Wrestling: 14 area wrestlers qualify for State, Northview’s Frank Martinez wins thriller in final

“He was trying to keep me down,” said Northview’s Frank Martinez, who improved to 48-0. “So, I tried to get my hands up and get out.”

Not only did the Whittier area and San Gabriel Valley combine to qualify 14 wrestlers to next week’s CIF-State meet but the areas also produced a couple of champions at Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Temecula Valley High. Perhaps the day’s biggest drama took place in the 140-pound final between Northview High School’s Frank Martinez and El Dorado’s Charles Chavez.

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Not a good night for girls hoops, Diamond Ranch, Bonita and Bishop Amat all lose in semifinals; state playoffs next week

Girls Basketball
CIF-SS Playoffs
Saturday’s semifinal results

Division 2A
Woodbridge 42, Diamond Ranch 34
Division 3AA
Ingelwood 63, Bishop Amat 48
Division 3A
Santa Margarita 57, Bonita 43

Bonita game story: Santa Margarita’s girls basketball team used experience, physical half-court defense and spectacular play by Melissa Zornig to defeat Bonita 57-43 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3A semifinals on Saturday.

Bishop Amat game story: The Sentinels looked a lot like one of the Southland’s top teams by using a 12-0 run that started in the third quarter and ended early in the fourth to put away Amat in a 63-48 victory in the Division 3AA semifinals at Morningside High.

Diamond Ranch game story: It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t much of an upset, but third-seeded Woodbridge High School knocked off second-seeded Diamond Ranch 42-34 in Saturday’s CIF-SS Division 2A girls basketball semifinals at Ganesha High.

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Girls Water Polo: Walnut beats Los Altos 11-6 to win Division 6 title for first time in history

Above: Walnut players celebrate with coach Lani Ruh after winning the school’s first water polo title with an 11-6 victory over Los Altos on Saturday.

IRVINE – Los Altos High School and freshman sensation Stephanie Contreras might have a CIF-Southern Section record, but Walnut has something a bit more – a CIF-SS title.
Jacklyn Marriott scored three goals and Alex Escobar and Allie Zell had two each and the Mustangs won the school’s first girls water polo championship with an 11-6 victory over Miramonte League rival Los Altos in the Division 6 final Saturday morning at William Woollett Aquatic Center.
Walnut, also getting eight saves from goalie Allison Hu, finished 25-6. Los Atlos, which received two goals from Stephanie Tuning, finished 24-9. Contreras, who set the CIF-SS record for most goals in the season in Wednesday’s semifinal victory over Chadwick, was held to one goal on nine shots. She finished the season with 188 goals, which eclipsed the previous mark of 183, set by La Salle’s Kara-Leigh Huse in 2008.
“It’s really exciting,” Walnut coach Lani Ruh said. “This is the best any water polo team has done in Walnut history, boys or girls, so it’s really, really exciting.
“The girls worked really hard for this. I’m really proud of them.”

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Bishop Amat and Damien compete with the top seeds, but it wasn’t enough; La Verne Lutheran advances to third straight title game

Bishop Amat came to play tonight, they trailed by 5 and 10 points most of the night before settling on a 66-54 loss. Daniel Rodriguez (14 points) and Tyler Goldston (15 points) can ball, but the Lancers missed too many 3-pointers early, but still only trailed 25-21 at half. They shutout Cal-bound Allen Crabbe in the first half, but he made the difference in the second, where he scored all of his game-high 21 points. The other Cal-guy Richard Solomon finished with 8 points, but all in all, I got to take my hat off, they competed the whole night.

Friday’s semifinals
Division 2A
Eisenhower 82, Damien 74
Division 4A
Price 66, Bishop Amat 54
Division 5AA
La Verne Lutheran 60, Pasadena Poly 42

Bishop Amat game story: Amat, despite throwing a late scare into Price, suffered a 66-54 loss in the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs.

Damien game story: Alex Varner put Eisenhower on his back and led them to their second consecutive CIF-SS title game, scoring seven consecutive points in a 92-second span in the fourth period to pave the way for an 82-74 Ike victory at Redlands East Valley High School, its second consecutive semifinal victory over Damien.

