Colleges: Mt. SAC, Citrus take a step towards Fresno

Above: Laura Beeman’s Mounties opened the playoffs with a big win Saturday.

The Mt. San Antonio College women’s basketball team and the Citrus men’s team, both who won California Community College Athletic Association state titles last season, took the important first step to repeat, each scoring easy victories on Saturday.
The Mounties, getting 18 points from former Covina High star Blaire Egardo, scored an easy 76-51 victory over Cerritos, while Citrus got 25 points from Steven Bennett and rolled to a 95-81 victory over Victor Valley in the CCCAA Southern California Regional second-round games.
Both will play for Elite 8 appearances when they host SoCal Regional finals next week. Mt. SAC, which has won four of the past five CCCAA titles, host Fullerton. Citrus will be at home against Riverside City. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. starts. The CCCAA Elite 8 is scheduled for March 12-15 in Fresno.
The Citrus women’s team, making its first playoff appearance in four seasons, saw its year end with a 74-56 setback at No. 2 seed Ventura.

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Hoops: Elimination Night, Glendora, Nogales, Chino Hills, Damien go down; Lutheran Wins

Not even the Glendora LeDucies could stop visiting Leuzinger from running the Tartans off the floor, 62-37. I hear Chino Hills and Damien went down to the wire, and Nogales was within six with three minutes left. The Tartans trailed 23-20 early in the third quarter, but Leuzinger went on a paralyzing 18-2 run, and that was that. “The tempo was the way we wanted in the first half,” Tartans coach Mike LeDuc said. “We weren’t running our offense real well, but give credit to them for playing great defense. We tried in the third quarter to get shots we wanted, but the pressure was so great we didn’t do a good job of handling it. We knew if we left them have a run it would be real difficult to stay in the game, and they got that run, and you can’t play from behind and try to catch those guys.”

Boys Basketball
Friday’s Semifinal results

Division I-AA
Riverside King 76, Dominguez 70
Mater Dei 70, Etiwanda 60
Division I-A
Ventura 66, Chino Hills 59
Division II-AA
Thousand Oaks 89, Marina 57
Leuzinger 62, Glendora 37
Division II-A
Eisenhower 48, Damien 45
Loyola 80, La Mirada 60
Division III-AA
Anaheim Canyon 67, Nogales 56
Santa Margarita 44, Arroyo Grande 41
Divisioin V-A
La Verne Lutheran 70, CAMS 46

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Boys Soccer: Baldwin Park, Mountain View, Rosemead win; Sierra Vista sent home

Boys Soccer
Friday’s quarterfinals

Division IV
Pacifica 4, Sierra Vista 1
Division V
Baldwin Park 2, La Canada 2, BP wins on PK’s, 5-3
Salesian 4, Monrovia 2
Division VI
Mountain View 2, L.A. Baptist 0
Rosemead 5, Barstow 2

Pregame Preview: These are very winnable games for local teams. Let’s start with the locks, I have no problem saying Mountain and Rosemead will not only win, but meet in next week’s Division VI championship. To be honest, they don’t belong in this division, they’re much better than this. Unless they totally stumble, they should both be in the semifinals. But who knows, stranger things happen in soccer. Baldwin Park could have a tough time at La Canada, especially since they’re still missing three starters because of injuries. But La Canada does have field turf like B.P., which should play into the Braves’ hands. Sierra Vista has the toughest task against Pacifica, normally a physical team and a long trip. That’s a toss-up.

Above: Sorry Lad, this is what happens when you go up against the Eastside’s finest.

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Northview moves on, Masters next

This could be a tough weekend for the Northview High School wrestling team, which leads a list of 13 area schools who have competitors at this weekend’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet. But coach David Ochoa has always taught his athletes that positives can be born from negatives, and it will be the same this weekend for the Vikings. Northview learned Wednesday that the Northern Division title it won this past Saturday was taken away and awarded to Sultana due to errors in scoring, which came about when bout scores were incorrectly imputed into the computer.
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Manny says thank you, but no thank you

Manny Ramirez rejected the Dodgers’ latest offer.

Manny Ramirez just got back to the Dodgers, whose latest offer to the slugger was $45 million for two years, with the second year including a player option. And the answer was thank you, but no thank you.
What now? Hopefully, the will continue to talk and they can eventually reel him in.
But if the Dodgers are intent on signing a Ramirez, I’ll take $3 mill for three years.

