Thursday Countdown: Baldwin Park does its part to set up next week’s showdown with San Dimas

Game Story: Baldwin Park’s 49-14 victory over Ganesha on Thursday night was another step for the Braves toward a Valle Vista League title. Ganesha, meanwhile, took one more step toward a new league it will form next year with opposition that will provide more evenly matched games, according to Giants coach Dave Fleming. Baldwin Park (8-1, 4-0) has one more matchup this season it’s looking forward to. If San Dimas can beat Covina Northview today, the lone team Ganesha (1-8, 1-3) has defeated this season, Baldwin Park and San Dimas will play for an outright Valle Vista League championship on Nov. 13.

Thursday countdown question:I don’t like to use the term sleepers with teams having great years, but wouldn’t it be a total surprise if one of these four won a CIF championship? Which of them has the best chance of winning their division and shocking us all?

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Bracketology: The Scouting Guru breaks down the playoff picture in Southeast and Mid-Valley

The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent and teams in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas.

Guru Says: Well, this is my favorite time of year. We are watching tons of film for 2010 prospects. But more than that, it’s close to playoff time – which means it’s time for a little bracketology for the playoffs. Let’s dive into it.
First, what needs to be understood is the protocol directly from the CIF-SS Handbook that is online at “The initial step is to designate four teams (maximum) as seeds, with No. 1 and No. 4 placed in the top bracket, and No. 2 and 3 in the bottom bracket (see Diagram 1). An exception to this procedure would be if seeds in the same half of the bracket are from the same league……Is it possible to designate more than four seeds? The task would be virtually impossible on two counts. Attempting to delineate which team is the No. 7 seed, as opposed to No. 8, or No. 12 rather than No. 13, would result in 25 different answers by 25 different people. Additionally, an attempt at a “true seed” would be in opposition to the CIF-SS Constitution and By-laws, which specify a league’s designated No. 1 entry shall meet a No. 3 entry, and a No. 2 shall meet another No. 2, where the draw provides for same in the opening round.”

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Charter Oak or South Hills; A dream final awaits

If the area’s perennial powerhouse’s met in the Southeast Division championship in December, who would you take? Have the Huskies improved enough to challenge the Chargers? Because of the new leagues, you might not see this dream final again. You will see them battle for playoff spots along with Damien in the Sierra League, but as far as title games, the best chance is now, and those chances are growing by the week. Who is going to stop them, West Covina, Diamond Ranch, Rowland, one of those Burbank schools? Not this year. When you look at the three losses between them, Rancho Cucamonga, La Habra and Tesoro, there is nobody like that they will face again until they meet each other.

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Should you still fear the Mead? Koffler thinks so

There are only a handful of teams with a chance to win the Mid-Valley Division, Paraclete, Monrovia, San Dimas are the top tier, Baldwin Park, Arroyo, Azusa are a not-too-close second. Where does Rosemead fit in the mix?

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
After winning the Mission Valley League title and advancing to the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division title game last season, Rosemead High School football coach Matt Koffler is feeling good about his playoff possibilities, even though the Panthers are a mere 3-5 overall and 2-1 in league. With Arroyo (6-2, 3-0) well on its way to a Mission Valley League title after sneaking past the Panthers 14-12 in the league opener, Koffler is confident that once sturdy running back Joey Diaz returns, they will be an entirely different team.

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CIF boys basketball playoff divisions

Who are the winners and losers in the new boys basketball playoff divisions? My first thoughts were that Bishop Amat is in good place. If they can’t compete for a 4AA title with the beautiful building and all the other resources at their disposal, that’s not going to go over well, not with baseball and football looking so good.

Boys Basketball
1AA: Diamond Bar
1A: Walnut, West Covina
2AA: Glendora
2A: Damien, Nogales, Rowland
3AA: Arroyo, Los Altos
3A: Bonita, Charter Oak, Diamond Ranch, Mountain View, Rosemead, Sierra Vista, South Hills
4AA: Azusa, Bishop Amat, Covina, Duarte, El Monte, Gladstone, La Puente, San Dimas, South El Monte, Wilson,
4A: Bassett, Blair, Workman
5AA: La Verne Lutheran

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Super 32: Bishop Amat is the lone undefeated team in the Valley; Charter Oak-South Hills looking more dominant each week

How far can Arroyo go in the Mid-Valley Division?