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Girls Soccer: Bishop Amat and Los Altos both win, a game away from mammoth rematch in championship; Sierra Vista wins easy again, 5-0

CIF-SS Girls Soccer Playoffs
Tuesday’s semifinals
Division 4
Sultana at Bishop Amat, 3 p.m.
Granite Hills at Los Altos, 3 p.m.
Division 7
Alverno at Sierra Vista, 3 p.m.

Sierra Vista game story: Lizbeth “Chata” Rodriguez, dropping into midfield to find the ball and a little space to operate, scored two goals and set up a third in the first 11 minutes of the second half to lead Sierra Vista to a 5-0 romp and into the semifinals for the first time.

Amat game story in Santa Maria Times: However, by the match’s end it was a herculean comeback by the visiting Lancers that squashed the Knights’ upset bid, ending one of the greatest soccer seasons in St. Joseph history.

By Fred J. Robledo Staff Writer
— Bringing new meaning to the phrase, “survive and advance,” the Los Altos High School girls soccer team held its collective breath as Santa Ynez’s 32-goal scorer Alisa Silsbee broke free in stoppage time on a defensive breakdown, leaving her all alone with Los Altos goalkeeper Justine Padilla. Silsbee’s shot, however, hit the left post and Emily Ineman’s follow skidded wide, allowing the Conquerors to escape with a 1-0 victory over the Pirates (18-7-4) in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinal at La Puente High School on Friday. (To Continue, click thread).

Friday’s Girls Soccer quarterfinals
Division 4

Bishop Amat 3, Santa Maria St. Joseph 2
Sultana 2, La Serna 1, sudden death OT
Los Altos 1, Santa Ynez 0
Granite Hills 5, Serrano 0
Division 7
Sierra Vista 5, St. Paul 0
Alverno 3, Cate 1

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Wrestling: Masters Meet takes center stage

For complete pairings and results of the Masters, click thread

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
February is about surviving and advancing for high school wrestlers.
It’s the same this weekend, when 35 area competitors look to advance to next week’s CIF State championships when they take part in the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Temecula High School. The meet begins today at 10 a.m., with preliminary bouts, and concludes Saturday. The top nine competitors in each weight class advance to the state championships, scheduled for March 5-6 at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

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JCs: Citrus, Mt. SAC begin quests for CCCAA titles

Above: Citrus won the CCCAA title in 2008. Will the Owls celebrate again?

Don’t forget about our local colleges, who tonight and Saturday begin their quest for playoff glory.
It begins tonight when the Mt. San Antonio College men’s and women’s basketball teams open the CCCAA playoffs with a doubleheader. The women’s team, which has won four state titles since 2004, faces Mt. San Jacinto at 5:30 p.m., then the men’s team, under first-year coach Allen Caveness, face Cerritos at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday it’s Citrus’ turn as the Owls’ men’s team, who won a CCCAA title in 2008, host Santa Ana.
Until then, here’s my story on Citrus coach Rick Croy and how he’s changed the culture at the Glendora school and has the Owls annual competitors for a CCCAA title

Here’s where you can find the brackets for the men’s and women’s Southern California regionals

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The Valle Vista League, home of Mid-Valley champ San Dimas, now has two-time champion Anthony Rice to deal with at Pomona

By Clay Fowler, Staff Writer
Anthony Rice will try to bring his winning touch to his hometown.
With a pair of CIF championships in tow, the Pomona native was hired on Thursday to coach the Pomona High School football team, pending school board approval.
In four seasons at Colony High, Rice won CIF titles in 2006 and 2007, compiled a 39-12 overall record and an 18-2 mark in the Mt. Baldy League.
The fifth Pomona coach in the last seven years will take over a program that hasn’t made the playoffs since winning the Valle Vista League in 2003.
“When people think of Pomona, they shed a negative light on it,” Rice said. “But that’s not how I think of Pomona because that’s where I’m from. These kids are in the same boat I was in when I was growing up and I want to turn this program back into what it used to be.”

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Boys Soccer: Baldwin Park and Salesian win and will meet again; Mountain View continues defense of its title with gutty effort

It’s on folks, Salesian and Baldwin Park both won and will meet at Salesian in Tuesday’s semifinals, a rematch of last year’s Division 5 championship won by Salesian. I can’t think of a better way for the Braves to put their undefeated season on the line than against the team that beat them last…Meanwhile, the champions of the Valley, Mountain View, won 2-0 again despite not having reigning player of the year Diego Rodriguez, sidelined with a knee injury. Like former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said, don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.

