No real winners in Division 6 girls soccer debacle

The CIF-SS record book will read that Grand Terrace won the CIF-SS Division 6 girls soccer championship this year, by forfeit over a team that will not be named because the runner-up finish will be vacated.

But truthfully, there were no winners when Grand Terrace was awarded the win prior to playing league and district rival Bloomington for the title last Friday.
Bloomington was penalized when it was brought to the Bruins’ attention that they had been using a player that was academically ineligible. Bloomington confirmed the error earlier on Friday, but it wasn’t until the teams were warming up before the 5:00 scheduled start that the forfeit was announced.

Here’s who lost in the whole process:
1. Bloomington. Of course, the Bruins missed a chance to win a CIF-SS title. And Bloomington was seeded No. 1 and had beaten Grand Terrace in two regular season meetings. How much difference did the ineligible player make? I’m not sure. Because Bloomington won’t have the chance to prove it either way.
2. The fans. With official word not coming until about a half an hour before game time, fans were already on their way. CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod said no tickets had been purchased, so no refunds were necessary. But fans missed out on watching what should have been a great game for both communities. Outside of wrestling, Bloomington sports have struggled for years and this was supposed to be a bright spot. Grand Terrace is too new of a school for it to feel like a drought but the fans didn’t get to enjoy playing in a CIF-SS championship game.
3. Santa Ana Century, South El Monte, Pasadena Maranatha, Montebello Schurr. Those are the four teams Bloomington defeated en route to the championship game. We know that the ineligible player played in at least all of the playoff games. So, who’s to say one of those teams shouldn’t have advanced instead and who would’ve come out of that half of the bracket? Bloomington outscored those four opponents 10-0, with only one game (vs. Maranatha) by a 1-0 score. It’s not known how much the player helped, but regardless, a team playing by the rules should have advanced.
When asked if CIF-SS could’ve put Schurr in the finals, because that was the team that lost to Bloomington in the semifinals, it was said that it wasn’t that easy. Because, technically, Century should’ve advanced to play South El Monte, with the winner advancing to play Maranatha, with the winner of that facing Schurr. You can’t do all of that before the finals.
4. Grand Terrace. Sure, Grand Terrace was awarded a CIF-SS title. But there is a lot that the Titans didn’t get. Grand Terrace didn’t get a chance to play in a CIF-SS championship game. Coach Ryan Pacheco said players were reluctant to want to take a picture in front of the scoreboard after earning the forfeit. How much can you rejoice after winning a game you didn’t play?
Not only that, but fans would say that Bloomington would’ve won had the two teams played. While its true that Bloomington was the favorite, the first two games were 1-0 and Grand Terrace might have won anyway. We’ll never know. People will always wonder if Grand Terrace was the best team in the division.
Don’t take Grand Terrace’s result in the CIF SoCal Girls Soccer Division V Regional as proof or not proof as to Grand Terrace’s legitimacy for the title. Most teams don’t place the same emphasis on the regional as they do for the CIF-SS playoffs.

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Kaiser-Edison: a look at common opponents

Kaiser's Dylan Harris, left, is fouled by Villa Park's Evan Battey during the first half of Kaiser's 60-54 win during the MLK Tourney at Los Osos High School on Monday. (Photo by Will Lester/Staff)
Kaiser’s Dylan Harris shoots against Villa Park on Jan. 18.

I found two common opponents between the Huntington Beach Edison and Kaiser boys basketball teams in advance of Friday’s CIF-SS Division 2AA semifinal game at Edison, and the results don’t do a lot to help settle the idea of who should win this game.

The two common opponents were Rancho Cucamonga and Villa Park
Edison played the two of them on back-to-back days on a neutral court in the Palm Springs area as part of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in the Palm Springs area:
Dec. 28 Edison def. Rancho Cucamonga, 69-58
Dec. 29 Edison lost to Villa Park, 72-52

Later, Kaiser played both of those teams and had different results
Jan. 8, Kaiser lost at Rancho Cucamonga in a nonleague game, 66-61
Jan. 18, Kaiser defeated Villa Park, 60-54 in an MLK Day game played at Los Osos High

I’m no expert on this matchup, but one thing I know is that Myles Franklin, a junior guard who was Villa Park’s second-leading scorer, had 19 points against Edison, but did not play against Kaiser.

For the record, Rancho Cucamongz and Villa Park also played each other, Jan. 2 at Long Beach Jordan, with Rancho Cucamonga eking out a 62-61 win.

What does this say? That perhaps on any given day, either team can win. And in the semifinals, they both have a chance.

I got a text from Rancho Cucamonga coach Bill Burke, who said Edison “is patient and physical. If they can get to the Kaiser bench, they will win, if not, Kaiser will.”

Kaiser’s bench isn’t terrible, but its strength is in the leadership of the starting 5. Armani Dodson can’t get into early foul trouble. If Edison is physical, it will be interesting to see how the game is called.

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Cajon girls basketball ready for long layoff before state playoffs

For the second year in a row, the Cajon girls basketball team was selected to play in the CIF Southern Section Open Division playoffs.
And for the second year in a row, the Cowgirls bowed out early.
But there are several differences this time around.
A small difference is that last season Cajon went 1-2 in the CIF-SS playoffs and this year went 0-2. Unlike last year, any team in the CIF-SS Open Division is guaranteed a spot at state. “It’s nice knowing we’ve got at least one game at state,” Cajon coach Mark Lehman said. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Last year, Cajon went to Division I for state and won its first two games before falling to Ventura in overtime. This year, by losing its first two CIF-SS Open Division games, Cajon will be placed in Division II for state.
“I think we should be No. 1 (in Division II),” Lehman said. “At least No. 2. If not, (that’s) disrespect.”
Cajon, which was seeded seventh in CIF-SS Open Division, could be battling with Santa Ana Mater Dei for that No. 1 seed in the Division II Southern Regional. Mater Dei, which also lost its first two Open Division games, was seeded sixth in the CIF-SS playoffs.
Cajon, which was eliminated on Wednesday, won’t play again until March 9. CIF-SS Open Division teams that are eliminated early are permitted a scrimmage against another team before the state playoffs start, but the Cowgirls aren’t planning on that.
“I have a basketball class, and we’ll scrimmage against the boys, which would be better preparation than scrimmaging against girls,” Lehman said.
Cajon, which has five senior starters, doesn’t want to see its season end early.
“This group has never lost three games in a row, and they’re not willing to do that now,” he said.

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Nominations due for Cajon all-star basketball games

As in previous years, Cajon will host the San Bernardino County vs. Riverside County all-star basketball games. This year the games are on April 8, with the girls game at 6 p.m. and the boys game at 7:30 p.m.

Coaches who have not already nominated seniors for the game should do so immediately. For girls nominees, e-mail Mark.Lehman@sbcusd.com and for boys nominees, email randy.murray@sbcusd.com.

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