Tribune Top Ten
1. Bishop Amat (8-0) – Wouldn’t it be great if they defeated Crespi on the road. Think about the atmosphere next week when they would be going for 10-0 at home for first place in the Serra against reigning champion Notre Dame. It doesn’t get much better than that. But first things, first.
2. Charter Oak (8-1) – People keep asking, do you still think Charter Oak would beat Bishop Amat on a neutral field? I’m stubborn enough to say yes, but also realize how foolish that sounds. I don’t know why people still keep knocking the Chargers, they’re only 22-1-1 since last year.
3. South Hills (6-2) - The Huskies are the sleeper nobody is talking about. We will find out just how polished they’re with Walnut and Rowland next, but my guess is they will blow out both and go into the playoffs with a head of steam.
4. San Dimas (7-1) – If not for the loss against the Mid-Valley’s No. 1 Monrovia, they would look so unstoppable on paper. Seriously, they’re winning by a 28-point margin with three straight shutouts. That’s just sick.
5. Baldwin Park (7-1) – You gotta love that everytime San Dimas comes up with a statement victory, the Braves answer. I can’t wait for the Valle Vista league finale.
6. West Covina (5-4) - I guarantee the Bulldogs will be the team nobody wants to face in the first round of the Southeast playoffs. I know they have four losses, but that was a lot of injuries ago.
7. Rowland (7-1) – The Raiders got handled by West Covina, but they still have a shot at the San Antonio league title in the finale against South Hills. A loss, which is more likely, drops them to third.
8. Damien (3-5) — The Spartans are nowhere to be found in the Central Rankings, and for a very good five-loss reason. But they’re in the best position to finish strong, and regardless of the rankings, they have a chance to grab the league’s top seed with victories over Diamond Bar and Chino.
9. Glendora (5-3) — Quarterback Chad Jeffries stepped up and had a monster game in their upset over Chino Hills. The Tartans should beat Chino this week, then can play for a tie of the Sierra League title against Ayala in the finale.
10. Azusa (8-1) — The back-to-back Montview League champions are sitting pretty as the No. 3 seed in the Mid-Valley Division. We all talk about the great job Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty is doing, but Aztecs coach Joe Scherf deserves coach of the year consideration too.

The Middle 10
11. Walnut (6-2), 12. Arroyo (6-2), 13. La Puente (6-2), 14. Gladstone (6-2), 15. Diamond Ranch (2-6), 16. Bonita (2-5), 17. Workman (5-3), 18. Los Altos (3-5), 19. Pomona (5-3), 20. Rosemead (3-5).

On the bottom looking up
21. Covina (3-5), 22. Sierra Vista (4-4), 23. Wilson (2-6), 24. Nogales (2-6), 25. Bassett (3-5), 26. South El Monte (2-6), 27. Diamond Bar (1-7), 28. Ganesha (1-7), 29. Northview (1-7), 30. El Monte (0-8), 31. Mountain View (0-8), 32. Duarte (0-8)

The view from Diamond Ranch High School after a brush fire broke out on Tuesday….

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Girls Volleyball Top 10: St. Lucy’s takes a tumble; South Hills moves to the top; playoffs next week

Girls Volleyball Top 10
1. South Hills (15-5)
2. St. Lucy’s (22-4)
3. Walnut (16-4)
4. Bonita (13-6)
5. San Dimas (18-4)
6. Glendora (8-4)
7. Los Altos 13-6
8. Ganesha (19-4)
9. La Puente (14-10)
10. Diamond Bar (16-10)

Comments: For the first time in a few weeks, we have a new No. 1 as South Hills subplants St. Lucy’s after the Regents lost in five to Ayala last week. Will will see what the Huskies do with their new status when they travel to No. 3 Walnut tonight for a San Antonio League showdown. it’s one of three battles for first place today. No. 9 La Puente hosts Gladstone and No. 5 San Dimas travels to No. 8 Ganesha. Speaking of the Saints, they move up to No. 5. after getting two more sweeps in the Valle Vista, and taking advantage of Glendora and Los Altos losing, albeit to ranked teams. Diamond Bar makes a return to the top 10 after putting together a late surge in recent weeks.

Above: South Hills’ Jackie Valle-Acosta spikes Walnut

South Hills def. Walnut, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 15-9 – The Huskies clinched their second outright title in three years with the victory. Melinda Gomez had 15 kills, with Marisa Gomez and Jackie Valle-Acosta 14 each to lead South Hills. The Huskies also got 13 kills from Karina Jones and 62 assists from Bre Hunter.