Below: This was the scene following Salesian’s 2-1 sudden death overtime win in last years championship over Baldwin Park….

By Fred J. Robledo
— In the moments that followed Baldwin Park High School’s 3-0 victory over Arroyo Grande in Thursday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinal, what the Braves players really wanted to know was the final outcome between La Canada and Salesian. It was Salesian than handed Baldwin Park its last defeat, a crushing 2-1 sudden-death overtime loss in last year’s Division 5 championship, sending the Braves on a mission ever since. After hearing that Salesian had just knocked off La Canada 1-0 in sudden death overtime, the Braves got their wish, a semifinal rematch at Salesian in Tuesday’s semifinals. (To continue click thread)

CIF-SS Boys Soccer
Thursday’s quarterfinals
Division 5

Baldwin Park 3, Arroyo Grande 0
Salesian 1, La Canda 0, sudden death OT
Division 6
Mountain View 2, Arrowhead Christian 0

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Does Bishop Amat stand a chance? Really? Seriously? I’m not kidding .. The line is set at 34

Price, with Cal-bound standouts Allen Crabbe and 6-foot-9 Richard Solomon are ranked eighth in the state by MaxPreps, and winners of nine CIF-Southern Section titles and six state titles since 1999. They won the 4A title last season and have defeated four reigning Southern Section champs this season. They pounded our small school giant La Verne Lutheran 79-45 earlier in the season, which could answer the always intriguing question comparing Lutheran with other teams in the Valley that never schedule them. And why don’t they schedule them? I don’t know, it’s like they’re Lex Lutheran to some of our Valley teams. But hey, since Price beat Lutheran by 34 points, that’s where I’m setting the line, at 34 points. Will Amat cover? I know, I know, you’re wondering if they can win, right? C’mon now, I’m a Valley homer like all of you and would like nothing more that to witness our Hickory moment, but not even Steve Hagerty sitting on the end of that bench will make much of a difference … Damien, on the other hand, is going to knock off Eisenhower. Why, just one of those feelings, karma maybe.

Friday’s semifinals
Division 2A
No. 4 Damien (22-7) vs. No. 1 Eisenhower (26-5) at Redlands East Valley HS, 7 p.m.
Division 4A
No. 1 Price (27-3) vs. No. 4 Bishop Amat (21-8) at West Covina HS, 7 p.m.
Division 5AA
No. 2 La Verne Lutheran (21-8) vs. No. 5 Pasadena Poly (23-4) at South Pasadena HS, 7 p.m.

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Keppel ends Baldwin Park dream run, 77-63; Bishop Amat advances to face Price; Damien pounds Irvine, and La Verne Lutheran moves on

By Fred J. Robledo
— The Keppel High School boys basketball team got exactly what it wanted against host Baldwin Park during Wednesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinal – another strong effort from junior twins Jordan and Justin Young, and a near flawless performance from point guard Timmy Wong.
But as Aztecs coach Hung Duong explained it, when senior guard Sam Thim is on his game too, the Aztecs are nearly unbeatable, which was the case as Thim poured in 28 points to lead the third-seed Aztecs to a 77-63 victory, sending them to Friday’s semifinals against second-seed Pasadena at Muir High School. (To continue click thread)

Bishop Amat Gamer: It’s been awhile since the Bishop Amat High School boys basketball team hosted a truly meaningful playoff game in its own backyard. The wait is over, though, after the Lancers used a strong third quarter to post a 63-49 win over host Lawndale in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs on Tuesday night. The win lands Amat (21-8) a semifinal showdown against top-seeded Price (27-3) on Friday night at West Covina High School. Amat hasn’t been this far in the playoffs since winning a CIF title in 2002.

Damien Gamer: Damien High School boys basketball coach Matt Dunn wanted his team to control the tempo of the game and defend the 3-point line. His players held up their end of the bargain by knocking off University of Irvine 60-46 in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2A quarterfinal Tuesday night. The fourth-seeded Spartans (22-7) will face top seed and defending CIF-SS champion Eisenhower in a rematch of last year’s divisional semifinal on Friday at a site to be determined. Eisenhower beat Mayfair, 79-59.

Boys Basketball
Tuesday’s Quarterfinal Results
All games at 7 p.m.

