LIVE BLOGGING: Bishop Amat 28, Mater Dei 21

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
— Jerry McClanahan and Rio Ruiz battled all summer for the starting quarterback spot, but it was how they battled together in the final moments that sent Bishop Amat to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Divisional playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Ruiz juggled, then hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from McClanahan with 38 seconds left, giving the Lancers a 28-21 victory over Mater Dei in front of more than 6,000 fans at Kiefer Stadium, most on the edge of their seats. To continue, click thread

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Breaking News: Felipe Aguilar resigns at Los Altos

Los Altos High School football coach Felipe Aguilar resigned on Friday after two years and a 4-16 overall record, and 3-7 record this past season.
The former quarterback led the Conquerors to a championship as a player, and was named the area player of the year, but could not get Los Altos into the playoffs in two years as head coach. He had the difficulty of following coach Greg Gano, who won four championships at the school before moving on to Damien.
Aguilar will continue to fulfill his commitment to the players and coaching staff until the conclusion of the team banquet in January, athletic director Steve Garcia said.
“At this time we will begin the search process for hiring a head coach that meets and exceeds the expectations of the school and the community to produce quality student-athletes on and off the field and to bring the football program its 12th CIF Championship,” Garcia wrote in a press release.

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Thursday Postgame: Azusa Rolls in the first round again; Diamond Ranch takes care of business trip

Tonight’s results

Azusa 41, Covina 13 — The Aztecs turned a close game at half into a rout, advancing to the quarterfinals for the second straight year. The Colts fate similar to last year, losing their starting quarterback, and the game.
Diamond Ranch 41, Burroughs 18 — You’re not surprised are you? Nothing gets the swag going again like a first round win in the playoffs after entering with a 4-6 record. Here they go again, right.

For quarter updates of tonight’s games, click thread

Breaking News: Whittier prep editor Roger Murray told me he has it on good authority that Michael Ball is practicing for Rowland and will play Friday against California after breaking his collarbone a month ago. He got this from his CalHi sources.

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Bishop Amat’s Daniel Kane and Davis Cazaris ready to lead Lancers against Mater Dei

Note: Today’s feature in the paper was cut short because of space, but the full version is here …

Bishop Amat defensive players Daniel Kane, left, and Davis Cazaris, the heart and soul Lancers’ vaunted defense. (SGVN/Staff photo by Watchara Phomicinda)

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
LA PUENTE – Notre Dame quarterback Ryan Kasdorf had a simple explanation for Bishop Amat’s 31-14 victory over the Knights last week that gave the Lancers a piece of the Serra League title. It also sums up what makes the Bishop Amat defense so special. It is led by a pair of seniors in defensive lineman Daniel Kane and hard-hitting safety Davis Cazares. The Lancers are allowing just 17 points a game, quite an accomplishment considering the opponents they line up against each week. To continue, click thread

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An intriguing first-round game: Damien and Upland, Gano and Salter, but who will win?

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
There will be a sense of familiarity when Damien High School opens the CIF-Southern Section Central Division football playoffs against visiting Upland at 7 p.m. on Friday. Not so much for the Spartans players, who did not face the Highlanders this year, but the coaching staffs. Particularly Damien coach Greg Gano and Upland counterpart Tim Salter. To Continue, click thread

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Two-Minute Drill: Robledo, Miller and the Scouting Guru discuss this week’s top games

The Tribune’s Fred Robledo, Time Warner’s popular Reginald Miller and the Scouting Guru mix it up and discuss four of Friday’s CIF playoff games. Check it out

Friday’s game
Mater Dei (6-4) at Bishop Amat (9-1), 7:30 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga (8-2) at Glendora (7-3), Citrus College, 7 p.m.
Upland (8-2) at Damien (5-5), 7 p.m.
Muir (4-6) at Charter Oak (9-1), 7 p.m.