Other Scores
Miramonte League

Bonita def. Wilson 25-10, 25-16, 25-18.
Montview League
Gladstone def. La Puente 14-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-20.
Sierra League
Glendora def. Chino 25-10, 25-7, 25-17.
Valle Vista League
San Dimas def. Ganesha 25-19, 25-19, 25-14.

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Charter Oak’s Travis Santiago just fine

Charter Oak High School football coach Lou Farrar started third-string quarterback Kyle Brown in Friday’s 42-0 win over Wilson, and Brown did well in completing 6 of 10 attempts for 119 yards and two touchdowns. According to Farrar, sophomore starting quarterback Travis Santiago “got his bell rung” a week earlier in a 12-0 win over Diamond Ranch, the same game in which backup quarterback Josiah Thropay was lost for the season with a broken collarbone while playing receiver.

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Gano, Layton, not surprised by Amat’s 8-0 start

Damien coach Greg Gano and Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton each have faced Bishop Amat and are not surprised by the Lancers’ 8-0 start, their best since going 9-0 in 1998. “They’re coached-up as well as anyone,” Layton said. “When you think of having Daylon McCutcheon and Rodney Sermons on your coaching staff, those are San Gabriel Valley legends. What impresses me the most is that they’re not doing it with a bunch of superstars, they’re doing it with discipline. I always have said when Bishop Amat is winning, it’s great for football in the Valley. When they win it makes us all look good.” To continue reading, click thread

Below: Relive Bishop Amat’s 27-24 overtime victory over Loyola on Friday. Hagerty speaks at the end.

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Cross Country: League finals week

Once again, a local coach has stepped up and offered to help give insight to what’s going on in cross country. This comes from Glendora assistant coach Bob Ramsey

Ramsey said: Local cross county teams move into the final phase of the season this week, with each of the local leagues holding their Championship Finals meets. These meets will determine league championships along with CIF qualifying spots – with the top three teams in most leagues and top four in 7-8 team leagues advancing to CIF prelims. Individuals on non-advancing teams who finish in the top six in their leagues will also qualify for CIF. To continue, click thread

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Boys and Girls Basketball: With so many of the best teams losing their top players, who are the top teams to watch?

As we inch closer to the Nov. 25 season openers, tell us who the top teams and players are for the 2009-10 season. Diamond Ranch and Bishop Amat should dominate the girls, but the boys is a tough one. Diamond Ranch, Nogales, Northview, Bonita and Glendora all lost a strong group of players. Even Workman takes a step back with CJ Guerrero going back to St. John Bosco, making you wonder, is he even eligible? La Verne Lutheran? I’m wondering if I should include them in our rankings, because if I’m being honest, they’re No. 1 by a longshot.

Will the good times continue at Nogales?

Below: These are how the rankings ended in March, how will they look when the season begins?
1. Diamond Ranch (22-4)
2. Nogales (21-7)
3. Northview (21-6)
4. Bonita (22-5)
5. Glendora (21-7)
6. Workman (19-5)
7. Bishop Amat (17-9)
8. Charter Oak (18-9)
9. Diamond Bar (16-12)
10. Damien (16-11)

1. Diamond Ranch (21-4)
2. Bishop Amat (20-5)
3. Sierra Vista (21-3)
4. Bonita (17-9)
5. South Hills (17-7)
6. Walnut (16-8)
7. West Covina (15-9)
8. Northview (17-9)
9. San Dimas (14-11)
10. Covina (16-9)

After a year off, Lancers coach Richard Wiard is back. But when will the Lancers join the top teams in the Southland again?

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Boys and Girls Soccer: Who will be the top teams, the season begins at the end of the month

Below are the final rankings in February, go ahead and tell us who the top teams, top players are as we get ready for the 2009-10 season previews. The first games are on Nov. 25

Purple Pride: Mountain View celebrating a CIF-SS Divisional title and has almost everyone back. Can you say repeat.

1. Baldwin Park (21-1)
2. Sierra Vista (18-2-2)
3. Mountain View (16-4-4)
4. Los Altos (11-4-3)
5. Wilson (17-4-2)
6. Bishop Amat (14-5-4)
7. Rosemead
8. West Covina (14-4-3)
9. South Hills (12-4-3)
10. Diamond Ranch (13-5-3)

1. St. Lucy’s (15-3-4)
2. Walnut (14-5-2)
3. Bishop Amat (17-2-4)
4. Glendora (15-9-3)
5. South Hills (14-8-1)
6. Los Altos (15-7-3)
7. Diamond Ranch (11-7-4)
8. San Dimas (17-4-4)
9. South El Monte (12-4-1)
10. Charter Oak (15-7-3)

Is this the year South Hills finally dethrones Walnut?