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Baseball and Softball is coming, I promise

TAKE A LOOK –>: At the top right of our blog under links I have added several local high school prep pages, and prep sites that you might be interested in. If there are any other links you want added, leave it in the comment section and I’ll take a look.

Just some housekeeping for you, the Softball preview is scheduled to come out March 3 and the Baseball Preview on March 4, followed by the official start of the season for both on March 5. Until then, you can talk about it all you want. Meanwhile, I’ve got some quarterfinal soccer and semifinal basketball to think about.

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Soccer and Hoops update

Note: Braves soccer photo taken by area legend David Casper

Boys Soccer
Friday’s quarterfinals

Division IV
Sierra Vista at Oxnard Pacifica, 3 p.m.
Division V
Baldwin Park at La Canada, 4 p.m.
Division VI
LA Baptist at Mountain View, 3 p.m.
Barstow at Rosemead, 3 p.m.
Girls Basketball
Division III-AA
Saturday’s semifinals

Diamond Ranch at Woodbridge, 7:30 p.m.

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Charter Oak pushed, Amat said no thanks

Fred’s take: You know what this comes down to don’t you? With Charter Oak being so scary next fall and the Lancers a real question mark, Bishop Amat didn’t want to risk losing a local game. It was one of those nothing to gain, everything to lose scenario’s. Dominguez has name power, but they were 2-8 last season while Charter Oak went undefeated and won a section title with one of the best running backs in the area returning. Dominguez sounds great on paper, but Charter Oak would have been a tougher opponent.

Yeah right: Even Diamond Ranch is upset it won’t get to see Bishop Amat and Charter Oak

At the end of the day Charter Oak never backed down from a dreamy season opener against Bishop Amat next fall, in fact it pushed harder than ever, with Bishop Amat finally saying “no thanks,” instead signing a deal to play Dominguez, a school that was 2-8 last season, a year after going 10-3 and advancing to the Western Division semifinals. Dominguez won the title in 2006. This leaves Charter Oak looking everywhere for a first round opponent, a frustration that Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar expressed on Thursday. “If we have to go to Chicago, we’ll go to Chicago,” Farrar joked. “We wanted to play Amat at their place or a neutral site like Mt. SAC. We thought it would have been great. They wanted three days to think it over, then thought about it again and decided to place somebody else. What can you do?” This leaves the Chargers looking at teams like Escondido, Quartz Hill, and others. “We can’t find anyone within 30 minutes from us. It’s going to be tough getting anything you want this late in the day.” In fairness to Bishop Amat and coach Steve Hagerty, he said they already have three games against local teams (West Covina, Damien and Diamond Ranch), and that was enough. He felt playing Dominguez at home was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, though I think Charter Oak still would have been a tougher game next fall. “We think Dominguez is going to prepare us when the game is on the line,” Hagerty said. “They have lots of speed and athleticism. We consider that a great game.” Hagerty said that a game against Charter Oak could come in future years. “The Charter Oak (possibility) has been going on a long time. I talked to (Charter Oak AD) Glenn Martinez the night of our game against Notre Dame. But we figured in the end, this (Dominguez) is a better situation for us. I know the San Gabriel Valley would have loved it (playing Charter Oak), but this isn’t about trying to make the Valley happy, it’s about doing what we think is best for our team. When our current contracts with (West Covina, Damien and Diamond Ranch) runs out, then we can look at Charter Oak again.”

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Wrestling: Northview’s title taken away

This story comes from the San Bernardino Sun, written by T.J. Berka. We’ll have more in the coming days, but the word is out, Northview loses its CIF championship… There is also a lot of chatter about this in California Wrestler under Forums, take a look.