The L.A. Times’ Ben Bolch Makes his Mater Dei-Bishop Amat prediction: Wrote Bolch: Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said Mater Dei receiver Victor Blackwell could “single-handedly” beat the Lancers, but the Monarchs have been inconsistent for most of the season and their signature victory over Corona Centennial came two months ago. Plus, Bishop Amat’s defense made Sherman Oaks Notre Dame standout Ryan Kasdorf look like an average high school quarterback last week. That’s no small feat. Prediction: Bishop Amat 35, Mater Dei 24.

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With the regular season completed, time to start thinking about the Tribune’s 2009 All-Area football team and player of the year

While we’re just a day from the opening playoff games, start thinking about the Tribune’s annual Christmas Day All-Area football teams. You can fill in the blanks and make your arguments. The AP is all purpose, which can be used for an extra quarterback, two-way standout or just about anyone that absolutely deserves to be on the team. You might think the hardest decisions are at quarterback, running back, but it’s actually the offensive lineman, the ones that make it all happen.
Player of the year:
Coach of the year:
First Team Offense
QB: (1); RB: (2); AP: (1); WR: (3); OL: (5); PK: (1)
First Team Defense
DL: (3); LB: (4); DB: (3); SS: (1); P: (1)

This is last year’s team

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Girls Volleyball: Bonita-Los Altos rematch set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Cypress College

The CIF-SS office just announced that the Bonita-Los Altos rematch in the Division 3AA finals at Cypress College will be at 10 a.m.
Bonita, playing in its first divisional championship match, advanced with a sweep over Palm Springs. It was the Bearcats second appearance in the semifinals in the past three seasons.
Los Altos, which last appeared in the finals in 1977, advanced with a sweep over Warren. The Conquerors were also runner-up in 1975.
Bonita, which won the Miramonte League, won both regular-season matchups, winning in three games on Oct. 8 and in four on Oct. 24.

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Muir not intimidated by Charter Oak …

Charter Oak (9-1) is the defending Southeast Division champion and No. 1 seed, but don’t expect Muir (4-6), which started 0-5 and needed to win its last three game to make the playoffs as the fourth place team from the Pacific League to be intimated when they visit the Chargers in the first round on Friday. Muir has played one of the toughest schedules in the division, losing to Southern Section powers Oaks Christian and Venice.
In the Pacific League they lost three games, though just by a combined 11 points, which included a 29-28 loss to fourth-seed Burbank.
“It’s another team, they’re not the team of old, that’s a good thing for us,” Muir coach Ken Howard said of Charter Oak. “We don’t mind getting them because now they have all the pressure. They have everything to lose and we have nothing to lose. We have been struggling in the playoffs the last couple years and they won a championship. We’re not going to worry about it, we’re going to show up and give them our best shot.”

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Girls Volleyball: It’s on! Los Altos, Bonita advance to finals, will meet in Division 3AA championship

Division 3AA Semifnals
Los Altos def. Warren 25-22, 25-19, 25-18
Bonita def. Palm Springs 25-15, 25-14, , 25-16.

I know this is a rivalry and things tend to get personal, but please think before you send, this is a good time for these teams, these schools, let them enjoy it by keeping the banter fun and spirited.

Los Altos players celebrate after advancing to the finals for the first
time since 1977.

CIF-Southern Section
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 3AA

Los Altos def. Warren, 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 – Jazmen Russell had 11 kills and Meagan Macias nine and the Conquerors advanced to the Division 3AA finals to face rival Bonita. Los Altos will be playing for its first divisional title. The Conquerors were runner up in 1975 and ’77.
Jazmen Russell: “When we lost to Bonita (on Oct. 27), it made us want to keep winning and play them again in the CIF finals. We want to beat them in the finals. We’ve been working hard ever since.”
Susanna Beliakoff: This is such a great accomplishment for us. We worked really, really hard this whole time. Getting this far is a blessing for us. It’s a team effort, and that’s what makes it special.”
Coach Jaime Ornelas: It’s expected to be point for point at this level (of the playoffs). I put in a few subs to get my bigger servers in there. They did fabulous.
“(Popoff) was amazing. My bench did a lot for me. They came in and did what we needed.”