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Mr. Clutch: Just call him “The Kermanator”

Above: Photo courtesy of Glendora athletics

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
When you think of how many close games the Glendora High School football team has been in this season, it sure helps to have a cool kicker to count on in the clutch.
Matt Kerman has been just that for the Tartans. It was his extra point that finished off a stunning, 91-yard scoring drive in the final minute and a half that gave the Tartans a 21-20 victory over Anaheim Canyon back in September. It was Kerman’s 22-yard field goal as time expired that gave the Tartans a 16-14 victory over Diamond Ranch on Oct. 2. “When you get in that situation, you realize how hard your team has worked to set you up,” Kerman said. “You don’t want to let them down. Besides, I couldn’t go to school the next day if I missed.”

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CIF Polls: Charter Oak, South Hills tops in Southeast, Rowland drops to No. 6 behind No. 5 Walnut; Bishop Amat No. 7 in PAC-5; San Dimas, Azusa and Baldwin Park No. 2-4 in Mid-Valley

Southeast Division
1. Charter Oak (8-1), 2. South Hills (6-2), 3. Burbank (7-1), 4. Crescenta Valley (6-2), 5. Walnut (6-2), 6. Rowland (7-1), 7. Bell Gardens (6-2), 8. Schurr (6-1-1), 9. Santa Fe (6-2), 10. Burroughs (6-2).
Mid-Valley Division
1. Monrovia (8-0), 2. San Dimas (7-1), 3. Azusa (8-1), 4. Baldwin Park (7-1), 5. Paraclete (6-3), 6. Arroyo (6-2), 7. Gladstone (6-2), 8, La Puente (6-2), 9. Village Christian (6-2), 10. San Marino (6-2).
Central Division
1. Colton (7-1), 2. Rancho Cucamonga (7-1), 3. Colony (7-1), 4. Etiwanda (6-2), 5. Upland (7-1), 6. Elsinore (6-2), 7. Chino Hills (6-2), 8. Arroyo Valley (6-2), 9. Glendora (5-3), 10. Ayala (6-2).
Pac-5 Division
1. Edison (8-0), 2. Mission Viejo (8-0), 3. Servite (7-1), 4. Notre Dame (7-1), 5. Lakewood (8-1), 6. Fountain Valley (8-0), 7. Bishop Amat (8-0), 8. Dana Hills (7-1), 9. Los Alamitos (6-2), 10. Orange Lutheran (5-3).

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Tribskin Pick’em, your predictions and ours

Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty has his sights set on Crespi next. Once again, the Lancers will be on the front page Friday night, and we will have scoring updates for those who can’t make the trip.

Steve and I will go head-to-head throughout the season. Here is our updated records on the Tribskin Pick’em thread.

Robledo: Last week/Total: 17-1/129-36
Ramirez: Last week/Total: 15-3/118-47

Last Week: For those who say I can’t pick games, look at the overall record, that’s almost an 80 percent winning percentage. I would have gone 18-0 if not for Glendora upsetting Chino Hills on Matthew Kerman’s game-winning field goal. Steve lost two more by taking Rowland over West Covina and Bassett over Sierra Vista. There is no way he can catch me, an 11-game lead with two weeks before the playoffs. I can start making my dinner plans, which of course is on Stevie.
This week: With 16 games, I’m singling out four, which means the other twelve are locks. Let’s start with Bishop Amat. Eight is enough. They will lose at Crespi this week. The Lancers haven’t had to play anyone this talented on the road, having played close to home in other road wins against Diamond Ranch, Damien, West Covina and St. Paul. Calpreps lists the Lancers as a 30-28 winner, but don’t count on it, the Lancers’ best bet is returning home and knocking off Notre Dame in the finale. I like Covina to knock off Pomona for that third playoff spot. The Colts have played tougher opponents, and have the offense to get it done. Take South Hills over Walnut. The Mustangs will go 7-3 and miss the playoffs, unfortunate but a reality of having four strong teams and only three playoff spots. Finally, take Diamond Ranch to clinch a playoff spot in the Miramonte with a win over Los Altos. The Conqs just can’t seem to win the big one.

