How’s this for a family photo? It’s the Maeda Family Civil War, so dubbed by San Gorgonio athletic director Matt Maeda, center. His daughter on the left is Kaylee, who is a Redlands East Valley (2011) grad and a girls water polo coach at San Gorgonio. On the right is Melanie, who is a senior at Citrus Valley.
This photo was taken on Thursday, when Melanie’s Citrus Valley’s team beat Matt and Kaylee’s San Gorgonio team, 12-2. Notice the San G had and Citrus Valley shirt for Matt. This is the first time his kids have faced each other. In the past, there have been Maeda Civil Wars, but it was Matt’s San Gorgonio against his kid’s team. His son Kevin ran at Citrus Valley, graduating last year.
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.
Yucaipa coach Kevin Lewis, reacts to his team losing in the 5th OT to REV on Tuesday, 5-4. For him, it seemed like it was one that got away. Lewis had told me after the teams played the first time, a 10-7 REV win, to come back for the rematch at Crafton Hills College. The game did not disappoint. Lewis seems confident that his young team will break through next year to win league. But he and the Thunderbirds really wanted to make it this year.
Maddy Wieseler, above, talks after scoring the winning goal in the fifth overtime. I’m surprised she was willing to stand for the interview after that exhausting game. She said she felt confident the Wildcats would win however long it took, but that may have been more a reflection on the team having already won 5 straight league titles before Tuesday than how the game was going.
REV coach Ryan Williams, above talks about beating Yucaipa. He was working the officials hard, especially in overtime, to get exclusions in a game that hardly had any. The game seemed physical, but not to the point where either team had any advantage.
This game had the intensity of a playoff game. No team led by more than two goals until REV’s final winning 10-7 margin.
REV entered the week ranked No. 9 in Division 5, knocking off No. 6 Cajon and No. 4 Yucaipa in the process. So, how high does REV move up?
Coach Ryan Williams thinks No. 4 would be fair. Regardless, with a tough league and two tournaments still to play, REV will have chances to improve on a No. 4 ranking, or lose it again all together. But, come playoff time, whoever comes out of the Citrus Belt League should be battle tested.
By the way, the next time REV and Yucaipa play, it will be Feb. 10 at Crafton Hills College. It will be senior day, so you can expect a big crowd and another intense game in the REV-Yucaipa rivalry.
BOYS BASKETBALL FIRST TEAM
Marquane Harris- 12 Eisenhower – MVP
Darrien Manker- 12 Cajon
Kevin McNeal- 11 Cajon
Terry Clarendon- 12 Eisenhower
Markelle Harris- 11 Eisenhower
Rayshawn Kearney- 12 Eisenhower
Michael Johnson- 11 AB Miller
Philippe Salawa- 12 AB Miller
Bradly Motylewski- 11 Redlands
Elias Chuha- 12 Redlands East Valley
Alexios Ziska- 11 Redlands East Valley
Jaryn Taylor- 12 Yucaipa