By T.J. Berka
After finishing second, reserving themselves to a second-place finish behind Northview at the CIF-SS Northern Division individuals finals, the Sultana High School wrestling team got some good news Tuesday. A legion of scoring errors in Northview’s favor were discovered, first by Sultana coach Rocky Humphrey and then confirmed using the bout sheets of the meet at Oxnard Pacifica. With the re-calcuations, the Sultans were awarded the CIF championship, an award they received Wednesday. “It’s better late than never,” Humphrey said. “It’s kind of an after-the-fact thing, because we took all the pictures with the runner-up trophy after the meet. But we are definitely happy about it.” The discrepancy was discovered when Humphrey went online to check out some scores. In the 112-pound third-place match featuring his nephew, Rod Keaster, Humphrey noticed that bout was scored 9-1 online in favor of Northview’s Jacob Delgado instead of the 2-1 score Humphrey had. The point difference gave Northview a major decision and an extra team point. Humphrey continued to dig and noticed 10 other matches with scoring inconsistencies that swung Northview’s way. After conferring with Pacifica, the team score was changed from 262-256 Northview to 257-252 Sultana.

I talked to Northview coach David Ochoa today and here’s what he had to say:

On receiving the news from the CIF-SS: “I guess the Sultana coach noticed the recorded score on the brackets you can view online was wrong. I was called by CIF the next day and was asked what the score of Jacob’s match was. I had to look at the bout sheet and told them it was 1-0. They then found enough additional errors (in other matches) to justify a change and give the championship to Sultana.”

How did the team react: “It’s been a rough week. I brought my guys in and talked to them as a group and told them, as to no fault of anyone with our our school, that Sultana was declared champs. I apologized to them. It was the toughest thing I’ve had to do as coach, and hope I never have to do it again.
“I’ve been telling them that sometimes life doesn’t go your way, and you just have to put your best foot forward. I feel they can give that extra effort and try to use this to motivate it us.”

Steve’s take: First, people here have to get a life and realize a mistake was made, period. That’s it. The Sultana coach noticed a mistake in one match, then noticed others. He informed CIF-SS officials and they made the right decision. People have to stop with an Oliver Stone/Jim Garrison reaction and quit acting like a bunch of squirrels looking for nuts. For one, there’s no way to prove the mistakes made were intentional; there’s no smoking gun on the bout sheets that show the score changed, just a different result on the online brackets. I applaud CIF-SS for realizing a mistake had been made and it was one they could change. I think we all need to follow coach Ochoa’s advice and move on.
But I will say, I never realized how much hate there is in high school sports, until I saw the comments on this topic alone. It’s funny how no one said anything about Northview until the school built a very successful CIF-SS sports program. I guess it’s like the late Dale Earnhardt said to Jeff Gordon once when the latter was always getting booed in pre-race introductions. Earnhardt told Gordon: “Don’t worry about that. They always boo the winner. When they do nothing, that’s the time to worry.”

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BHoops: Home Sweet Home in Semis

There are supposed to be alternate sites in the semifinals, but all that really means is if you get a home game, you can play it nearby, which worked out well for Valley fans wanting to watch everyone in the semifinals. Glendora and Damien will switch gyms on Friday. Strange isn’t it? But it works out well for both. Nogales will play at Rowland. BTW, even though Diamond Ranch lost, they might not be out of the state playoffs. Stay tuned. Also, which of these three area games deserves top billing on Friday?

Boys Basketball
Friday’s Semifinals
All games at 7:30 p.m.

Division II-AA
Marina (23-6) vs. Thousand Oaks (27-2) at TBA
Leuzinger (24-5) vs. Glendora (24-7) at Damien H.S.
Division II-A
Eisenhower (26-3) vs. Damien (19-11) at Glendora H.S.
La Mirada (27-3) vs. Loyola (23-5) at TBA
Division III-AA
Anaheim Canyon (23-6) vs. Nogales (24-7) at Rowland H.S.
Arroyo Grande (20-8) vs. Santa Margarita (20-8), TBA
Divisioin V-A
La Verne Lutheran (23-6) vs. California Academy of Math and Science (20-5) at Long Beach Cabrillo H.S.
Buckley (25-3) vs. Windward (24-6) at TBA.

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Boys Soccer: Baldwin Park moves on

Could the Damien soccer team continue on just like basketball? What a surprise. Not surprisingly is finding Baldwin Park, Rosemead, Mountain View and Sierra Vista in the second round, with all four having a great opportunity to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals. La Puente will have a tough time against North Torrance. Hopefully there’s no letdown after their dramatic 4-3 first round win over Bishop Amat.