Division 2A
Damien 60, University Irvine 46
Keppel 77, Baldwin Park 63
Division 4A
Bishop Amat 63, Lawndale 49
Division 5AA
La Verne Lutheran 68, Brentwood 51

Friday’s semifinals
Division 2A
No. 4 Damien at No. 1 Eisenhower at site to be determined near Eisenhower
Division 4A
No. 1 Price vs. No. 4 Bishop Amat at West Covina HS
Division 5AA
No. 2 La Verne Lutheran at No. 5 Pasadena Poly at site to be determined near Poly

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Los Altos’ Diaper Dandy, Stephanie Contreas, a goal away from setting the CIF-Southern Section single-season scoring record

Wednesday’s Girls Water Polo semifinals
Division 6
Los Altos vs. Chadwick at Mira Costa HS, 3:15 p.m.
Walnut vs. Malibu at Pepperdine, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
St. Lucy’s vs. Riverside Poly at William Woollett Center, Irvine, 2 p.m.

Are you following the best story of the playoff season, freshman Stephanie Contreas not only led the Los Altos girls water polo team into Wednesday’s semifinals with a Division 6 victory over Elsinore, 12-1, but her five goals give her 183 for the season, tying the single-season record set by La Salle’s Kara-Leigh Huse in 2008. Contreras can break the record on Wednesday against top-ranked Chadwick, though they’re on the road at Mira Costa HS at 3:15 p.m. BTW, did we say she’s just a freshman? Walnut is in the bottom half of the semifinals at Malibu. How cool would a collision course in the finals between Los Altos and Walnut be?

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South Hills, Bishop Amat ranked in ESPN CalHiSports’ Top 20 Preseason State Baseball Poll

A big shout out to South Hills and Bishop Amat, who both landed on ESPN CalHiSports’ Preseason State Baseball poll. The Huskies checked it at No. 17 with the Lancers at 19. Read all about it

What ESPN said:

17. South Hills (Covina, Calif.) 23-8
For the fifth time in eight tries, the Huskies captured a section championship last season as they defeated Beckman of Irvine in the CIFSS Division III finals for the first title under head coach Kevin Smith. The Huskies do lose Division III player of the year, pitcher Derek Klena, but it was a team dominated otherwise by underclassmen. All-CIFSS picks Cody Doyle and Christian Ibarra along with State Freshman of the Year Ty France headline the list of returnees.

19. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) 26-6
An 11-game winning streak came to an abrupt end for the Lancers last year when they lost in the CIFSS Division IV semifinals in walk-off fashion after earlier in the season finishing undefeated in Del Rey League play. Most teams would be worrying what the pitching would look like after losing a 10-game winner, but the Lancers have to feel pretty good as they will still have senior left-hander Paul Paez, who also won 10 games. He will team up with senior catcher Jerry McClanahan, who led the team with 38 runs batted in and seven home runs.

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JCs: Locals set for CCCAA playoffs

Above: Citrus College celebrated a CCCAA men’s basketball state title in 2008. Can the Owls do it again in a few weeks?

There were no surprises Monday when the California Community College Athletic Association released pairings for the state basketball playoffs.
The Citrus College men’s team, ranked as high as No. 1 in the state, received the No. 2 seed in the Southern California Regional as expected, while the women’s and men’s teams at Mt. San Antonio College, also as expected, received the Nos. 3 and 5 seeds, in their respective SoCal Regional tournaments. The Pasadena City women’s team, after beating Mt. SAC, 64-62 last week, moved up from its No. 5 ranking to take the No. 4 seed in Southern California. The Lancers won the CCCAA title last year.
The tournament begins Wednesday with quarterfinal play-in games, with regional semifinals scheduled for Friday and Saturday. This weekend’s winners advance to the regional finals on March 6, with the CCCAA Elite Eight tournament slated for March 11-14 at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.
Citrus (26-2), which won a CCCAA title in 2008 and advanced to the regional finals last season, will face either Santa Ana (12-14) or Los Angeles Trade Tech (14-8) Saturday at 7 p.m.
Mt. SAC will host a doubleheader on Friday. The women’s team (22-6), which has won four CCCAA titles since 2004, faces Mt. San Jacinto (23-5) at 5:30 p.m. The men’s team (24-4) faces Cerritos (18-10) at 7:30.
PCC (23-4) will host No. 12 Irvine Valley (20-7) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

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