This week’s games and predictions
Thursday’s games
Baldwin Park at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (BPark); Ramirez (Baldwin Park)
Friday’s games
Arroyo at Mountain View, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Arroyo); Ramirez (Arroyo)
Rosemead at El Monte, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Rosemead); Ramirez (Rosemead)
South El Monte at Gabrielino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (SElMonte); Ramirez (South El Monte)
Bassett vs. Gladstone at Citrus College, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Gladstone); Ramirez (Gladstone)
La Puente at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m. — Robledo (La Puente); Ramirez (La Puente)
Workman vs. Duarte at La Puente, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Workman); Ramirez (Workman)
Rowland at Nogales, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Rowland); Ramirez (Rowland)
South Hills vs. Walnut at CDF, 7 p.m. — Robledo (South Hills); Ramirez (South Hills)
Bishop Amat at Crespi, 7:30 p.m. — Robledo (Crespi); Ramirez (Bishop Amat)
Damien at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Damien); Ramirez (Damien)
Glendora at Chino, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Glendora); Ramirez (Glendora)
Northview at San Dimas, 7 p.m. — Robledo (San Dimas); Ramirez (San Dimas)
Pomona vs. Covina at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Covina); Ramirez (Pomona)
Wilson at Bonita, 7 p.m. — Robledo (Bonita); Ramirez (Bonita)
Saturday’s games
Los Altos vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha, 7 p.m. — Robledo (DRanch); Ramirez (DRanch)

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YouTube It, We show it!

Glendora quarterback Chad Jeffries’ spectacular two-point conversion against Chino Hills on Friday night that cut the Huskies’ lead t o 14-8 in the third quarter. That play made the difference in their 24-23 victory.

Relive Bishop Amat’s thrilling last second-victory over Crespi last season. The Lancers face Crespi again on Friday. BTW, The Times’ Eric Sondheimer says to watch out for Celts quarterback Bryan Bennett, who is on his way to Oregon. He threw for 302 yards and two TDs in their loss to Notre Dame.

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A comment from regular blogger New York: “What if a losing school made claims that transfers were “socially motivated,” rather than academically motivated?

New York said: This story is in the paper today. Various school districts feel that “good students” are getting poached. I wonder if they can stop the transfers by lobbing darts such as the “athletically motivated” accusation. I wonder if non-athletes will be vulnerable to the same type of harassment. For instance, what if a losing school made claims that transfers were “socially motivated” rather than academically motivated.

Here’s the story
By Tania Chatila, Staff Writer
When it comes to the estimated losses Rowland Unified School District has faced because of a state program allowing parents to send their children to any district, it really comes down to two figures: 2,000 students and nearly $28 million. And now that the life of this program has been extended through 2016, some local educators fear it will just do more damage to already decreasing enrollment in the region. To continue, click thread

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Sunday Tribbin

Anything and anyone you want to talk about

The Drive for Five: We started the year with a question, which of these four-time championship coaches will get No. 5 first? With two weeks to go, all three have their teams playing their best football of the season. Farrar is still the best bet, though I’m sensing a meeting with Bogan in the final. Gano? You never know. Unless they stumble, they will enter the playoffs with the momentum of a four-game winning streak, at least a share of the Sierra, and the confidence of having a coach that’s been there, and a schedule that has prepared them for anything.

Game of the week? Look at the list, nothing jumps out at you, except for Walnut and South Hills. If the Mustangs lose, their playoff hopes are over. If you think a different one should be game of the week, then speak!!!

Bishop Amat: Was Friday’s 27-24 victory over Loyola good enough to get the Lancers a Pac-5 playoff berth? Last year they finished 7-3 and got in, the worst they finish now is 8-2.

Athletes of the week: Looking for nominations for boys and girls athletes of the week.

This week’s schedule
Thursday’s games
Baldwin Park at Ganesha, 7 p.m.
Friday’s games
Arroyo at Mountain View, 7 p.m.
Rosemead at El Monte, 7 p.m.
South El Monte at Gabrielino, 7 p.m.
Bassett vs. Gladstone at Citrus College, 7 p.m.
La Puente at Sierra Vista, 7 p.m.
Workman vs. Duarte at La Puente, 7 p.m.
Rowland at Nogales, 7 p.m.
South Hills vs. Walnut at CDF, 7 p.m.
Bishop Amat at Crespi, 7:30 p.m.
Damien at Diamond Bar, 7 p.m.
Glendora at Chino, 7 p.m.
Northview at San Dimas, 7 p.m.
Pomona vs. Covina at Ganesha, 7 p.m.

Saturday’s games
Los Altos vs. Diamond Ranch at Ganesha, 7 p.m.

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