Game Highlights: The second round of the playoffs sometimes provides a scare for the higher-seeded teams, but the Baldwin Park High School boys soccer team continues getting stronger.
Junior striker Edgar Padilla scored twice, and freshman Ruben Zamarripa added another as the Braves easily disposed of visiting Garden Grove Santiago 3-1 in the second round of the Division V playoffs on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s second round results
Note: All games start at 3 p.m.
Division II

Troy 1, Damien 0
Division IV
North Torrance 2, La Puente 1
Sierra Vista 3, Crescenta Valley 2
Division V
Baldwin Park 3, Garden Grove Santiago 1
Division VI
Mountain View 5, Ontario Christian 0
Silverado 2, Arroyo 1
Rosemead at Milken Community

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GWPolo: Bonita wins, St. Lucy’s ends

Girls Water Polo

Division VI
Bonita 11, Elsinore 3
Game Highlights: Andy Rosenberg has coached the Bonita High School boys water polo team in a CIF-Southern Section championship game, and now he will get the chance to lead the Bearcats girls team in one, too. Amber Pezzolla scored six goals and sister Megan Pezzolla had six saves as the Bearcats advanced to the Division VI championship game with an 11-3 victory over Elsinore at Lakeside High. Bonita, which also got three goals from Meghan Turner, improved to 25-5 and will face either Malibu or Chadwick for the divisional title at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday at Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine. Elsinore, getting two goals from Holly Thoman, finished 24-6.
“We did a good job on defense,” said Rosenberg, in his first season coaching the girls team after last guiding the boys team, a CIF-SS title game in 2000, “and that’s always going to be the key at this point in the playoffs

Division III
Corona Santiago 9, St. Lucy’s 8
Game Highlights: A thrill ride that went back and forth ended with Corona Santiago sneaking past second-ranked St. Lucy’s 9-8 in the CIF-Southern Section Division III girls water polo semifinals on Wednesday at Mt. SAC, ending the Regents’ hope of playing for their first title in school history. It was a sour ending for ninth-year coach David Miller, who is retiring after leading the Regents (29-3) to their first outright Sierra League title ever, and just their second semifinal since 2003. Sierra Smiley, who led the Sharks with four goals, came up with a huge assist when she whipped a pass in front to Ashley Dorrego, who converted the go-ahead goal to make it 9-8 with 3:05 left. The Regents, getting a team-high four goals from Emily Donohoe and two from Cambria Shockley, had several chances to even it down the stretch. Donohoe sent a shot over the net with 1:19 left, then Donohoe’s steal and quick outlet to Hanna Lancaster on the break ended with a great point-blank save from Sharks goalkeeper Meghan Rowland with 52 seconds left.
In the final seconds it appeared the Regents might tie it after Bianca Adams’ steal and quick pass in front to Shockley, but the horn sounded to end the game before Shockley could pull the trigger. “It shouldn’t of come down to the last couple seconds I guess,” explained Miller. “We had our chances, we had our opportunities, it just didn’t happen.”

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BHoops: Glendora, Damien, Nogales survive; DRanch, Bonita, Northview gone

Above: Nogales coach Ricky Roper all smiles after Nogales’ 50-47 win over Palm Springs.

Tuesday’s Quarterfinal Results
Division II-AA

Glendora 68, West Ranch 51
Thousand Oaks 62, Edison 45
Marina 71, Huntington Beach 70
Leuzinger 88, Valencia 66

Division II-A
Damien 66, Mayfair 64
Eisenhower 77, Loara 69
Loyola 88, Simi Valley 74
La Mirada 68, Ayala 48

Division III-AA
Nogales 50, Palm Springs 47
Anaheim Canyon 70, Hart 47
Santa Margarita 64, North Torrance 63
Arroyo Grande 49, St. John Bosco 44

Division III-A
Gahr 63, Diamond Ranch 62
Harvard-Westlake 63, Bonita 49
Golden Valley 75, Foothill 72
Sonora 49, Apple Valley 47

Division IV-AA
Inglewood 77, Northview 47

Bishop Montgomery 58, Atascadero 53
Ocean View 70, San Luis Obispo 56
Gardena Serra 60, Compton Centennial 50

