Hickey steps down as Summit boys hoops coach; job open

Newly-appointed Summit athletic director Steve Hickey has decided that he will not resume his duties as boys basketball coach, as the school has opened up the position within the Fontana Unified School District.

The 41-year old Hickey, the all-Sun boys basketball Coach of the Year, was named Summit’s athletic director June 29 replacing Ed Kearby, who was promoted to assistant principal at the school. After nearly a month on the job, Hickey wasn’t comfortable with the task of balancing his old position with his new job.

“You have to be 100 percent sure, and I wasn’t,” Hickey said. “I didn’t want it to be a situation where I didn’t take care of my duties with the other sports on campus because I was focusing on the basketball team. I didn’t want to be put in that position, so I will not participate in the day-to-day duties (of the boys basketball team).”

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Fontana Unified School District to suspend athletics?

That very well could be the case tonight, as the Fontana Unified School District school board will meet in a closed-door session tonight to discuss the cutting of $8 million from the district’s budget. That could include the entire athletic department, as stated in Referendum E.

“Suspension of All Athletic Programs (Ref. E).
This item is for consideration by the Board of Education to take action to suspend all Athletic Programs and eliminate the Athletic Directors …”

I’m no economist and I won’t pretend to have the slightest idea of all of the factors that presently has FUSD drowning in red tape. And I definitely am not going to advocate the resumption of athletics in FUSD sports at the expense of other extracurricular programs or teacher jobs. But it would just be an absolute shame if athletics were taken out as a response to the budget crisis.

Athletics are not only a fun extra-curricular activity, but a source of pride for the community and a diversion for the athletes from negative outside influences. They also provide a form of academic support, as an athlete has to make certain grades to be able to play athletics. It would be sad to see hundreds of students be deprived of that outlet. And it would stink as a sportswriter to miss out on the Summit football and basketball programs, the Kaiser football program, the Fontana boys soccer team, the Miller football program and see the development of Jurupa Hills cut off at the knees.

I’m not sure what is going to happen. But this could drastically change the landscape of Inland Empire and Southern California athletics permanently.

Basketball, soccer schedule

Now we are down to 3 – Eisenhower boys basketball, Summit girls basketball and Granite Hills girls soccer. The latter two pulled off upsets, with Summit winning at Corona Santiago and Granite Hills upsetting CIF-SS Division 2 champion Harvard-Westlake.

Division I
Mater Dei 88, Rancho Verde 48
Taft 66, Leuzinger 63
Long Beach Poly 67, Etiwanda 64
Westchester 73, Santa Monica 64

Division II
Eisenhower 76, Liberty 57
Compton 69, Hoover 53
Pasadena 49, Murrieta Valley 43
Lincoln 72, Summit 67

Compton at No. 1 Eisenhower
Pasadena at No. 2 Lincoln

Division I
Long Beach Poly 81, Stockdale 50
Summit 63, Santiago 58
Santa Monica 59, Canyon Springs 56
Clovis West 65, San Diego 59

Summit at No. 1 Long Beach Poly
No. 3 Santa Monica at No. 2 Clovis West

Division III
Santa Margarita 42, Buena 39
Bishop Amat 70, Agoura 61
Inglewood 46, Muir 41
Mt. Miguel 64, Barstow 40

Division II
Beckman 3, Coronado 2 (OT)
Granite Hills 2, Harvard-Westlake 1

Beckman vs. Granite Hills, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Downey Warren HS

Girls basketball state playoff pairings

The girls basketball state playoffs locally will be centered on Division 1, with Ayala, Summit and Etiwanda all qualifying. The Bulldogs and SkyHawks will be playing Tuesday at Summit High School while Etiwanda plays at D1-A No. 1 seed Canyon Springs.

Barstow also qualified in Division 3, where it will play at Bakersfield Ridgeview.

Division 1
Washington Prep at No. 1 Long Beach Poly
Stockdale at Carson
Ayala at Summit
Poway at No. 4 Corona Santiago
Narbonne at No. 3 Santa Monica
Etiwanda at Canyon Springs
Troy at San Diego
Taft at No. 2 Clovis West

Division 3
Monroe at No. 1 Santa Margarita
Buena at Birmingham
Academy OLP at Bishop Amat
Clovis North at No. 4 Agoura
Tulare at No. 3 Inglewood
Frontier at Muir
Barstow at Ridgeview
Orange Lutheran at No. 2 Mt. Miguel

Boys state basketball pairings released

Four county teams – Eisenhower, Etiwanda, Colony and Summit – qualified for the state playoffs, with defending state champion Eisenhower grabbing the No. 1 seed in Division 2. The Eagles get a bye from Tuesday’s Round 1, hosting the Mark Keppel-Liberty winner in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Etiwanda is also seeded, as the CIF-SS Division 1-AA runner-up Eagles are the No. 3 seed in Division 1 and host El Camino Tuesday. Summit plays at San Pedro in D2 Tuesday while Colony plays at No. 2-seeded Westchester in D1 Tuesday.

