Eisenhower’s Aaryon Green (No. 13), against Cajon earlier this season.
The Eisenhower girls’ promising CIF-SS hopes were dealt a blow with the season-ending knee injury to star Long Beach State-bound senior 6-foot-2 forward/center Aaryon Green. Green suffered the injury in the opening minutes of last week’s 38-32 win over Perris. Eisenhower, seeded third hosts Walnut in the second round of the 2AA playoffs tonight (Wednesday).
Eisenhower boys basketball coach Ray Jimmerson, above, talks after his team was eliminated in the second round of the Division 2AA playoffs. Eisenhower finished tied with Redlands for the Citrus Belt League title, but went as the league’s No. 2 entry because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Eisenhower defeated Whittier 64-60 in the first round before losing to Ayala 61-45 on Tuesday.
Cajon girls basketball coach Mark Lehman was surprised when he found out his team was picked for the CIF-SS Open Division playoffs.
Should he have been?
Absolutely. Considering his team was ranked fifth in Division 1A entering the season’s final week, the Open Division took only one of the teams ranked ahead of Cajon in Division 1A, Riverside North.
Entering the week, 3 Division 1A teams were on the Open Division Watch List: Riverside North, Fullerton Troy and Cajon. North was ranked No. 1 in 1A, and got the 16 seed in the Open Division. Cajon was No. 5 in 1A, and got the 15 seed. Troy was ranked No. 3 and didn’t get in, and is the No. 2 seed in 1A.
I realize that Cajon had a big win, beating Eisenhower, which had given Cajon its only loss in the teams’ first meeting. Yet no one else above them in 1A lost during the final week. So, how is Cajon the No. 5 team in 1A according to that division’s pollsters entering the week, then essentially the No. 1 team (highest Open Division seed) just a week later?
I cannot recall a week with two games as crazy as the ones I had this week.
First, there was Redlands East Valley’s 5-4, 5 overtime win over Yucaipa in girls water polo on Tuesday.
Then came Thursday, when Eisenhower girls basketball rallied from 9 points down in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime, before falling to Cajon, 65-57.
I have never seen a 5 overtime game in water polo, and neither had anyone I talked to at the game. And scoring 9 points in the final 9.3 seconds to force overtime? It just doesn’t happen.
But what makes these games remarkable beyond that is that both games had Citrus Belt League titles at stake at the end of the season. In the first case, REV won the CBL title outright, its sixth straight title with the marathon win. In the latter, Cajon earned a share of the CBL title by knocking off Eisenhower. In each case, none of the four teams had lost to anyone else in league. And they were all ranked in CIF-SS.
Those were two games what show why I love high school sports. In both cases, great fan atmosphere, two closely matched teams and two games in which there was a big mental aspect. in the first case, REV fought through fatigue to finally win. In the second case, Cajon fought through the embarrassment of squandering a big lead and recovered to win in overtime.
You’ll see above one of the craziest comebacks in a short period of time, with Eisenhower trailing by 9 and tying it on two 3-pointers by Delilah Cerda, and then a steal and a layup by Allyah George as time expired. A foul was called, and the free throw tied the score and sent it to OT.
I have never seen 9 points in less than 10 seconds to send the game to OT. Of course, it was a combination of Ike’s great plays and Cajon making some poor decisions.
Ike didn’t have enough left in OT and Long Beach State-bound Aaryon Green suffered from leg cramps and Cajon took advantage.
In the above video, you’ll see Eisenhower’s Aaryon Green draw the foul with 6.6 seconds remaining. Not shown in the video is that Green made the first free throw, after which Cajon coach Mark Lehman called timeout. So, the mad dash down the floor by Cajon after Green made the second free throw was not without some planning.
My take: Cajon has too many weapons to score just 38 points. I think they’ll score more the second time the teams play. If Eisenhower wants to pull off the sweep with a win at Cajon Feb. 12, the Eagles will need to score a lot more than 39 points.
Aaryon Green, above, talks about signing with Long Beach State for basketball and the upcoming season.
Former coach Crystal Pulido and current coach Monique Marquez talk about Aaryon Green.
The message was simple to the assembled students: even though you’re from Rialto, hard work can pay off.
Eisenhower High celebrated senior Aaryon Green on Wednesday, after she signed her National Letter of Intent to play basketball for Long Beach State.
“Wherever you are from, you can make dreams happen,” said former coach Crystal Pulido to assembled students in the cafeteria during lunch. “She worked, and she worked and she worked. I’m so proud to say that it paid off.”
Green, a 6-foot-2 post player in high school who will play small forward in college, averaged 18 points, 10 rebounds and four steals per game last year for the Eagles, earning team MVP, first-team all-league and first-team all-Sun honors. She chose Long Beach State over Hawaii.
“I just felt more comfortable at Long Beach,” she said. “It was more of a family atmosphere and I didn’t think I was ready to go far away from home yet.”
Said current coach Monique Marquez: “Aaryon has been remarkable for us. She’s been a leader, she’s been a role model. One thing you should know about Aaryon is that she’s not the biggest fan of school, but she knows what it takes to get it done.”
Green has lofty goals for this season.
“This year, I would like to score 25 points (a game), get my team past third round, maybe possibly CIF championship,” she said.
The first of 4 prep baseball County Clashes at San Manuel Stadium is tomorrow, March 22.
Here is the schedule for each of the series of games:
Arroyo Valley vs. Carter, 1 p.m.
Kaiser vs. Fontana, 4 p.m.
Yucaipa vs. Miller, 7 p.m. March 29
Citrus Valley vs. Jurupa Hills, 1 p.m.
Redlands vs. Eisenhower, 4 p.m.
Rialto vs. San Gorgonio, 7 p.m. April 26
Arrowhead Christian vs. Colony, 1 p.m.
Tahquitz vs. San Jacinto, 4 p.m.
Colton vs. Bloomington, 7 p.m. May 10
Hemet vs. Beaumont, 1 p.m.
Redlands East Valley vs. Eisenhower, 4 p.m.
Cajon vs. Yucaipa, 7 p.m.