The picture above from staff photographer Gabe Acosta, that includes Rialto’s Birttany Neely (right) and Moreno Valley Rancho Verde’s Tierra Fuqua shows a bit of the physical nature of Friday’s Best of the Best All-Star Girls Basketball Game on Friday at Rialto High, a game won by the North, 71-59.
I knew Mesa Grande Academy’s marquee athletic team for some time has been their girls basketball team. But unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to cover the Cardinals. In fact, I had covered a Mesa Grande softball game and written a Mesa Grande cross country feature before my first Mesa Grande girls basketball team.
I came away from my first Mesa Grande girls basketball game, Wednesday’s 45-24 win over San Diego Ocean View Christian in the State Division V first round, as very impressed.
Mesa Grande has an extremely talented ball handler in Michaela Garcia. They don’t have a ton of size. But they do have other players who are pretty decent at handling the ball, and most importantly, they have players who play great team defense and rebound. On offense, they tend to be very patient but have players who can finish around the basket.
I have no idea if 5th-seeded Mesa Grande (28-3, winners of 21 straight) can beat its next opponent, No. 4 Sun Valley Village Christian, a road game on Saturday night. Just from talking to coach Bob Walker in recent years, I had respect for how he runs his program, but after watching the Cardinals on Wednesday, I have respect for how they play the game.
Wednesday’s CIF-SS scores for San Bernardino County and upcoming schedule.
First the scores:
GIRLS BASKETBALL DIVISION 1AA
Etiwanda 79, Huntington Beach Edison 50 DIVISION 1A
Miller 56, Anaheim Canyon 47 DIVISION 2AA
Riverside North 79, Ayala 53
Lynwood 65, Chino 42
Canyon Country Canyon 74, Kaiser 40
Cajon 62, Irvine Beckman 51 DIVISION 2A
Oak Hills at Moreno Valley Valley View, ppd. tonight Quarterfinals DIVISION 5AA
Chatsworth Sierra Canyon 62, Aquinas 19 DIVISION 5A
Mesa Grande 81, Ridgecrest Immanuel Chr. 16
Academy of Academic Excellence 50, CSDR 42
Encino Holy Martyrs at Bloomington Christian DIVISION 6
Hesperia Christian 50, Redlands Adventist 37
Santa Barbara Providence Hall 65, Joshua Springs 49 Continue reading →
Here are some results from CIF-SS wrestling and girls basketball from Saturday.
Before I get into the list of results. one of the top wrestling matches of the day involving a San Bernardino County wrestler was the heavyweight final at the Eastern Division at Oak Hills There, Carter’s Kenny Clark edged out Los Alamitos’ Alex Redmond 2-1 in the final.
Why is this significant? First, Clark is ranked No. 5 in the state and Redmond is No. 11. Second, both Clark and Redmond signed earlier this month with UCLA to play football. Future football teammates, current wrestling adversaries.
Here is the list of CIF-SS Masters qualifiers from the county, and county basketball scores:
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.
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.
Here are the first San Bernardino County rankings for winter. I am sure there are omissions, but I haven’t had a lot of time to talk to coaches in the first week after football for us. So, in terms of soccer, water polo and wrestling, county rankings are based in large part off of CIF polls. And with no rankings to utilize, basketball county rankings are based on recent history as well as early-season results this year.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet to @petemarshallLaw or post a comment if you have some information that would help adjust the rankings.
3. Rancho Cucamonga
4. Chino Hills
7. Redlands East Valley
9. Los Osos
All-star basketball games are certainly fun, but in a different way than regular season games.
If you’re looking for polished team offense and defense, look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for fast-paced action with slam dunks (for the boys) and a great collection of individual talent, then this is for you. And that’s what you got to see on Friday night at Cajon High School in the Inland Empire All-Star Basketball Games. Continue reading →