Division V-A
La Verne Lutheran 75, Faith Baptist 41

Glendora’s Calvin Smith scored 19 points in the Tartans’ victory

I was covering Glendora, here are the highlights
Glendora High School boys basketball coach Mike LeDuc finally broke a smile, looking almost like a proud father explaining how the Tartans went all the way to Valencia West Ranch, and did it again. Junior guard Calvin Smith was the big difference, breaking past the Wildcats’ constant pressure on his way to 19 points and five rebounds. Senior Kos Russell also scored 19, and Brad Gatlin had one of his finest games of the season, chipping in with 18 points as the Tartans outlasted the Wildcats 68-51 in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA quarterfinals.
“We knew we were facing a great defensive team,” Smith said. “They put a lot of pressure, but our guys kept moving and made it easier for me to find them.
“And when I had an opening I was able to knock down a few shots. But again, it was another total team effort.”
The third-seed Tartans (24-7) advanced to the semifinals for the second consecutive season, where they will face third-seed Leuzinger, an 88-66 winner over Valencia, on Friday at Damien High School. LeDuc tried explaining how the magic continued.
“Our team has a high level of competitive spirit,” LeDuc said. “I know a lot of teams do also, but they seem to rise up to the occasion and take a lot of pride in the tradition we have. When they get an opportunity, they look forward to it, they don’t back away from it. I think that’s the difference.”

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GSoccer: Valley goes one and four in PK’s

While it was a tough day for most area high school girls soccer team in the penalty shootout, Diamond Ranch came out on top. The Panthers pulled off the upset of the day, shocking top-ranked and undefeated Santa Ana Valley in penalty kicks after eighty scoreless minutes of regulation and two overtimes in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division IV second-round game. The Panthers (13-7-4) defeated Santa Ana Valley (23-1-1) 4-2 in penalty kicks to move to the quarterfinals on Thursday against either St.Joseph’s or California. “I’m really excited, that was the top team in our division and nobody had done this to them all year,” Panthers coach Victoria Hentges said. “They were an amazing team, it was so hard fought, I’m just so glad to get through it and move on, because we’ve never gone this far in the playoffs.”

Tuesday’s Second Round
All games at 3 p.m.
Division II
Crescenta Valley 1, South Hills 1, CV wins on PK’s, 4-2
Division IV
Diamond Ranch 0, Santa Ana Valley 0, DRanch wins on PK’s, 4-2
Santa Ynez 0, Bishop Amat 0, Santa Ynez wins on PK’s, 4-3
Cathedral City 1, Los Altos 1, Cathedral City wins on PK’s, 4-3
Division VI
Milken Community 1, San Dimas 0
Division VII
Saddleback Valley Christian 0, Sierra Vista 0, Saddleback wins on PK’s, 5-4
CAMS 1, Arroyo 0
St. Genevieve 1, South El Monte 0

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Bishop Amat top sports program in Valley

Since we all love top ten’s, how about the top ten high school athletic programs in the Valley. I listed the top teams with the sports they’re the most competitive in compared to other teams in the Valley. I gave more weight to football, basketball, baseball and softball, since those are the marquee sports, with soccer a notch behind. Bishop Amat barely edges out Diamond Ranch for the top spot because in the signature sports, they’re a little better all the way around except for boys basketball.

1. Bishop Amat: Football, Baseball, Softball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Soccer, Wrestling
2. Diamond Ranch: Football, Baseball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys and Girls Soccer, Track
3. South Hills: Football, Baseball, Boys and Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Girls Basketball, Wrestling, Cross Country
4. Bonita: Football, Boys and Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Baseball, Track, Girls and Boys water polo, Girls volleyball
5. Northview: Football, Boys and Girls Basketball, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball
6. Glendora: Football, Baseball, Softball, Boys Basketball, Swimming, Cross Country, Girls Soccer
7. Charter Oak: Football, Boys Basketball, Baseball, Girls Soccer, Softball, Swimming.
8. Walnut: Football, Boys and Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Boys and Girls Water Polo, boys and girls tennis, girls volleyball
9. Rosemead: Football, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys Soccer, Wrestling, Softball
10. San Dimas: Football, Baseball, Girls Soccer, Softball, Girls Volleyball

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Boys Basketball heating up

Out of the seven boys basketball teams remaining in the playoffs, who has been the biggest surprise? There hasn’t been a true standout like Dominic Tiger-Cortes to run away with player of the year, so have any suggestions? How about our Tribune top five? Coach of the year? This is extremely difficult also, but one of the coaches still alive are going to win, then will hopefully coach the all-star game.

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