Things are a bit different this year. Instead of playing out the SoCal regional this week – culminating in the SoCal championship on Saturday – the first, second and semifinals will be played this week, with a week off before the SoCal finals March 20 and the state finals March 27. Why they did this, I have no idea.

Division 1
Buchanan at No. 1 Mater Dei
Rancho Verde at Rancho Bernardo
Washington Prep at Leuzinger
Loyola at No. 4 Taft
El Camino at No. 3 Etiwanda
Long Beach Poly at Crenshaw
Santa Monica at Clovis East
Colony at No. 2 Westchester

Division 2
No. 1 Eisenhower, bye
Mark Keppel at Liberty
San Joaquin Memorial at Compton
Damien at No. 4 Hoover
Burbank at No. 3 Murrieta Valley
University at Pasadena
Summit at San Pedro
No. 2 Lincoln, bye

Girls basketball roundup

Because of snow in the mountains yesterday, the Division 6-A semifinal between Calvary Baptist and Lake Arrowhead Christian was postponed until tomorrow. It will be played at 6 p.m. at the Pinecrest Conference Center in Twin Peaks.

Moving on to the games that were played. Summit made the big move, upsetting No. 1 seed Canyon Springs 72-71 in Division 1-A to make its second CIF final in three seasons. Announcements of times and sites for the title games in both the boys and girls divisions will come at noon tomorrow.

Division 1-AA
Long Beach Poly 59, Etiwanda 47
Corona Santiago 56, Troy 51

Division 1-A
Summit 72, Canyon Springs 71
Santa Monica 67, Ayala 37

No. 4 Summit vs. No. 2 Santa Monica, TBA, The Pyramid

Division 3-A
Santa Margarita 57, Bonita 43
Muir 57, Barstow 39

Division 6-A
North County Christian 54, Apple Valley Christian 26
No. 3 Calvary Baptist vs. No. 2 Lake Arrowhead Christian, 6 p.m. Monday

No. 1 North County Christian vs. Lake Arrowhead Christian-Calvary Baptist winner, TBA, Colony HS or Mater Dei HS

Boys basketball playoff pairings

With three No. 1 seeds in Chino Hills (Division 1-A), Summit (D2-AA) and Eisenhower (D2-A), multiple CIF-SS champions are not out of the question on the boys side. First-round games get going Wednesday except for Division VI-A, which has a wild-card Wednesday before the first-round gets going Friday.

Division 1-AA
Corona at No. 1 Santa Ana Mater Dei
No. 16 Long Beach Jordan at Vista Murrieta
Arcadia at No. 9 Oxnard Pacifica
San Clemente at No. 8 Los Alamitos
Corona Santiago at No. 5 Montebello
Silverado at No. 10 Upland
Lakewood at No. 13 Redlands
Downey at No. 4 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde
Long Beach Cabrillo at No. 3 Corona Centennial
Lynwood at No. 14 Ventura
Trabuco Hills at No. 12 Oxnard
Palmdale at No. 6 Etiwanda
Bell Gardens at No. 7 Thousand Oaks
No. 11 Los Osos at Paramount
Riverside King at No. 15 Palmdale Knight
Temecula Greak Oak at No. 2 Long Beach Poly

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Eastern Division quarterfinal predictions

This division messed me up quite a bit last week. Then again, with the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds being upset, I wasn’t the only one who screwed up in their predictions. Hopefully I’ll do a bit better this time around.

Palm Springs at Summit
Thanksgiving came six days early for Summit, as they shocked No. 1 seeded Perris Citrus Hill 48-36 last Friday, breaking Citrus Hill’s 38-game winning streak in the process. I guess Summit could be ripe for a letdown, but Palm Springs whipped Summit in the first round a year ago, so the SkyHawks are looking for revenge. I’m tempted to pick them again, but I think I like Palm Springs to carry this.
Palm Springs 26, Summit 19

Kaiser at Rim of the World
This is the game I’ll be at tomorrow, as the Cats and Fighting Scots get together for the third time in four years. Both teams feature dominating running games, with Kaiser depending on Anthony Brown – who is committed to USC – while Rim rides junior RB Dillon Pretzinger. Kaiser won close battles the last two times they’ve played and will likely do the same in this one.
Kaiser 20, Rim of the World 14

Riverside Norte Vista at Apple Valley
I saw the Sun Devils pull a 48-27 surprise over No. 3 Silverado last week, which marked Apple Valley’s first first-round playoff victory in over 25 years. Norte Vista doesn’t have a long history of success either, so one of these teams will be in the Cinderella role come next week. Having seen both teams at different times this season, I feel that Apple is a bit more balanced and will prevail.
Apple Valley 31, Norte Vista 23

La Quinta at Serrano
The Eastern Division opened up a ton for the No. 2-seeded Diamondbacks last week with Citrus Hill and Silverado going down hard. La Quinta is always a tough out this time of year, but I picked Serrano to win this division for a reason – they are darn good. I see the Diamondbacks being a bit too physical for the Blackhawks.
Serrano 24, La Quinta 13