Bonita players celebrate after advancing to the CIF-SS finals.

Bonita def. Palm Springs, 25-15, 25-14, 25-16 – Allie LaPierre had 16 kills and Katie Kirby 11 to lead the Bearcats. Bonita, which was in the semifinals for the second time in three years, is in the finals for the first time.
Allie LaPierre: I am just so excited. We made history. We just wanted to stay focused and play each point like it was 0-0.”
Katie Kirby: “Tonight was revenge for two years ago,”
Coach Adriana Contreras: “I’m just so absolutely proud. We did a great job covering balls and we spread the ball around. Everyone played a role tonight.”

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Yes, we will do Live Blogging, Bishop Amat and Mater delayed on Fox Sports Friday night

You want bigtime, I’ll give you bigtime: It has been confirmed that Bishop Amat and Mater Dei will be on Fox Sports Prime Ticket on Friday, dealyed at 10:30 p.m. I’m sorry, I jumped the gun, I thought it was live. This just means Kiefer will be packed to capacity as always, and we can live blog tweeter updates. It will be kind of nice, I can go back to the office and watch as I finish up.

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Southeast Predictions: Before they’re forced to the Sierra League, Charter Oak and South Hills will meet for another championship, Huskies win

Fred’s explanation: For those other Valley teams, principals and athletic directors who desperately voted Charter Oak and South Hills into a tougher league and division next year, we certainly understand why. Before the Southeast gets watered down next year, you know what to expect, don’t you? Charter Oak could have tough tests along the way against West Covina, California or Burbank, but who’s going to stop them, really? South Hills could have trouble against Santa Fe, Diamond Ranch or perhaps Schurr, but do you really believe they will lose to any of them? This is the final I have been waiting for, not because I’m playing favorites, these are the two best teams, period. I want to witness South Hills’ defense vs. Charter Oak’s offense. Bogan vs. Farrar. The two best teams in the Division playing their best football entering the playoffs. And when they meet, yes, South Hills is going to pull it off. They have been through more adversity, especially in regards to the Canada situation, people telling them they can’t win it all without him. They have a bigger chip on their shoulder. Charter’s Oak’s bread and butter is Adam Muema, but the Huskies have the dogs up front to contain him, and there is no Chris Allen to will the Chargers down the field this time. It’s going to be great, and yes, Charter Oak is and should be the favorite, I don’t dispute that, they’re as good as advertised and have an incredible coaching staff from top to bottom. But the best team doesn’t always win, sometimes when the talent is this close, hunger wins out, and I can’t see how the Chargers are hungrier than the Huskies in what will be another San Gabriel Valley classic for the history books.

Southeast Predictions
Top Seeds: 1. Charter Oak (9-1), 2. South Hills (8-2), 3. Schurr (8-1-1), 4. Burbank (8-2).
Unseeded Sleepers: West Covina, Diamond Ranch, California, Santa Fe

Top Bracket
Muir 4-6 (Pacific 4) at Charter Oak 9-1 (Miramonte 1)
San Gabriel 6-4 (Almont 2) at West Covina 6-4 (San Antonio 2)
Rowland 8-2 (San Antonio 3) at California 7-2-1 (Del Rio 1)
Alhambra 6-3 (Almont 3) at Burbank 8-2 (Pacific 1)
Bottom Bracket
El Rancho 5-5 (Del Rio 3) at Schurr 8-1-1 (Almont 1)
Diamond Ranch 4-6 (Miramonte 3) at Burroughs 7-3 (Pacific 2)
Crescenta Valley 7-3 (Pacific 3) at Santa Fe 7-3 (Del Rio 2)
Bonita 3-7 (Miramonte 3) at South Hills 8-2 (San Antonio 1)

