary’s
3. Brea Olinda
4. Long Beach Poly
5. Berkeley
6. Canyon Springs
7. Windward
8. Concord Carondelet
9. Cajon
10. La Jolla Country Day
11. Berkeley St. Mary’s
12. Narbonne
13. Edison
14. Troy
15. Rialto
16. Corona Santiago
17. Etiwanda
18. Santa Maria St. Joseph
19. Santa Monica
20. San Ramon Dougherty Valley
21. Oakland Bishop O’Dowd
22. Loomis Del Oro
23. Sacramento St. Francis
24. Rancho Cucamonga
25. Summit

Girls water polo semifinal matchups

These will be played Wednesday, with finals set for Saturday at the Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.

Division 4
No. 3 Los Osos vs. No. 2 Dana Hills, 2:30 p.m., Woollett Aquatic Center
Upland vs. No. 1 Harvard-Westlake, 4 p.m., Woollett Aquatic Center

Division 5
No. 3 Crescenta Valley vs. No. 2 Temescal Canyon, 6 p.m., Mt. SAC, Walnut
No. 4 Bonita vs. No. 1 Redlands East Valley, 7:30 p.m., Mt. SAC

Division 7
No. 3 Cajon vs. No. 2 Santa Ana Valley, 4 p.m., Costa Mesa HS
Katella vs No. 1 Garden Grove, 5:30 p.m., Costa Mesa HS

Studying the streaks of the ’10-11 high school hoops season

The San Andreas League saw three basketball streaks, all of which involved Cajon in some way, shape or form, disinegrate during this season. The most notable of the three came on the girls’ side, as the Cowgirls saw their 85-game league winning streak — a streak that dated back to the 2002-03 campaign — snapped Jan. 28 with a 43-41 loss against Rialto. Cajon and the Knights, the No. 1 seed in the Division 2AA playoffs, tied for the league championship. Summit now has the longest league win streak in the county for girls basketball, having won all 50 of its Sunkist League games since opening its doors in 2006.

San Bernardino also broke a pair of streaks this past season, as the Cardinals defeated Cajon for the first time in 18 years en route to winning their first league title since 1993. San Bernardino, the No. 6 seed in the D2A playoffs, broke their streak of futility against Cajon with an 83-57 win Jan. 19 and extended their winning streak over the Cowboys with a 79-71 win last Monday. San Bernardino has now won 18 SAL games in a row dating back to last year.

Other boys basketball teams with long league winning streaks include Eisenhower and Summit, who won undefeated league titles in the Citrus Belt and Sunkist Leagues, respectively. The Eagles have now won 32 CBL games in a row dating back to the 2008-09 season while the SkyHawks have won 29 games in the Sunkist League dating back to 08-09.

Central Division first-round playoff predictions

Now we move on to the Central Division, where San Bernardino and Ontario/Chino teams await.

No. 1 Rancho Verde 48, Garey 12

Palm Desert at San Gorgonio
This should be an entertaining one, as the Spartans rose up during the San Andreas League season to win six games in a row and grab second place and this home game against a potent Aztecs team. San G’s offense was helped by the emergence of RB Jamie Snowten in the second half of the season and I expect Snowten to score a couple in a barnburner.
San Gorgonio 35, Palm Desert 31

Carter at Chino
Predicting Chino results, for the most part, was pretty easy during the Mt. Baldy League season – pick a random number between 42 and 49 and watch my prediction to come within 3-5 points. Can’t really do that this week, as Carter’s defense held Arroyo Valley to 3 yards last week. That’s right, 3. Chino will obviously get more, but this won’t be a rout by any means.
Chino 23, Carter 14

La Quinta 28, Valley View 6

Montclair at No. 3 Arlington
Making the playoffs is an achievement in itself for the Cavaliers, who deserve a ton of credit for grabbing third place in the Mt. Baldy League and winning five games. However, the Cavs are in for a world of hurt against Arlington’s physical rushing attack. Running back Superiorr Reed has 27 touchdowns and 1,634 yards rushing for the Lions, figures that are sure to grow tomorrow.
Arlington 41, Montclair 13

Coachella Valley at Cajon
The only reason that San G isn’t the hottest team in the county right now is due to the presence of Cajon, which has won seven in a row since a shutout loss to Kaiser in September. Dual-threat QB Thomas Carter and DB/WR Demontae Kazee are playing at high levels right now and will be too much for the Arabs, who earned the at-large berth out of the Desert Valley League.
Cajon 27, Coachella Valley 12

Colton at Colony
These two teams have tapdanced around each other in the playoffs in recent years, never meeting up despite being among the Central Divisions elite. So for that alone, this game is worth watching. Can a banged-up Colton hold tough against a Colony team that flew under the radar a bit with a 7-3 finish? I think the Yellowjackets are a bit more physical and battle-tested.
Colton 17, Colony 14

No. 2 Palm Springs 35, La Sierra 6