Top Bracket

West Covina vs. Charter Oak
California vs. Burbank
Bottom Bracket
Schurr vs. Diamond Ranch
Santa Fe vs. South Hills
Charter Oak vs. California
Diamond Ranch vs. South Hills
South Hills over Charter Oak

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Pac-5 Predictions: The only sure thing is there is no sure thing, so why not jump on the Amat Bandwagon; I’m thinking Final Four

Fred’s explanation: Doing the Southwest and Mid-Valley brackets are easy by comparison because there are games you absolutely can’t miss, shouldn’t miss, so you have the ability to pick a lot of winners, which is why I can go 18-0 or 17-1 sometimes when I pick games every Friday. The Pac-5 isn’t like this. No. 16 can beat no. 1 and it’s not that huge of an upset as we saw last year with Bishop Amat, nearly knocking off No. 1 Long Beach Poly in the first round on the road. The best thing we can say about Bishop Amat in the first round is that if they beat Mater Dei, it is not an upset. The Lancers are back competing for titles at the highest level, so get use to it. The good times are back. It doesn’t mean they’re going to win it this year, but they’re going to compete. I have watched them enough times to know they’re going to leave their hard-hats on the field, so, how far can they advance? Who knows, but I will tell you what, I’m not surprised anymore at who they beat. I witnessed St. Bonny and Notre Dame, so nothing this team does surprises me.

Pac-5 Division Predictions
Top Seeds: 1. Edison (10-0), 2. Mission Viejo (10-0), 3. Servite (9-1), 4. Lakewood (9-1).
Unseeded Sleepers: Bishop Amat, Mater Dei, Notre Dame, Orange Lutheran.

Top Bracket
Millikan 6-4 (Moore 4) at Edison 10-0 (Sunset 1)
Orange Lutheran 6-4 (Trinity 2) at Dana Hills 8-2 (South Coast 2)
Mater Dei 6-4 (Trinity 3) at Bishop Amat 9-1 (Serra 1)
Newport Harbor 6-4 (Sunset at-large) at Lakewood 9-1 (Moore 1)
Bottom Bracket
San Clemente 6-4 (South Coast 3) at Servite 9-1 (Trinity 1)
Long Beach Poly 5-5 (Moore 2) at Los Alamitos 8-2 (Sunset 2)
Fountain Valley 8-2 (Sunset 3) at Notre Dame 8-2 (Serra 2)
Long Beach Wilson 6-4 (Moore 3) at No. 2 Mission Viejo 10-0 (South Coast 1)

Top Bracket
Orange Lutheran vs. Edison
Bishop Amat vs. Lakewood
Bottom Bracket
Servite vs. Long Beach Poly
Notre Dame vs. Mission Viejo
Edison vs. Bishop Amat
Servite vs. Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo over Edison

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Super 32: Final Rankings in, Bishop Amat No. 1

I’m keeping it simple today, here is the final Top 32 rankings.
Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (9-1), 2. Charter Oak (9-1), 3. South Hills (8-2), 4. San Dimas (9-1), 5. West Covina (6-4), 6. Damien (5-5), 7. Glendora (6-4), 8. Rowland (8-2), 9. Baldwin Park (8-2), 10. Azusa (9-1).
The Middle 10
11. Arroyo (8-2), 12. Walnut (8-2), 13. La Puente (8-2), 14. Diamond Ranch (4-6), 15. Gladstone (7-3), 16. Rosemead (5-5), 17. Bonita (3-7), 18. Workman (6-4), 19. Los Altos (3-7), 20. Covina (5-5)
On the bottom looking up
21. Pomona (6-4), 22. South El Monte (3-7), 23. Sierra Vista (5-5), 24. Wilson (2-8), 25. Nogales (2-8), 26. Bassett (4-6), 27. Diamond Bar (1-9), 28. Ganesha (1-9), 29. Northview (1-9), 30. El Monte (1-9), 31. Mountain View (0-10), 32. Duarte (0-10)

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